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SubjectRe: [rfc] "fair" rw spinlocks
On Sat, Dec 05, 2009 at 07:12:28PM -0800, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> Linus Torvalds <> writes:
> > On Mon, 30 Nov 2009, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
> >>
> >> I'm aware of that. The number of places where we read_lock
> >> tasklist_lock is 79 in 36 files right now. That's not a horrible task
> >> to go through them one by one and do a case by case conversion with a
> >> proper changelog. That would only leave the write_lock sites.
> >
> > The write_lock sites should be fine, since just changing them to a
> > spinlock should be 100% semantically equivalent - except for the lack of
> > interrupt disable. And the lack of interrupt disable will result in a nice
> > big deadlock if some interrupt really does take the spinlock, which is
> > much easier to debug than a subtle race that would get the wrong read
> > value.
> >
> >> We can then either do the rw_lock to spin_lock conversion or keep the
> >> rw_lock which has no readers anymore and behaves like a spinlock for a
> >> transition time so reverts of one of the read_lock -> rcu patches
> >> could be done to debug stuff.
> >
> > So as per the above, I wouldn't worry about the write lockers. Might as
> > well change it to a spinlock, since that's what it will act as. It's not
> > as if there is any chance that the spinlock code is subtly buggy.
> >
> > So the only reason to keep it as a rwlock would be if you decide to do the
> > read-locked cases one by one, and don't end up with all of them converted.
> > Which is a reasonable strategy too, of course. We don't _have_ to convert
> > them all - if the main problem is some starvation issue, it's sufficient
> > to convert just the main read-lock cases so that writers never get
> > starved.
> >
> > But converting it all would be nice, because that whole
> >
> > write_lock_irq(&tasklist_lock);
> >
> > to
> >
> > spin_lock(&tasklist_lock);
> >
> > conversion would likely be a measurable performance win. Both because
> > spinlocks are fundamentally faster (no atomic on unlock), and because you
> > get rid of the irq disable/enable. But in order to get there, you'd have
> > to convert _all_ the read-lockers, so you'd miss the opportunity to only
> > convert the easy cases.
> Atomically sending signal to every member of a process group, is the
> big fly in the ointment I am aware of. Last time I looked I could
> not see how to convert it rcu.
> Fundamentally: "kill -KILL -pgrp" should be usable to kill all of
> the processes in a process group, and "kill -KILL -1" should be usable
> to kill everything except the sender and init. Something I have seen
> in shutdown scripts on more than one occasion.
> This is a subtle in the sense that it won't show up in simple tests if
> you get it wrong.
> This is a pain because we occasionally signal a process group from
> interrupt context.

Is it required that all of the processes see the signal before the
corresponding interrupt handler returns? (My guess is "no", which
enables a trick or two, but thought I should ask.)

> The trouble as I recall is how to ensure new processes see the signal.

And can we afford to serialize signals to groups of processes? Not
necessarily one at a time, but a limited set at a given time?
Alternatively, a long list of pending group signals for each new task to

Thanx, Paul

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