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SubjectRe: Scheduler activations (IIRC) question
At 07:55 AM 8/17/2003 +0100, Jamie Lokier wrote:
>Mike Galbraith wrote:
> > >The point of the mechanism is to submit system calls in an
> > >asynchronous fashion, after all. A proper task scheduling is
> > >inappropriate when all we'd like to do is initiate the syscall and
> > >continue processing, just as if it were an async I/O request.
> >
> > Ok, so you'd want a class where you could register an "exception handler"
> > prior to submitting a system call, and any subsequent schedule would be
> > treated as an exception? (they'd have to be nestable exceptions too
> > right?... <imagines stack explosions> egad:)
>
>Well, apart from not resembling exceptions, and no they don't nest :)

(ok, I only misunderstood _almost_ everything:)

>You may be wondering what happens when I do five stat() calls, all of
>which should be asynchronous (topical: to get the best out of the
>elevator).
>
>Nested? Not quite. At each stat() call that blocks for I/O, its
>shadow task becomes active; that creates its own shadow task (pulling
>a kernel task from userspace's cache of them), then continues to
>perform the next item of work, which is the next stat().
>
>The result is five kernel threads, each blocked on I/O inside a stat()
>call, exactly as desired. A sixth kernel thread, the only one running
>of my program, is continuing the work of the program.

Oh. You just want to dispatch N syscalls from one entry to the kernel?

>Soon, each of the I/O bound threads unblocks, returns to userspace,
>stores its result, queues the next work of this state machine, adds
>this kernel task to userspace's cache, and goes to sleep.
>
>As you can see, this achieves asynchronous system calls which are too
>complex for aio(*), best use of the I/O elevator, and 100% CPU
>utilisation doing useful calculations.
>
>Other user/kernel scheduler couplings are possible, but what I'm
>describing doesn't ask for much(**). Just the right behaviour from
>the kernel's scheduling heuristic: namely, waker not preempted by
>wakee. Seems to be the way it's going anyway.

If that's all you need, a SCHED_NOPREEMPT (synchronous wakeups) class
should do the trick. I thought you wanted a huge truckload more than that.

-Mike

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