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    SubjectRe: [uml-devel] [PATCH] UML - fix I/O hang when multiple devices are in use
    On mercoledì 28 marzo 2007, Jeff Dike wrote:
    > [ This patch needs to get into 2.6.21, as it fixes a serious bug
    > introduced soon after 2.6.20 ]
    > Commit 62f96cb01e8de7a5daee472e540f726db2801499 introduced per-devices
    > queues and locks, which was fine as far as it went, but left in place
    > a global which controlled access to submitting requests to the host.
    > This should have been made per-device as well, since it causes I/O
    > hangs when multiple block devices are in use.
    > This patch fixes that by replacing the global with an activity flag in
    > the device structure in order to tell whether the queue is currently
    > being run.
    Finally that variable has a understandable name. However in a mail from Jens
    Axboe, titled:
    "Re: [uml-devel] [PATCH 06/11] uml ubd driver: ubd_io_lock usage fixup" , with
    Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 09:26:48 +0100, he suggested removing this flag
    altogether, so we may explore this for the future:

    > > Add some comments about requirements for ubd_io_lock and expand its use.
    > >
    > > When an irq signals that the "controller" (i.e. another thread on the
    > > host, which does the actual requests and is the only one blocked on I/O
    > > on the host) has done some work, we call again the request function
    > > ourselves (do_ubd_request).
    > >
    > > We now do that with ubd_io_lock held - that's useful to protect against
    > > concurrent calls to elv_next_request and so on.
    > Not only useful, required, as I think I complained about a year or more
    > ago :-)
    > > XXX: Maybe we shouldn't call at all the request function. Input needed on
    > > this. Are we supposed to plug and unplug the queue? That code
    > > "indirectly" does that by setting a flag, called do_ubd, which makes the
    > > request function return (it's a residual of 2.4 block layer interface).
    > Sometimes you need to. I'd probably just remove the do_ubd check and
    > always recall the request function when handling completions, it's
    > easier and safe.

    Anyway, the main speedups to do on the UBD driver are:
    * implement write barriers (so much less fsync) - this is performance killer

    * possibly to use the new 2.6 request layout with scatter/gather I/O, and
    vectorized I/O on the host
    * while at vectorizing I/O using async I/O

    * to avoid passing requests on pipes (n.2) - on fast disk I/O becomes
    To make a different but related example, with a SpeedScale laptop, it's
    interesting to double CPU frequency and observe tuntap speed double too.
    (with 1GHz I get on TCP numbers like 150 Mbit/s - 100 Mbit/s, depending
    whether UML trasmits or receives data; with 2GHz double rates).
    Update: I now get 150Mbit / 200Mbit (Uml receives/Uml sends) at 1GHz, and
    still the double at 2Ghz.
    This is a different UML though.

    * using futexes instead of pipes for synchronization (required for previous

    Inform me of my mistakes, so I can add them to my list!
    Paolo Giarrusso, aka Blaisorblade
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