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SubjectRe: Voyager subarchitecture for 2.5.46
On Sun, Nov 10, 2002 at 10:59:55AM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> On Sun, 10 Nov 2002, Pavel Machek wrote:
> >
> > Unfortunately, this means "bye bye vsyscalls for gettimeofday".
>
> Not necessarily. All of the fastpatch and the checking can be done by the
> vsyscall, and if the vsyscall notices that there is a backwards jump in
> time it just gives up and does a real system call. The vsyscall does need
> to figure out the CPU it's running on somehow, but that should be solvable
> - indexing through the thread ID or something.

I'm planning to store the CPU number in the highest bits of the TSC ...

> That said, I suspect that the real issue with vsyscalls is that they don't
> really make much sense. The only system call we've ever found that matters
> at all is gettimeofday(), and the vsyscall implementation there looks like
> a "cool idea, but doesn't really matter (and complicates things a lot)".

It's not complicating things overly. We'd have to go through most of the
hoops anyway if we wanted a fast gettimeofday syscall instead of a
vsyscall.

> The system call overhead tends to scale up very well with CPU speed (the
> one esception being the P4 which just has some internal problems with "int
> 0x80" and slowed down compared to a PIII).
>
> So I would just suggest not spending a lot of effort on it, considering
> the problems it already has.

Agreed. The only problem left I see is the need to have an interrupt of
every CPU from time to time to update the per-cpu time values, and to
synchronize those to the 'global timer interrupt' somehow.

--
Vojtech Pavlik
SuSE Labs
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