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SubjectRe: [RFD] Freezing of kernel threads
On Sun, May 13, 2007 at 09:33:41AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Sun, 13 May 2007, Gautham R Shenoy wrote:
> > RFC #1: Use get_hot_cpus()- put_hot_cpus() , which follow the
> > well known refcounting model.
> Yes. And usign the "preempt count" as a refcount is fairly natural, no?
> We do already depend on that in many code-paths.
> It also has the advantage since it's not a *blocking* lock, [...]

get/put_hot_cpus() was intended to be similar and not same as

One difference is get_hot_cpus() has to be a blocking lock. It has to block
when there is a cpu_down/up operation already in progress, otherwise it isn't
of much help to serialize readers/writers. Note that a cpu_down/up is marked in
progress *before* the first notifier is sent (CPU_DOWN/UP_PREPARE) and not just
when changing the cpu_online_map bitmap.

Because it can be a blocking call, there needs to be associated
machinery to wake up sleeping readers/writers.

The other complication get/put_hotcpu() had was dealing with
write-followed-by-read lock attempt by the *same* thread (whilst doing
cpu_down/up). IIRC this was triggered by some callback processing in CPU_DEAD

|- take write lock
| |- foo() wants a read_lock

Stupid as it sounds, it was really found to be happening! Gautham, do you
recall who that foo() was? Somebody in cpufreq I guess ..

Tackling that requires some state bit in task_struct to educate
read_lock to be a no-op if write lock is already held by the thread.

In summary, get/put_hot_cpu() will need to be (slightly) more complex than
something like get/put_cpu(). Perhaps this complexity was what put off
Andrew when he suggested the use of freezer (

> For example, since all users of cpu_online_map should be pure *readers*
> (apart from a couple of cases that actually bring up a CPU), you can do
> things like
> #define cpu_online_map check_cpu_online_map()
> static inline cpumask_t check_cpu_online_map(void)
> {
> WARN_ON(!preempt_safe()); /* or whatever lock we decide on */
> return __real_cpu_online_map;
> }

I remember Rusty had a similar function to check for unsafe references
to cpu_online_map way back when cpu hotplug was being developed. It will
be a good idea to reintroduce that back.

> and it will nicely catch things like that.

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