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SubjectRe: [rfc] "fair" rw spinlocks
Linus Torvalds <> writes:

> On Mon, 30 Nov 2009, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
>> I'm aware of that. The number of places where we read_lock
>> tasklist_lock is 79 in 36 files right now. That's not a horrible task
>> to go through them one by one and do a case by case conversion with a
>> proper changelog. That would only leave the write_lock sites.
> The write_lock sites should be fine, since just changing them to a
> spinlock should be 100% semantically equivalent - except for the lack of
> interrupt disable. And the lack of interrupt disable will result in a nice
> big deadlock if some interrupt really does take the spinlock, which is
> much easier to debug than a subtle race that would get the wrong read
> value.
>> We can then either do the rw_lock to spin_lock conversion or keep the
>> rw_lock which has no readers anymore and behaves like a spinlock for a
>> transition time so reverts of one of the read_lock -> rcu patches
>> could be done to debug stuff.
> So as per the above, I wouldn't worry about the write lockers. Might as
> well change it to a spinlock, since that's what it will act as. It's not
> as if there is any chance that the spinlock code is subtly buggy.
> So the only reason to keep it as a rwlock would be if you decide to do the
> read-locked cases one by one, and don't end up with all of them converted.
> Which is a reasonable strategy too, of course. We don't _have_ to convert
> them all - if the main problem is some starvation issue, it's sufficient
> to convert just the main read-lock cases so that writers never get
> starved.
> But converting it all would be nice, because that whole
> write_lock_irq(&tasklist_lock);
> to
> spin_lock(&tasklist_lock);
> conversion would likely be a measurable performance win. Both because
> spinlocks are fundamentally faster (no atomic on unlock), and because you
> get rid of the irq disable/enable. But in order to get there, you'd have
> to convert _all_ the read-lockers, so you'd miss the opportunity to only
> convert the easy cases.

Atomically sending signal to every member of a process group, is the
big fly in the ointment I am aware of. Last time I looked I could
not see how to convert it rcu.

Fundamentally: "kill -KILL -pgrp" should be usable to kill all of
the processes in a process group, and "kill -KILL -1" should be usable
to kill everything except the sender and init. Something I have seen
in shutdown scripts on more than one occasion.

This is a subtle in the sense that it won't show up in simple tests if
you get it wrong.

This is a pain because we occasionally signal a process group from
interrupt context.

The trouble as I recall is how to ensure new processes see the signal.


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