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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Export current_is_keventd() for libphy
On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 13:37:37 -0800
Roland Dreier <rdreier@cisco.com> wrote:

> > a) Ban the calling of flush_scheduled_work() from under rtnl_lock().
> > Sounds hard.
>
> Unfortunate if this is happening a lot. It seems like the most
> sensible fix -- flush_scheduled_work() is in effect calling into
> an unknown and changeable in the future set of functions (since it
> waits for them to finish), and it seems error-prone to hold a lock
> across such a call.

yes, I agree. It's really bad to be calling flush_scheduled_work() with
any locks held at all. Fragile, hard-to-maintain, source of
once-in-a-blue-moon failures, etc. I guess lockdep will help.

But running flush_scheduled_work() from within dev_close() is a very
sensible thing to do, and dev_close is called under rtnl_lock().
davem is -> thattaway ;)


> > This will almost work, as long as it's done in workqueue.c with
> > appropriate locking. The bug occurs when some other CPU is running
> > phy_change() right now - we'll end up freeing data which that CPU is
> > presently playing with.
> >
> > But perhaps we can take care of this within workqueue.c. We need a
> > cancel function which will cancel the work and, if its callback is
> > presently executing it will block until that execution has completed.
>
> I may be misunderstanding you, but this seems to deadlock in exactly
> the same way: if someone calls this cancel routine holding rtnl_lock,
> and the work function that will also take rtnl_lock has just started,
> it will get stuck when the work function tries to take rtnl_lock.

Ah. The point is that the phy code doesn't want to flush _all_ pending
callbacks. It only wants to flush its own one. And its own one doesn't
take rtnl_lock().

IOW, the phy code has no interest in running some random other subsystem's
callback - it just wants to run its own. Hence no deadlock.

Maybe the lesson here is that flush_scheduled_work() is a bad function.
It should really be flush_this_work(struct work_struct *w). That is in
fact what approximately 100% of the flush_scheduled_work() callers actually
want to do.

hmm.
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