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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC tip/core/rcu 24/28] rcu: Introduce bulk reference count
On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 01:41:11PM +0100, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> On Wed, 2011-11-02 at 13:30 -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > The RCU implementations, including SRCU, are designed to be used in a
> > lock-like fashion, so that the read-side lock and unlock primitives must
> > execute in the same context for any given read-side critical section.
> > This constraint is enforced by lockdep-RCU. However, there is a need for
> > something that acts more like a reference count than a lock, in order
> > to allow (for example) the reference to be acquired within the context
> > of an exception, while that same reference is released in the context of
> > the task that encountered the exception. The cost of this capability is
> > that the read-side operations incur the overhead of disabling interrupts.
> > Some optimization is possible, and will be carried out if warranted.
> >
> > Note that although the current implementation allows a given reference to
> > be acquired by one task and then released by another, all known possible
> > implementations that allow this have scalability problems. Therefore,
> > a given reference must be released by the same task that acquired it,
> > though perhaps from an interrupt or exception handler running within
> > that task's context.
>
> I'm having trouble with the naming as well as the need for an explicit
> new API.
>
> To me this looks like a regular (S)RCU variant, nothing to do with
> references per-se (aside from the fact that SRCU is a refcounted rcu
> variant). Also WTF is this bulk stuff about? Its still a single ref at a
> time, not 10s or 100s or whatnot.

It is a bulk reference in comparison to a conventional atomic_inc()-style
reference count, which is normally associated with a specific structure.
In contrast, doing a bulkref_get() normally protects a group of structures,
everything covered by the bulkref_t.

Yes, in theory you could have a global reference counter that protected
a group of structures, but in practice we both know that this would not
end well. ;-)

> > +static inline int bulkref_get(bulkref_t *brp)
> > +{
> > + unsigned long flags;
> > + int ret;
> > +
> > + local_irq_save(flags);
> > + ret = __srcu_read_lock(brp);
> > + local_irq_restore(flags);
> > + return ret;
> > +}
> > +
> > +static inline void bulkref_put(bulkref_t *brp, int idx)
> > +{
> > + unsigned long flags;
> > +
> > + local_irq_save(flags);
> > + __srcu_read_unlock(brp, idx);
> > + local_irq_restore(flags);
> > +}
>
> This seems to be the main gist of the patch, which to me sounds utterly
> ridiculous. Why not document that srcu_read_{un,}lock() aren't IRQ safe
> and if you want to use it from those contexts you have to fix it up
> yourself.

I thought I had documented this, but I guess not. I will add that.

I lost you on the "fix it up yourself" -- what are you suggesting that
someone needing to use RCU in this manner actually do?

> RCU lockdep doesn't do the full validation so it won't actually catch it
> if you mess up the irq states, but I guess if you want we could look at
> adding that.

Ah, I had missed that. Yes, it would be very good if that could be added.
The vast majority of the uses exit the RCU read-side critical section in
the same context that they enter it, so it would be good to check.

> > diff --git a/kernel/srcu.c b/kernel/srcu.c
> > index 73ce23f..10214c8 100644
> > --- a/kernel/srcu.c
> > +++ b/kernel/srcu.c
> > @@ -34,13 +34,14 @@
> > #include <linux/delay.h>
> > #include <linux/srcu.h>
> >
> > -static int init_srcu_struct_fields(struct srcu_struct *sp)
> > +int init_srcu_struct_fields(struct srcu_struct *sp)
> > {
> > sp->completed = 0;
> > mutex_init(&sp->mutex);
> > sp->per_cpu_ref = alloc_percpu(struct srcu_struct_array);
> > return sp->per_cpu_ref ? 0 : -ENOMEM;
> > }
> > +EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL(init_srcu_struct_fields);
>
> What do we need this export for? Usually we don't add exports unless
> there's a use-case. Since Srikar requested this nonsense, I guess the
> user is uprobes, but that isn't a module, so no export needed.

Yep, the user is uprobes. The export is for rcutorture, which can run
as a module.

Thanx, Paul



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