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SubjectRe: Extreme time jitter with suspend/resume cycles
On Wed, 4 Oct 2017, John Stultz wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 9:11 AM, Gabriel Beddingfield <> wrote:
> > TL;DR: the "delta_delta" hack[1 and 2] in kernel/time/timekeeping.c
> > and drivers/rtc/class.c undermines the NTP system. It's not
> > appropriate to use if sub-second precision is available. I've attached
> > a patch to resolve this... please let me know the ways you hate it.
> > :-)
> >
> > Hello Kernel Timekeeping Maintainers,
> >
> > We have been developing a device that has very a very aggressive power
> > policy, doing suspend/resume cycles a few times a minute ("echo mem >
> > /sys/power/state"). In doing so, we found that the system time
> > experiences a lot of jitter (compared to, say, an NTP server). It was
> > not uncommon for us to see time corrections of 1s to 4s on a regular
> > basis. This didn't happen when the device stayed awake, only when it
> > was allowed to do suspend/resume.
> >
> > We found that the problem is an interaction between the NTP code and
> > what I call the "delta_delta hack." (see [1] and [2]) This code
> > allocates a static variable in a function that contains an offset from
> > the system time to the persistent/rtc clock. It uses that time to
> > fudge the suspend timestamp so that on resume the sleep time will be
> > compensated. It's kind of a statistical hack that assumes things will
> > average out. It seems to have two main assumptions:
> >
> > 1. The persistent/rtc clock has only single-second precision
> > 2. The system does not frequently suspend/resume.
> > 3. If delta_delta is less than 2 seconds, these assumptions are "true"
> >
> > Because the delta_delta hack is trying to maintain an offset from the
> > system time to the persistent/rtc clock, any minor NTP corrections
> > that have occurred since the last suspend will be discarded. However,
> > the NTP subsystem isn't notified that this is happening -- and so it
> > causes some level of instability in its PLL logic.
> So, on resume when we call __timekeeping_inject_sleeptime(), that uses
> the TK_CLEAR_NTP which clears the NTP state (sets STA_UNSYNC, etc) .
> I'm not sure how else we can notify userspace. It may be that ntpd
> doesn't expect the kernel to set things as unsynced and doesn't
> recover well, but the proper fix for that probably is in userspace.

Errm. No, __timekeeping_inject_sleeptime() only updates the timekeeper.

We have two call sites:

if (sleeptime_injected)
__timekeeping_inject_sleeptime(tk, &ts_delta);
timekeeping_update(tk, TK_MIRROR | TK_CLOCK_WAS_SET);


__timekeeping_inject_sleeptime(tk, &delta);
timekeeping_update(tk, TK_CLEAR_NTP | TK_MIRROR | TK_CLOCK_WAS_SET);

But Gabriel talks about the effects from injecting sleep time in
timekeeping_resume() because that's where we use
read_persistent_clock64(). And there we don't clear NTP, unless there is
some magic I'm missing completely.



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