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SubjectRe: 2.4.19rc2aa1 i_size atomic access
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On Thu, 2002-07-18 at 03:35, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 17, 2002 at 05:10:41PM -0700, Daniel McNeil wrote:
> > We coded up something very similar creating a get_64bit() using the
> > cmpxchg8 instruction and using the set_64bit() already there.
> >
> > I created a patch to have cp_new_stat64() use get_64bit() and
> > the changes to i_size to use set_64bit(). I tested this patch
> > on an 8 proc machine running 2.4.18. This did fix the race
> > with extending the i_size past 4GB when another process is
> > reading i_size (by doing a stat()). Here are some process
>
> Actually stat can confuse userspace but it's the last of all problems,
> the real issue is expanding truncate or lseek+write behind the end of the
> file that can generate metadata fs corruption with a parallel writepage.

fstat() was an easy way to test for incorrect reading of i_size,
so I could test the cmpxchg8 code to read a 64-bit value.
>
> > times for running parallel fstat()s to the same file on an SMP
> > 8-proc box:
> >
> > Test program doing fstat() 500,000 times to a single file.
> >
> > # of processes times
> > 1 0.17user 0.34system 0:00.51elapsed
> > 2 0.40user 0.85system 0:00.62elapsed
> > 3 0.45user 2.18system 0:00.88elapsed
> > 4 0.74user 3.54system 0:01.08elapsed
> > 5 0.68user 5.58system 0:01.33elapsed
> > 6 0.97user 8.57system 0:01.82elapsed
> > 7 1.14user 12.93system 0:02.10elapsed
> > 8 1.20user 22.52system 0:02.98elapsed
> >
> > As you can see the fstat()s do not scale well. I think this is due
> > to the cmpxchg8 instruction actually writing to the cache line
> > even if the compare fails. The software developers manual says:
>
> fstat or any similar operation run in parallel on the same file
> descriptor isn't going to scale very well anyways because of the fget
> and atomic-inc/dec cacheline trashing.
>
> If instead you were using different filedescriptors then if it doesn't
> scale well that's the cmpxchg8. And of course we expect it not to scale
> well with the fix applied, so it's all right in all cases.
>

This is with different file discriptors, so the bad scaling is from the
cmpxchg8. The same test on 2.4.18 without the patch was:

8 processes 1.51user 2.53system 0:00.51elapsed

> >
> > "The destination operand is written back if the comparison fails;
> > otherwise the source operand is written into the destination. (The
> > processor never produces a locked read without also producing a locked
> > write.)"
> >
> > We were not using a lock prefix, but it appears it is doing the write
>
> that's a bug as far I can see, without the lock prefix it's not atomic,
> so it should generate the same corruption even using cmpxchg, see also
> the fix for set_64bit that I did separately even for the pagetable
> walking. I wrote a fat comment with pointer to the page of the pdf that
> states without the lock it's all but atomic.
>
> > anyway. That would explain the bad scaling.
>
> of course, with the fix applied every time we read the inode without the
> i_sem we will have to make a write that will render impossible to share
> the cacheline in read only mode across the cpus and it will generate the
> bouncing if the same inode is accessed at the same time by multiple
> cpus. that'e expected :)

This cacheline bouncing is the thing I don't like. It was not clear
from the cmpxchg8 documentation if any data was written when the
comparison failed when not using the lock prefix. By using an
unexpected negative value for the compare value the compare would
fail and just read the 64bit value. Unfortunately, it looks like
it does write (the old value if the comparison fails). I think
you are right that this would be a bug then, since there could
be a racing update to i_size to could race in without the lock
prefix.

>
> But it will scale if the different cpus accesses different inodes
> simultaneously. It's like the per-inode radix tree lock of 2.5, if all
> cpus works on the same inode, per-inode lock or global lock won't make
> differences for that workload.
>
> The only other possible fix is to change the highlevel locking and to
> require all i_size readers to hold the i_sem in read mode (of cours the
> i_sem should become a rw semaphore), this will also avoid the silly
> checks for page->mapping in generic_file_read, and secondly we should
> make those readers recursive, so there's no fs reentrancy problem when
> the vm does writepage, that is trivially doable with my rwsem, they
> provide the recursive functionality in a abstracted manner, so it would
> be truly easy to implement that more robust and simpler locking
> mechanism, OTOH that is a radical locking change in the core VM/vfs
> while what I implemented right now is the strict bugfix that doesn't
> change the locking design.
>

If a read lock is used to read i_size, then the rw semaphore would cause
the same cache line bouncing as the cmpxchg8.

> BTW, while fixing 486/386 support, I will also add another optimization
> that is to avoid the chmpxchg not only for 64bit archs, but also for UP
> compilations, as said that's only an SMP race that cannot triger on UP
> (all assuming there is no -preempt, but there **cannot** be any -preempt
> in 2.4 anyways, but while forward porting the fix to 2.5 if -preempt is
> enabled the kernel will have to use chmpxchg for reading i_size, really
> with -preempt and UP compilation for reading and writing the i_size the
> cmpxchg doesn't need to put the lock on the bus while it always needs
> the lock on the bus for SMP compiles.
>
> I will upload an update after I fixed 486/386 and I optimized away the
> cmpxchg for UP compiles.
>
> If you have suggestions that's welcome, thanks.

I'll let you know if I think of any.

Daniel


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