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SubjectRe: [RFC] Raceless module interface
In message <E17pg3H-0007pb-00@starship> you write:
> On Friday 13 September 2002 03:30, Rusty Russell wrote:
> > In message <Pine.LNX.4.44.0209121520300.28515-100000@serv> you write:
> > > The usecount is optional, the only important question a module must be
> > > able to answer is: Are there any objects/references belonging to the
> > > module? It's a simple yes/no question. If a module can't answer that, it
> > > likely has more problem than just module unloading.
> >
> > Ah, we're assuming you insert synchronize_kernel() between the call
> > to stop and the call to exit?
> >
> > In which case *why* do you check the use count *inside* exit_affs_fs?
> > Why not get exit_module() to do "if (mod->usecount() != 0) return
> > -EBUSY; else mod->exit();"?
> Because mod->usecount may be a totally inadequate way of determining
> if a module is busy. How does it work for LSM, for example?

As established previously: unless the hooks do it for you, you keep
track of it yourself before you sleep.

> > There's the other issue of symmetry. If you allocate memory, in
> > start, do you clean it up in stop or exit?
> Actually, I'm going to press you on why you think you even need a
> two stage stop. I know you have your reasons, but I doubt any of
> the effects you aim at cannot be achieved with a single stage
> stop/exit. Could you please summarize the argument in favor of the
> two stage stop?

Of course you can simulate a two-stage within a single-stage, of course,
by doing int single_stage(void) { stage_one(); stage_two(); }, so
"need" is a bit strong.

Basically, you can't do stage two until you know noone is using the
module, but you can do stage one at any time. Basically stage 1
ensures that the refcount never *increases* by removing all external
references to the module (ie. deregister, etc). Stage 2 then knows
that if the refcnt is zero, there's no race and it can destroy they
module data structures.

The synchronize_kernel() covers those "I was about to bump the module
count!" races, as long as noone explicitly sleeps before mod_inc, or
after mod_dec.

> > Similarly for other
> > resources: you call mod->exit() every time start fails, so that is
> > supposed to check that mod->start() succeeded?
> He does? That's not right. ->start should clean up after itself if
> it fails, like any other good Linux citizen.

From my reading, yes.

> > Of course, separating start into "init" and "start" allows you to
> > solve the half-initialized problem as well as clarify the rules.
> I doubt it gives any new capability at all.

Since I explained what it does for you at the kernel summit, you
obviously aren't listening. If you split registration interfaces into
reserve (can fail) and use (can't fail), then you do:

int my_module_init(void)
int ret;
ret = reserve_foo();
if (ret != 0)
return ret;
ret = reserve_bar();
if (ret != 0)
return ret;

void my_module_start(void)

Note the symmetry here with the exit case: noone can actually use the
module until my_module_start is called, so even if the reserve_bar()
fails, we're safe.

> The same with the entrenched separation at the user level between
> create and init module: what does it give you that an error exit
> from a single create/init would not?

That's done for entirely different reasons, as the userspace linker
needs to know the address of the module.

> Sure, I know it's not going to change, but I'd like to know what the
> thinking was, and especially, if there's a non-bogus reason, I'd
> like to know it.

You should probably start playing with my code if you're really

Anyone who quotes me in their sig is an idiot. -- Rusty Russell.
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