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    SubjectRe: [PATCH -tip] introduce sys_membarrier(): process-wide memory barrier (v9)
    * Mathieu Desnoyers (mathieu.desnoyers@efficios.com) wrote:
    > * Linus Torvalds (torvalds@linux-foundation.org) wrote:
    > > > - SA_RUNNING: a way to signal only running threads - as a way for user-space
    > > > based concurrency control mechanisms to deschedule running threads (or, like
    > > > in your case, to implement barrier / garbage collection schemes).
    > >
    > > Hmm. This sounds less fundamentally broken, but at the same time also
    > > _way_ more invasive in the signal handling layer. It's already one of our
    > > more "exciting" layers out there.
    > >
    >
    > Hrm, thinking about it a bit further, the only way I see we could provide a
    > usable SA_RUNNING flag would be to add hooks to the scheduler. These hooks would
    > somehow have to call user-space code (!) when scheduling in/out a thread. Yes,
    > this sounds utterly broken (since these hooks would have to be preemptable).
    >
    > The idea is this: if we look, for instance, at the kernel preemptable RCU
    > implementations, they consist of two parts: one is iteration on all CPUs to
    > consider all active CPUs, and the other is a modification of the scheduler to
    > note all preempted tasks that were in a preemptable RCU C.S..
    >
    > Just for the memory barrier we consider for sys_membarrier(), I had to ensure
    > that the scheduler issues memory barriers to order accesses to user-space memory
    > and mm_cpumask modifications. In reality, what we are doing is to ensure that
    > the operation required on the running thread is done by the scheduler too when
    > scheduling in/out the task.
    >
    > As soon as we have signal handlers which perform more than a simple memory
    > barrier (e.g. something that has side-effects outside of the processor), I doubt
    > it would ever make sense to only run the handler on running threads unless we
    > have hooks in the scheduler too.

    Unless this question is answered, Ingo's SA_RUNNING signal proposal, as
    appealing as it may look at a first glance, falls into the "fundamentally
    broken" category. I don't see any neat way to make the scheduler call into
    user-space hooks to deal with inherent synchronization required between
    iteration on active threads and scheduler activity. But who knows, maybe it's
    just a lack of imagination from my part.

    Thanks,

    Mathieu

    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Mathieu
    >
    > --
    > Mathieu Desnoyers
    > Operating System Efficiency Consultant
    > EfficiOS Inc.
    > http://www.efficios.com

    --
    Mathieu Desnoyers
    Operating System Efficiency Consultant
    EfficiOS Inc.
    http://www.efficios.com


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