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The "environmental" rules for authors of any new tc actions are:
1) If you stealeth or borroweth any packet thou shalt be branching
from the righteous path and thou shalt cloneth.
For example if your action queues a packet to be processed later,
or intentionally branches by redirecting a packet, then you need to
clone the packet.
2) If you munge any packet thou shalt call pskb_expand_head in the case
someone else is referencing the skb. After that you "own" the skb.
3) Dropping packets you don't own is a no-no. You simply return
TC_ACT_SHOT to the caller and they will drop it.
The "environmental" rules for callers of actions (qdiscs etc) are:
*) Thou art responsible for freeing anything returned as being
returned, then all is great and you don't need to do anything.
Post on netdev if something is unclear.