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SubjectRe: 2.6.16-rc6-rt1

* Esben Nielsen <> wrote:

> > Thomas' testing method has the advantage that it utilizes the kernel's
> > PI mechanism directly, hence it is easy to keep it uptodate without
> > having to port the kernel's PI code to userspace.
> I call that a disadvantage. I the impression you work like this
> 0) Write or fix code
> 1) Try to compile the kernel
> 2) On compile error goto 0
> 3) Try to boot the kernel
> 4) If the kernel doesn't boot goto 0
> 5) Test whatever you have changed
> 6) If your test fails goto 0
> Just the time spend in 1) is between a few seconds to figure out
> simple syntax errors and up to several minuttes to recompile a lot of
> the kernel. 3) takes a minute or two, 5) usually also takes some time,
> depending on how much you have set up automaticly. In short: Each
> iteration is minuttes.

correct workload but wrong timing assumptions. For me to reboot into a
completely rebuilt kernel is about 90 seconds (from the point of having
saved the change in the editor, to the point i can ssh into the freshly
booted up box). To reboot into a partially rebuilt kernel is less than
30 seconds. (It is important to keep this particular latency as low as
possible, for a number of other reasons as well, not just pure
development time.)

> The way I work is
> 0) Fix whatever code (in TestRTMutex, rt.c or wherever)
> 1) Try to compile rttest and run the tests (done as one step with make)
> 2) If something fails goto 0,
> Each iteration takes a few seoncds. I can do it within Emacs (please,
> no flame wars! :-) where I in the compile buffer can jump directly to
> the lines in the C-code or in the test-scripts where the error is
> reported. I can also to some degree (as shown below) find SMP
> deadlocks without having a SMP machine.

the PI code, while currently seeing alot of changes, isnt supposed to
change all that often in the long run. Hence it is far more important

- _always_ have a testsuite available without maintainance overhead,
even if we only do small fixes to the PI code. With your method, both
the userspace PI code, and the kernel-space PI code has to be updated,
all the time.

- the have the _real_ PI code utilized. The real scheduler, and on a
real box.

- to be able to do stress-tests too, which is much less possible and
practical in a simulated PI environment.

> The point is: Even though you have to maintain an extra level of stubs
> in userspace you gain much speedier development cycle. You gain
> quality as you can test the logic in a more controlled manner
> independent of the real timing on the target. You are forced to think
> isolation and therefore get an overall better architecture.

the same benefit can be gotten by simply cutting down on the kernel
compilation time and on the install-new-kernel-and-reboot latency.

> > thanks, applied. [NOTE: had to apply it by hand because the patch was
> > whitespace damaged, it had all tabs converted to spaces.]
> Not again! I even used Pico from within Pine to paste it in...

hm, did you use Ctrl-R to read the patchfile in? That's pretty much the
only good way to get a patch into Pine.

> > > 2) There is a spinlock deadlock when doing the following test on SMP:
> > >
> > > threads: 1 2
> > > lock 1 +
> > > + lock 2
> > > test: lockcount 1 lockcount 1
> > >
> > > lock 2 lock 1 <- spin deadlocks here
> > > - -
> > > test: lockcount 1 lockcount 1
> > >
> > > This happens because both tasks tries to lock both tasks's pi_lock but
> > > in opposit order. I don't have fix for that one yet.
> >
> > well, this is a circular dependency deadlock - which is illegal in the
> > kernel,
> I still find it better to gracefully go to sleep or report a bug than
> just crashing the machine.

we do report it.

> > and which we detect for futex locks too - so it shouldnt happen.
> You mean that you have to run deadlock detection for all futexes to
> avoid crashing the kernel? [...]

no. We have to run deadlock detection to avoid things like circular lock
dependencies causing an infinite schedule+wakeup 'storm' during priority
boosting. (like possible with your wakeup based method i think) Note
that deadlock detection and priority boosting is 'merged', so there is
no CPU overhead from it. There is no global lock for deadlock detection
anymore, etc.

> Anyway: As far as I can see the deadlock happens in
> adjust_prio_chain() no matter what the detect_deadlock argument is.
> The bug is because you to lock current->pi_lock and owner->pi_lock at
> the same time in different order. As far as I can see that can happen
> from futex_lock_pi() as well.

ok, checking this.

> We are basicly back to the discussions I had last fall: Doing deadlock
> detection and PI is almost the same thing. You have to somehow
> traverse the list of locks. So to protect the kernel from crashing in
> the PI code when futexes deadlock, you have to traverse the list of
> locks without spin deadlocking to detect the futex deadlock. If you
> can do that, you could just as well do the PI that way in the first
> place.

we are doing it precisely that way - PI and deadlock detection is
'merged'. We do it in one go, in adjust_prio_chain().

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