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SubjectRe: [RFC][PATCH 2/2] PM / Sleep: Introduce cooperative suspend/hibernate mode
On Thu, 2011-10-13 at 21:50 +0200, Rafael J. Wysocki wrote:
> From: Rafael J. Wysocki <>
> The currently available mechanism allowing the suspend process to
> avoid racing with wakeup events registered by the kernel appears
> to be difficult to use. Moreover, it requires that the suspend
> process communicate with other user space processes that may take
> part in the handling of wakeup events to make sure that they have
> done their job before suspend is started. Therefore all of the
> wakeup-handling applications are expected to use an IPC mechanism
> allowing them to exchange information with the suspend process, but
> this expectation turns out to be unrealistic in practice. For this
> reason, it seems reasonable to add a mechanism allowing the
> wakeup-handling processes to communicate with the suspend process
> to the kernel.

Hey Rafael!

I'm *very* excited to see some alternate approaches here, as I'll very
much admit that my proposal does have some complexities. While I still
prefer my approach, I'm pragmatic and would be happy with other
solutions as long as they solve the issue.

I've not yet dug deeply into the code of your patch, but some conceptual
thoughts and issues below.

> This change introduces a new sleep mode, called "cooperative" sleep
> mode, which needs to be selected via the /sys/power/sleep_mode sysfs
> attribute and causes detection of wakeup events to be always
> enabled, among other things, and a mechanism allowing user space
> processes to prevent the system from being put into a sleep state
> while in this mode.
> The mechanism introduced by this change is based on a new special
> device file, /dev/sleepctl. A process wanting to prevent the system
> from being put into a sleep state is expected to open /dev/sleepctl
> and execute the SLEEPCTL_STAY_AWAKE ioctl() with the help of it.
> This will make all attempts to suspend or hibernate the system block
> until (1) the process executes the SLEEPCTL_RELAX ioctl() or (2)
> a predefined timeout expires. The timeout is set to 500 ms by
> default, but the process can change it by writing the new timeout
> value (in milliseconds) to /dev/sleepctl, in binary (unsigned int)
> format.

Just a nit, but is there any reason not to use u64 nanosecond value
instead of the jiffies-like granularity and range? Maybe u64 ns is
over-design, but milliseconds are getting a bit coarse these days.

> The current timeout value can be read from /dev/sleepctl.
> Setting the timeout to 0 disables it, i.e. it makes the
> SLEEPCTL_STAY_AWAKE ioctl() block attempts to suspend or hibernate
> the system until the SLEEPCTL_RELAX ioctl() is executed.
> In addition to that, when system is resuming from suspend or
> hibernation, the kernel automatically carries out an operation

Only when resuming from suspend/hibernation? Hrmm.. See below for my
concerns about this specifically.

> equivalent to the SLEEPCTL_STAY_AWAKE ioctl() for all processes
> that have /dev/sleepctl open at that time and whose timeouts are
> greater than 0 (i.e. enabled), to allows those processes to
> complete the handling of wakeup events before the system can be
> put to a sleep state again.

So the application psudocode looks like the following?

Example 1:
sleepfd = open("/dev/sleepctl",...);
devfd = open("/dev/wakeup-button",...);
count = read(devfd, buf, bufsize);
ioctl(sleepfd, SLEEP_STAY_AWAKE, 0); /* no timeout */
ioctl(sleepfd, SLEEP_RELAX);

And the assumption is that when *any* wakeup event occurs, even if its
not the /dev/wakeup-button, the system will stay awake on this
application's behalf for 500ms (or the max value provided to sleepctl)

Then, the hope is that if the wakeup-button did wake the system up, the
application would get woken up from the read() call and hopefully
complete the STAY_AWAKE ioctl within the provided 500ms.

A minor nit, first: With the code above, after we call SLEEP_RELAX, the
timeout has been set to zero, so if we're the only one, the next wakeup
will not actually inhibit suspend for any amount of time. It might be
good to separate the ioctl used to set the timeout length, and the one
to inhibit suspend.

Now, my opinion: So, again, I'd welcome any solution to the problem, but
I'm personally not a big fan of the timeout usage found in this
proposal, as well as the Android wakelocks implementation. Its simply
racy, and would break down under heavy load or when interacting with
cpuhogging SCHED_FIFO tasks. Practically, it can be made to work, but I
worry the extra safety-margins folks will add to the timeouts will
result in inefficient power wasting.

Now, an actual problem: Further, I'm worried this still doesn't address
the main race in the alarmtimer triggered system backup case:

Example 2:
sleepfd = open("/dev/sleepctl",...);
/* wait till 5pm */
clock_nanosleep(CLOCK_REALTIME_ALARM, TIMER_ABSTIME, backup_ts);
ioctl(sleepfd, SLEEP_STAY_AWAKE, 0); /* no timeout */
ioctl(sleepfd, SLEEP_RELAX);

Which is basically identical to the above. At 5pm the alarmtimer fires,
and increments the wakeup_count.

At the same time, maybe on a different cpu, the PM daemon reads the
updated wakeup_count, writes it back and triggers suspend.

All of this happens before my backup application gets scheduled and can
call the ioctl.

I think in order to avoid this with your approach, I think you're going
to need to have the kernel take the SLEEPCTL_STAY_AWAKE timeout for
every open fd upon *any* wakeup event, even when the system is running
and not just at resume.

The same bad behavior could also be tripped in example #1, with the
wakeup button being pressed while the system was running, right as a
suspend was triggered.

I think this is in part an issue with the "globalness" of the
wakeup_count value. We know an event happened, but we don't *which*
event, or if anyone was waiting for that event, or if the event has been
consumed. Thus with your approach, its necessary to use a timeout to try
to cover everyone, since there's not enough knowledge.

Basically it breaks down to three questions I think we have to answer:
1) What event is being waited on?
2) Who is waiting?
3) Has the event been consumed?

To summarize my understanding of other recently proposed approaches to
this core issue:

Again, in your proposal (if adjusted as I suggest to avoid the backup
race) tasks register their wakeup-interest (#2), by opening the sleepctl
file, and then you inhibit suspend for the maximum specified timeout on
every wakeup event (#1) assuming that gives enough time for whichever
task was waiting on the triggered event to consume it (#3).

Neil's userspace approach (as best as I understand it) tries to resolve
this knowledge issue by requiring *everyone* who might be waiting to
consume wakeup events check-in with the PM daemon prior to *any* suspend
(If the PM daemon is aggressive, trying to suspend frequently, this
results in requiring every consumer to check in on every wakeup event).
So in this model, we get a list of waiters (#2) communicating with the
PM daemon, and for any event (#1), we require all waiters to ack (#3)
that its ok to suspend.

Mark's approach uses per-wakeup-device files in order to inform the
kernel about interest, allowing the kernel to inhibit suspend when a
wakeup event occurs on that device for each open fd (#1 & #2). Then it
requires each consumer to "ack" the events consumption (#3) back to the
fd, where the suspend inhibition is dropped.

My approach is using a per-task flag of power-importance(#2), which
inhibits suspend if any task has such a flag. Any blocking call upon a
wakeup device (#1) will drop the flag, allowing suspend to occur, and
the kernel re-raises the flag when the task is woken up, which the task
can drop when its done (#3).

Finally, Android's wakelock's are actually very conceptually similar to
Mark's, but utilize existing device files (#1&#2) (so its a little more
implicit) and uses read() as the "ack" (#3) to allow the kernel to drop
the wakelock.

Does that seem reasonably accurate/fair?


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