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SubjectRe: [RFC][PATCH 0/9] File descriptor hot-unplug support
Al Viro <> writes:

> On Sat, Apr 11, 2009 at 05:01:29AM -0700, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
>> A couple of weeks ago I found myself looking at the uio, seeing that
>> it does not support pci hot-unplug, and thinking "Great yet another
>> implementation of hotunplug logic that needs to be added".
>> I decided to see what it would take to add a generic implementation of
>> the code we have for supporting hot unplugging devices in sysfs, proc,
>> sysctl, tty_io, and now almost in the tun driver.
>> Not long after I touched the tun driver and made it safe to delete the
>> network device while still holding it's file descriptor open I someone
>> else touch the code adding a different feature and my careful work
>> went up in flames. Which brought home another point at the best of it
>> this is ultimately complex tricky code that subsystems should not need
>> to worry about.
>> What makes this even more interesting is that in the presence of pci
>> hot-unplug it looks like most subsystems and most devices will have to
>> deal with the issue one way or another.
> Ehh... The real mess is in things like "TTY in the middle of random
> ioctl" and there's another pile that won't be solved on struct file
> level - individual fs internals ;-/

I haven't tackled code with a noticeable number of ioctls yet. But if
they are anything like what I have seen so far, a ref count to see
that you are in the still executing a function (so you don't pull the
rug out) from under it, and an additional method to say stop sleeping
and return should be sufficient.

>> This infrastructure could also be used to implement sys_revoke and
>> when I could not think of a better name I have drawn on that.
> Yes, that's more or less obvious direction for revoke(), but there's a
> problem with locking overhead that always scared me away from that.
> Maybe I'm wrong, though... In any case, you want to carefully check
> the overhead and cacheline bouncing implications for things like pipes
> and sockets. Hell knows, maybe it'll work out, but...

I took a careful look and I can't claim perfection at this stage but I
don't think there are any significant performance impacts from my
code. Further I am confident that if someone finds some performance
issues I will be able to understand and address them without a redesign.

While working on this I took a good hard look at the overhead I have
added to single byte reads and writes (operations that are dominated
by any possible overhead I am adding) and currently I am within 2% of
the case without my refcounting/locking.

I would be interested in anyone running micro benchmarks against my
patches and giving me feedback.

The fact that in the common case only one task ever accesses a struct
file leaves a lot of room for optimization.

> Anyway, the really nasty part of revoke() (and true SAK, which is obviously
> related) is handling of deep-inside-the-driver ioctls.

I doubt I have solved all of the problems. My goals are more modest
than a revoke that works for every possible file in the system. I
just want a common implementation of refcounting and blocking
unregistration code that can be used to solve the common problem I see
in sysfs, sysctl, proc, etc. I completely expect to need to modify
the code to take advantage of the infrastructure. Patch 9/9 has an
example of that, modifying proc so that it uses the infrastructure
I add and removing 400 lines of code.

I do think that what I have built once it is in use will make a good
foundation for building the rest of revoke. Mostly because I am solving
common problems once in a common way.


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