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SubjectRe: Approaches to making io_submit not block
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On Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM, Andrew Morton
<akpm@linux-foundation.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 16:32:08 -0600
> Jens Axboe <axboe@kernel.dk> wrote:
>
>> On 2011-08-30 16:19, Daniel Ehrenberg wrote:
>> > On Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 2:37 PM, Jens Axboe <axboe@kernel.dk> wrote:
>> >> On 2011-08-30 15:30, Jeff Moyer wrote:
>> >>> Daniel Ehrenberg <dehrenberg@google.com> writes:
>> >>>
>> >>>> Hi Jens, Jeff,
>> >>>>
>> >>>> I just sent a letter to LKML wondering about changes to io_submit that
>> >>>> I'm thinking of working on. Based on your past contributions to this
>> >>>> area, I'd really like to know what you think of this plan--how well it
>> >>>> matches with the existing design, the potential for inclusion in
>> >>>> upstream Linux, if you see problems.
>> >>>
>> >>> Hi, Dan,
>> >>>
>> >>> Thanks for taking the time to make AIO better!  There is a mailing list
>> >>> for aio discussions: linux-aio@kvack.org, so please CC that in the
>> >>> future (I don't read lkml anymore).
>> >>>
>> >>> Right now I'm a bit inundated, so I can't give this a proper review.
>> >>> I should be able to free up some time in the next two weeks, though.
>> >>>
>> >>> In the mean time, you can google for suparna's retry-based aio patches.
>> >>> Specifically, take a look at how she used prepare_to_wait/finish_wait.
>> >>> If you haven't done any empirical tests to see where io_submit blocks,
>> >>> there is a sample systemtap script for that:
>> >>>   http://sourceware.org/systemtap/examples/io/io_submit.stp
>> >>> Other attempts at non-blocking aio were off the deep end: fibrils and
>> >>> syslets.  Fibrils didn't go anywhere because Ingo didn't like them (for
>> >>> good reason, they essentially introduced another scheduling layer).
>> >>> Syslets didn't go anywhere b/c they were insane (returned to the
>> >>> user-space process with a different PID, among other things!).
>> >>>
>> >>> If you do go forward in the meantime, you can likely use EIOCBRETRY
>> >>> instead of EAGAIN.
>> >>>
>> >>> I hope that helps!
>> >>
>> >> FWIW, I updated the buffered AIO retry patches some time after Suparna
>> >> droped them. By the date stamp in my branch, they are now 23 months
>> >> old... Anyway, at least it's more recent, you can find them here:
>> >>
>> >> http://git.kernel.dk/?p=linux-block.git;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/aio-buffered
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Jens Axboe
>> >>
>> >>
>> > Thanks! Do you know why the patches weren't merged? I can't find much
>> > discussion about them.
>>
>> Not quite sure, and after working on them and fixing thing up, I don't
>> even think they are that complex or intrusive (which I think otherwise
>> would've been the main objection). Andrew may know/remember.
>
> Boy, that was a long time ago.  I was always unhappy with the patches
> because of the amount of additional code/complexity they added.
>
> Then the great syslets/threadlets design session happened and it was
> expected that such a facility would make special async handling for AIO
> unnecessary.  Then syslets/threadlets didn't happen.

Do you think we could accomplish the goals with less additional
code/complexity? It looks like the latest version of the patch set
wasn't so invasive.

If syslets/threadlets aren't happening, should these patches be
reconsidered for inclusion in the kernel?

Thanks,
Dan
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