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SubjectRe: [RFC][PATCH] make module refcounts use percpu_counters
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On Mon, 2007-10-01 at 19:43 +1000, Rusty Russell wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-09-28 at 16:00 -0700, Dave Hansen wrote:
> > Module refcounts currently use a percpu counter stored
> > in the 'struct module'. However, we also have a more
> > generic implementation that does stuff like handle
> > hotplug cpus.
> >
> > I'm not actually all that convinced that this refcount
> > actually does a lot of good, with cpus racing bumping
> > the counters at the same time that they're being
> > summed up. But, it certainly isn't any worse than
> > what was there before.
>
> That's why we look at the counters inside stop_machine_run().

Ahhh. That makes sense. Although it wasn't apparent during my 3-second
perusal of the code.

> Note that (1) the module implementation handles hotplug CPUs


You're saying it handles hotplug because of stop_machine_run()?


> But it might be a useful cleanup (although a slight de-optimization).
> If you want I'll queue for 2.6.24 (there are several other module
> patches pending too).

Might as well. It removed a very small amount of code, and opens the
door a bit for future optimizations in a single place.

> In an ideal world, (1) we would have percpu pointers using the same
> percpu mechanism as percpu variables, (2) we would have a modal variant
> of percpu counters which would collapse to a single counter when we
> cared about the precise value (probably using stop_machine for the
> transition). This would be useful for many other cases.

Yeah, but before we do that, we need some kind of flag to get the
percpu_counter_mod() fast path shoved into the slow path that takes the
lock.

I'm not sure the stop_machine() mechanism will work very well if we try
to expand this much further for other users. What would the SGI guys
think if these happened more than once in a blue moon?


-- Dave

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