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SubjectRe: [Lse-tech] Re: [PATCH for 2.5] preemptible kernel
On Fri, Apr 06, 2001 at 06:25:36PM -0700, Paul McKenney wrote:
> I see your point here, but need to think about it. One question:
> isn't it the case that the alternative to using synchronize_kernel()
> is to protect the read side with explicit locks, which will themselves
> suppress preemption? If so, why not just suppress preemption on the read
> side in preemptible kernels, and thus gain the simpler implementation
> of synchronize_kernel()? You are not losing any preemption latency
> compared to a kernel that uses traditional locks, in fact, you should
> improve latency a bit since the lock operations are more expensive than
> are simple increments and decrements. As usual, what am I missing
> here? ;-)

You miss nothing I think. In fact it's already used (see below)

> > > 2. Isn't it possible to get in trouble even on a UP if a task
> > > is preempted in a critical region? For example, suppose the
> > > preempting task does a synchronize_kernel()?
> >
> > Ugly. I guess one way to solve it would be to readd the 2.2 scheduler
> > taskqueue, and just queue a scheduler callback in this case.
> Another approach would be to define a "really low" priority that noone
> other than synchronize_kernel() was allowed to use. Then the UP
> implementation of synchronize_kernel() could drop its priority to
> this level, yield the CPU, and know that all preempted tasks must
> have obtained and voluntarily yielded the CPU before synchronize_kernel()
> gets it back again.

That just would allow nasty starvation, e.g. when someone runs a cpu intensive
screensaver or a seti-at-home.

> I still prefer suppressing preemption on the read side, though I
> suppose one could claim that this is only because I am -really-
> used to it. ;-)

For a lot of reader cases non-preemption by threads is guaranteed anyways --
e.g. anything that runs in interrupts, timers, tasklets and network softirq.
I think that already covers a lot of interesting cases.


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