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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/10] Add generic helpers for arch IPI function calls
On Sat, May 03, 2008 at 11:11:48AM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> On Sat, May 03, 2008 at 07:49:30AM +0200, Nick Piggin wrote:
> > > This is perfectly deadlock free when wait=0 and it just returns -ENOMEM
> > > on allocation failure.
> >
> > Yeah, I'm just talking about the wait=0 case. (btw. I'd rather the core
> > API takes some data rather than allocates some itself, eg because you
> > might want to have it on the stack).
> But taking data on the stack is safe only in the wait=1 case, right?

Sure, but the API would be general enough to handle it.

> > For the wait=1 case, something very clever such as processing pending
> > requests in a polling loop might be cool... however I'd rather not add
> > such complexity until someone needs it (you could stick a comment in
> > there outlining your algorithm). But I'd just rather not have peole rely
> > on it yet.
> In that case we may need to go back to the global lock with only one
> request being processed at a time. Otherwise, if two wait=1 requests
> happen at the same time, they deadlock waiting for each other to process
> their request. (See Keith Owens:
> In other words, if you want to allow parallel calls to
> smp_call_function(), the simplest way to do it seems to be to do the
> polling loop. The other ways I have come up with thus far are uglier
> and less effective (see
> Now, what I -could- do would be to prohibit the wait=1 case from
> irq-disable state from polling -- that would make sense, as the caller
> probably had a reason to mask irqs, and might not take kindly to having
> them faked behind the caller's back. ;-)

I think we're talking past each other a little bit.

There is no irq-disabled calls as yet, therefore I don't think we should
add a lot of complex code just to _allow_ for it; at least, not until a
really compelling user comes up.

The main thing is to parallelise the code. The fact that we can trivially
support irq-disabled calls for nowait case (if the caller supplies the
data or can handle failure) is just a bonus.

> > > It it doesn't return -ENOMEM I know its been queued and will be
> > > processed at some point, if it does fail, I can deal with it in another
> > > way.
> >
> > At least with IPIs I think we can guarantee they will be processed on
> > the target after we queue them.
> OK, so let me make sure I understand what is needed. One example might be
> some code called from scheduler_tick(), which runs with irqs disabled.
> Without the ability to call smp_call_function() directly, you have
> to fire off a work queue or something. Now, if smp_call_function()
> can hand you an -ENOMEM or (maybe) an -EBUSY, then you still have to
> fire off the work queue, but you probably only have to do it rarely,
> minimizing the performance impact.
> Another possibility is when it is -nice- to call smp_call_function(),
> but can just try again on the next scheduler_tick() -- ignoring dynticks
> idle for the moment. In this case, you might still test the error return
> to set a flag that you will check on the next scheduler_tick() call.
> Is this where you guys are coming from?
> And you are all OK with smp_call_function() called with irqs enabled
> never being able to fail, right? (Speaking of spaghetti code, why
> foist unnecessary failure checks on the caller...)

Having the fallback is fine, yes. I'd say it shouldn't often get called.

> > > I know I'd like to do that and I suspect Nick has a few use cases up his
> > > sleeve as well.
> >
> > It would be handy. The "quickly kick something off on another CPU" is
> > pretty nice in mm/ when you have per-cpu queues or caches that might
> > want to be flushed.
> OK, I think I might be seeing what you guys are getting at. Here is
> what I believe you guys need:
> 1. No deadlocks, ever, not even theoretical "low probability"
> deadlocks.

Of course ;)

> 2. No failure returns when called with irqs enabled. On the other
> hand, when irqs are disabled, failure is possible. Though hopefully
> unlikely.

I think I'd like to keep existing smp_call_function that disallows
irq-disabled calls and can't fail. Introduce a new one for irq-disabled

But sure, the existing smp_call_function implementation can't fail.

> 3. Parallel execution of multiple smp_call_function() requests
> is required, even when called with irqs disabled.

I think so. At least for the call_function_single case.

> 4. The wait=1 case with irqs disabled is prohibited.
> 5. If you call smp_call_function() with irqs disabled, then you
> are guaranteed that no other CPU's smp_call_function() handler
> will be invoked while smp_call_function() is executing.
> Anything I am missing?

For the last cases, I actually think your polling loop is pretty cool ;)
So I don't completely object to it, I just don't think we should add it
in until something wants it...

Don't let me dictate the requirements though, the only real one I had
was to make call_function_single scalable and faster, and call_function
be as optimal as possible.

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