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SubjectRe: [PATCH -v2] perf, x86: try to handle unknown nmis with running perfctrs
On Thu, 2010-08-12 at 00:00 +0200, Robert Richter wrote:
> From 8bb831af56d118b85fc38e0ddc2e516f7504b9fb Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
> From: Robert Richter <>
> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 16:19:59 +0200
> Subject: [PATCH] perf, x86: try to handle unknown nmis with running perfctrs
> When perfctrs are running it is valid to have unhandled nmis, two
> events could trigger 'simultaneously' raising two back-to-back
> NMIs. If the first NMI handles both, the latter will be empty and daze
> the CPU.
> The solution to avoid an 'unknown nmi' massage in this case was simply
> to stop the nmi handler chain when perfctrs are runnning by stating
> the nmi was handled. This has the drawback that a) we can not detect
> unknown nmis anymore, and b) subsequent nmi handlers are not called.
> This patch addresses this. Now, we check this unknown NMI if it could
> be a perfctr back-to-back NMI. Otherwise we pass it and let the kernel
> handle the unknown nmi.
> This is a debug log:

> Deltas:

> nmi #32346 1462095 <<<< 1st nmi (standard) handling 2 counters
> nmi #32347 2046 <<<< 2nd nmi (back-to-back) handling one counter
> nmi #32348 1773 <<<< 3rd nmi (back-to-back) handling no counter! [3]
> For back-to-back nmi detection there are the following rules:
> The perfctr nmi handler was handling more than one counter and no
> counter was handled in the subsequent nmi (see [1] and [2] above).
> There is another case if there are two subsequent back-to-back nmis
> [3]. In this case we measure the time between the first and the
> 2nd. The 2nd is detected as back-to-back because the first handled
> more than one counter. The time between the 1st and the 2nd is used to
> calculate a range for which we assume a back-to-back nmi. Now, the 3rd
> nmi triggers, we measure again the time delta and compare it with the
> first delta from which we know it was a back-to-back nmi. If the 3rd
> nmi is within the range, it is also a back-to-back nmi and we drop it.

I liked the one without funny timestamps in better, the whole timestamps
thing just feels too fragile.

Relying on handled > 1 to arm the back-to-back filter seems doable.

(Also, you didn't deal with the TSC going backwards..)

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