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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Freeze bdevs when freezing processes.
On Tuesday, 24 October 2006 01:22, Nigel Cunningham wrote:
> Hi.
> On Mon, 2006-10-23 at 16:07 +0200, Rafael J. Wysocki wrote:
> > On Monday, 23 October 2006 14:09, Nigel Cunningham wrote:
> > > Hi.
> > >
> > > On Mon, 2006-10-23 at 12:36 +0200, Rafael J. Wysocki wrote:
> > > > On Monday, 23 October 2006 06:12, Nigel Cunningham wrote:
> > > > > XFS can continue to submit I/O from a timer routine, even after
> > > > > freezeable kernel and userspace threads are frozen. This doesn't seem to
> > > > > be an issue for current swsusp code,
> > > >
> > > > So it doesn't look like we need the patch _now_.
> > >
> > > I'm trying to prepare the patches to make swsusp into suspend2.
> >
> > Oh, I see. Please don't do that.
> (Yes, echoing Andrew..) Why not?
> > > Please assume it's part of a stream of patches that belong together, rather
> > > than an isolated modification. Yes, I'd really rather just rm -f swap.c
> > > user.c swsusp.c,
> >
> > And I'm against that, sorry. Also I don't think you can remove user.c just
> > like that.
> Are you saying you're against a stream of patches that belong together?

No. I'm against a wholesale removal of existing code in order to replace
it with some new code that does the same thing in a slightly different way.

> Well, I'm sorry but that's the way things work sometimes. I know
> everyone loves this evolutionary model, but it just doesn't work in
> practice. We see sets of patches going through all the time in which
> [2/4] prepares the foundations for [3/4] and so on. That's what I'm
> doing, I just don't yet know how big the n is in [2/n].
> Regarding removing user.c, I said I'd rather, not that I'm going to
> submit a patch to do it :)

Oh, you could just say you didn't like it. Well, I won't discuss with that. ;-)

> > > but I'm trying to do the incremental modification thing for you.
> > >
> > > > > but is definitely an issue for Suspend2, where the pages being written could
> > > > > be overwritten by Suspend2's atomic copy.
> > > >
> > > > And IMO that's a good reason why we shouldn't use RCU pages for storing the
> > > > image. XFS is one known example that breaks things if we do so and
> > > > there may be more such things that we don't know of. The fact that they
> > > > haven't appeared in testing so far doesn't mean they don't exist and
> > > > moreover some things like that may appear in the future.
> > >
> > > Ok. We can modify the selection of pages to be overwritten. I agree that
> > > absence of proof isn't proof of absence, but on the later part, we can't
> > > rule some modification out now because something in the future might
> > > break it.
> (s/RCU/LRU applied to avoid confusion)

Thanks. ;-)

> > This case is a bit special. I don't think it would be right to require every
> > device driver writer to avoid modifying LRU pages from the interrupt
> > context, because that would break the suspend to disk ...
> I'm not arguing for that.
> > Besides, if there is an LRU page that we _know_ we can use to store the image
> > in it, we can just include this page in the image without copying. This
> > already gives us one extra free page for the rest of the image and we can
> > _avoid_ creating two images which suspend2 does and which adds a _lot_ of
> > complexity to the code.
> Do you have a number for '_lot_'? It's easy to say, but it would be
> better to be able to say "I counted n lines of code you could remove if
> you didn't save a full image of memory".

First, you don't save a full image of memory (at least not always), so please
don't say so. It's misleading.

Second, it's not only a matter of the number of lines of code, but the
involved complexity of design. Something like "make a copy of each saveable
page in the system and save the copies" is conceptually simpler than
something like "save the contents of LRU pages, then copy the remaining
saveable pages into the LRU pages and if there are some saveable pages
left make the copies of them, then save all of the copies of saveable pages".

> > > > > We can address this issue by freezing bdevs after stopping userspace
> > > > > threads, and thawing them prior to thawing userspace.
> > > >
> > > > This will only address the issues related to filesystems, but the RCU pages
> > > > can also be modified from interrupt context by other code, AFAICT.
> > >
> > > Agreed. We can find some other way to address that.
> >
> > I think, to stat with, we should look for pages that we're deadly sure will
> > _not_ be overwritten from the interrupt context (for example, the pages that
> > are mapped read-only by the user space look promising). Then, we should
> > estimate the number of these pages and consider if dealing with them in
> > a special way is worth the effort.
> I was thinking of coming at it from the other direction, since I expect
> the pages that might be modified from an interrupt context to be
> minimal.

I think there are only a few of them. However, the problem is we can't say
a priori _which_ pages they are.

> The fact that Suspend2 has worked for years now using this
> algorithm seems to confirm that.

Yes, it is a strong indication that such events are _rare_, but they also may
be very difficult to spot.

For example, if you copy some application data into a LRU page that's later
modified from the interrupt contents, the data in the suspend image will be
damaged. Yet, this need not lead to any visible effect after the resume
(eg. there can be a small glitch in the application or even something less
visible than that).

Such effects may only show up after a time. Worse yet, they need not be
noticeable at all. Still unless we rule them out, we can't assume that the
system will be in a correct state after the resume. That's the point.


You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
R. Buckminster Fuller
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