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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC tip/core/rcu 05/28] lockdep: Update documentation for lock-class leak detection
On Wed, Nov 02, 2011 at 01:30:26PM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> There are a number of bugs that can leak or overuse lock classes,
> which can cause the maximum number of lock classes (currently 8191)
> to be exceeded. However, the documentation does not tell you how to
> track down these problems. This commit addresses this shortcoming.
> Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <>
> ---
> Documentation/lockdep-design.txt | 61 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> 1 files changed, 61 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
> diff --git a/Documentation/lockdep-design.txt b/Documentation/lockdep-design.txt
> index abf768c..383bb23 100644
> --- a/Documentation/lockdep-design.txt
> +++ b/Documentation/lockdep-design.txt
> @@ -221,3 +221,64 @@ when the chain is validated for the first time, is then put into a hash
> table, which hash-table can be checked in a lockfree manner. If the
> locking chain occurs again later on, the hash table tells us that we
> dont have to validate the chain again.
> +
> +Troubleshooting:
> +----------------
> +
> +The validator tracks a maximum of MAX_LOCKDEP_KEYS number of lock classes.
> +Exceeding this number will trigger the following lockdep warning:
> +
> +
> +By default, MAX_LOCKDEP_KEYS is currently set to 8191, and typical
> +desktop systems have less than 1,000 lock classes, so this warning
> +normally results from lock-class leakage or failure to properly
> +initialize locks. These two problems are illustrated below:
> +
> +1. Repeated module loading and unloading while running the validator
> + will result in lock-class leakage. The issue here is that each
> + load of the module will create a new set of lock classes for that
> + module's locks, but module unloading does not remove old classes.

I'd explicitly add a parenthetical here: (see below about reusing lock
classes for why). I stared at this for a minute trying to think about
why the old classes couldn't go away, before realizing this fell into
the case you described below: removing them would require cleaning up
any dependency chains involving them.

> + Therefore, if that module is loaded and unloaded repeatedly,
> + the number of lock classes will eventually reach the maximum.
> +
> +2. Using structures such as arrays that have large numbers of
> + locks that are not explicitly initialized. For example,
> + a hash table with 8192 buckets where each bucket has its
> + own spinlock_t will consume 8192 lock classes -unless- each
> + spinlock is initialized, for example, using spin_lock_init().
> + Failure to properly initialize the per-bucket spinlocks would
> + guarantee lock-class overflow. In contrast, a loop that called
> + spin_lock_init() on each lock would place all 8192 locks into a
> + single lock class.
> +
> + The moral of this story is that you should always explicitly
> + initialize your locks.

Spin locks *require* initialization, right? Doesn't this constitute a
bug regardless of lockdep?

If so, could we simply arrange to have lockdep scream when it encounters
an uninitialized spinlock?

> +One might argue that the validator should be modified to allow lock
> +classes to be reused. However, if you are tempted to make this argument,
> +first review the code and think through the changes that would be
> +required, keeping in mind that the lock classes to be removed are likely
> +to be linked into the lock-dependency graph. This turns out to be a
> +harder to do than to say.

Typo fix: s/to be a harder/to be harder/.

> +Of course, if you do run out of lock classes, the next thing to do is
> +to find the offending lock classes. First, the following command gives
> +you the number of lock classes currently in use along with the maximum:
> +
> + grep "lock-classes" /proc/lockdep_stats
> +
> +This command produces the following output on a modest Power system:
> +
> + lock-classes: 748 [max: 8191]

Does Power matter here? Could this just say "a modest system"?

> +If the number allocated (748 above) increases continually over time,
> +then there is likely a leak. The following command can be used to
> +identify the leaking lock classes:
> +
> + grep "BD" /proc/lockdep
> +
> +Run the command and save the output, then compare against the output
> +from a later run of this command to identify the leakers. This same
> +output can also help you find situations where lock initialization
> +has been omitted.

You might consider giving an example of what a lack of lock
initialization would look like here.

- Josh Triplett

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