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SubjectRe: Using sparse to catch invalid RCU dereferences?
On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 08:18:42PM +0200, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-04-08 at 08:52 -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > On Tue, Apr 08, 2008 at 12:04:16AM +0200, Johannes Berg wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > Just a thought, I haven't tried this yet because I'm not entirely sure
> > > it's actually correct. I was just thinking it should be possible to
> > > introduce something like
> > >
> > > #define __rcu __attribute__((address_space(3)))
> > >
> > > (for sparse only, of course) and then be able to say
> > >
> > > struct myfoo *foo __rcu;
> > >
> > > and sparse would warn on
> > >
> > > struct myfoo *bar = foo;
> > >
> > > but not on
> > >
> > > struct myfoo *bar = rcu_dereference(foo);
> >
> > Ah, "address_space" is a sparse-ism, no wonder I couldn't find it in
> > the gcc docs...
> >
> > So the address_space attribute says what the pointer points to rather
> > than where the pointer resides, correct?
> >
> > > by way of using __force inside rcu_dereference(), rcu_assign_pointer()
> > > etc.
> > >
> > > Would this be feasible? Or should one actually use __bitwise/__force to
> > > also get the warning when assigning between two variables both marked
> > > __rcu?
> >
> > It might be. There are a number of places where it is legal to access
> > RCU-protected pointers directly, and all of these would need to be
> > changed. For example, in the example above, one could do:
> >
> > foo = NULL;
> >
> > I recently tried to modify rcu_assign_pointer() to issue the memory
> > memory barrier only when the pointer was non-NULL, but this ended badly.
> > Probably because I am not the greatest gcc expert around... We ended
> > up having to define an rcu_assign_index() to handle the possibility of
> > assigning a zero-value array index, but my attempts to do type-checking
> > backfired, and I eventually gave it up. Again, someone a bit more clued
> > in to gcc than I am could probably pull it off.
> >
> > In addition, it is legal to omit rcu_dereference() and rcu_assign_pointer()
> > when holding the update-side lock.
>
> We could start by annotating those as well, for example:
>
> __rcu spinlock_t tree_lock;
>
> Then we would know that when tree lock is held the data structure is
> stable and we can ommit the rcu_*() functions.

Good point! Though IIRC there are are cases where we are updating
one RCU-protected data structure while in an RCU read-side critical
section with respect to another RCU-protected data structure.

But it would probably best to start as you say rather than trying
to classify different RCU uses. :-)

Thanx, Paul


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