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SubjectRe: Fwd: help needed with EXPORT_SYMBOL
On Wed, 2010-08-25 at 14:57 +0530, Aijaz Baig wrote:

> I am trying to understand if its possible to add functions dynamically
> to the kernel source based on the presence of certain modules in the
> running kernel image.
> I did try what brian suggested with the function pointer and yeah it
> does work. But I could not understand what peter was trying to say about
> modular users since I suppose he mentioned one module (B in this case)
> using a function pointer defined in (or by) module A. In my case, since
> it is the kernel that is gonna use the function, I need to make sure
> that the module doesn't get unloaded while we are using the function.

Right, so there's two problems there:

- the exposed function pointer
- unload serialization

The problem with the exposed function pointer is that two competing
modules can set the function pointer:

extern void (*ptr)(void);

static void (*old_ptr)(void);

void func(void)
/* do something */

old_ptr = ptr;
ptr = func;

ptr = old_ptr;

Now suppose two modules A and B both have that template, then load
module A, at that time ptr == A::func, A::old_ptr = NULL, right?

Then load B, then ptr == B:func, B::old_ptr = A::func.

then unload A, then ptr == NULL; /* hey where's B gone? */

Suppose module_exit() had read:

if (ptr == func)
ptr = old_ptr;

Then after A got unloaded, you'd have: ptr = B::func, B::old_ptr ==
A:func, and the world goes *bang* when you unload B.

If you'd have exposed the thing like:

static void (*callback)(void);

int set_foo_callback(void (*func)(void))
if (callback && func)
return -EBUSY;

callback = func;
return 0;

Then there'd be no confusion, as loading B while A was already loaded
would fail since set_foo_callback() would fail with -EBUSY.

Now the synchronization issue, above represented by synchronize_world();
that will have to do something that ensures all current users of the ptr
have gone, taking a reference on the module will likely result in an
pinned module, since what will drop the ref again?

Module unload does a fairly heavy stop-machine thing, which might be
sufficient for some, but a sensible solution really depends on the
problem domain, RCU could be used in various ways.

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