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SubjectRe: [RFC] Semaphores used for daemon wakeup
Hi Daniel,
On Tue, Dec 19, 2000 at 02:11:16PM +0100, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> I'm curious, is my method of avoiding the deadlock race the same as
> yours? My solution is to keep a count of tasks that 'intend' to take
> the down():
> atomic_inc(&bdflush_waiters);
> up(&bdflush_request);
> down(&bdflush_waiter);
> so that bdflush will issue the correct number of up's even if the waiter
> has not yet gone to sleep. IOW, is your approach in DYNIX the same only
> in spirit, or in detail?
> --
> Daniel

this is not how we generally would achieve the goal, although the approach
looks valid. We have a number of primitives available that are not currently
used in Linux (unless I'm losing my eyesight :-)
We use p_sema, and v_sema for down and up respectively (this was done many
years ago, and the names are in deference to Edsger Dijkstra.
For normal semaphores (as opposed to read/writer or other variants), we have
sema_t sema;
init_sema(&sema, 1); /* initialize semaphore & set initial count */
p_sema(&sema, PZERO); /* "grab" semaphore and set process priority */
/* priority < PZERO == sleep uninterruptibly */
v_sema(&sema); /* release semaphore (i.e. increment count) */
cp_sema(&sema); /* Attempt to grab semaphore iff free else EBUSY */
vall_sema(&sema); /* Wake up all sleepers on this semaphore */
blocked_sema(&sema); /* boolean: any sleepers ? */
p_sema_v_lock(&sema, priority, &lock); /* atomically release the lock AND */
/* go to sleep on the semaphore */

Simple spinlock primitives are similar (e.g. p_lock ...), but the last
primitive above is the key to avoiding many races. The classic coding style
in DYNIX/ptx (this for buffer allocation) is then:

init_sema(&dmabuf_wait, 0);

spl_t saved_spl;
while (1) {
saved_spl = p_lock(&dmabuf_mutex, SPLSWP);
attempt to grab a free buffer;
if (success){
v_lock(&dmabuf_mutex, saved_spl);
} else {
p_sema_v_lock(&dmabuf_wait, PSWP+1, &dmabuf_mutex);

spl_t saved_spl;
saved_spl = p_lock(&dmabuf_mutex, SPLHI);
free up buffer;
if (blocked_sema(&dmabuf_wait)) {
v_lock(&dmabuf_mutex, s);

As you can see, the spinlocks ensure no races, and the key is the atomicity
of p_sema_v_lock(). No-one can race in and sleep on dmabuf_wait, because
they have to hold dmabuf_mutex to do so. Exactly the same mechanism would
work for the bdflush problem.

One can argue the relative merits of the different approaches. I suspect that
the above code is less bus-intensive relative to the atomic inc/dec/count ops,
but I may be wrong.



Tim Wright - or or
"Nobody ever said I was charming, they said "Rimmer, you're a git!"" RD VI
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