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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/3] work_on_cpu: Use our own workqueue.
On Mon, 26 Jan 2009 23:20:02 +0100
Ingo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu> wrote:

>
> * Andrew Morton <akpm@linux-foundation.org> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, 26 Jan 2009 23:05:37 +0100
> > Ingo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > * Andrew Morton <akpm@linux-foundation.org> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Well it turns out that I was having a less-than-usually-senile moment:
> > > >
> > > > : implement flush_work()
> > >
> > > > Why isn't that working in this case??
> > >
> > > how would that work in this case? We defer processing into the workqueue
> > > exactly because we want its per-CPU properties.
> >
> > It detaches the work item, moves it to head-of-queue, reinserts it then
> > waits on it. I think.
> >
> > This might have a race+hole. If a currently-running "unrelated" work
> > item tries to take the lock which the flush_work() caller is holding
> > then there's no way in which keventd will come back to execute the work
> > item which we just put on the head of queue.
>
> Correct - or the unrelated worklet might also be blocked on something - so
> the window is rather large.
>

hm, OK, that sucks.

But the deadlock still exists with Rusty's patches, doesn't it? We
still have a single kernel thread per CPU processing all the unrelated
work_on_cpu() callers. All we've done is to decouple work_on_cpu()
from the keventd queue.

If correct, we'd need to create a gaggle of kernel threads on each call
to work_on_cpu(), which doesn't sound nice.

A more efficient but trickier approach would be to create kernel
threads within flush_work(), with which to run the CPU-specific
worklet. We only need to do that in the case where the CPU's keventd
thread was off doing something and might deadlock, which will be rare.
If the keventd was just parked waiting for something to do then we can
safely feed it the to-be-flushed work item for immediate processing.

It'd be saner to just say "don't call work_on_cpu() while holding locks" :(
I bet there's some lockdep infrastructre which we could peek into to
add the assertion check...


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