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SubjectRe: query: [PATCH 2/2] cgroup: Remove call to synchronize_rcu in cgroup_attach_task
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On Mon, 2011-05-02 at 16:29 +0200, Mike Galbraith wrote:
> On Mon, 2011-05-02 at 06:46 -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 02:34:47PM +0200, Mike Galbraith wrote:
>
> > > Makes one wonder what these things do for a living.
> >
> > If you are adding something to an RCU-protected data structure, then you do
> > not need synchronize_rcu(). But if you are removing something from
> > an RCU-protected data structure, then you really do need them. If you
> > leave them out, you can see the following type of failure:
> >
> > 1. CPU 0, running in an RCU read-side critical section, obtains
> > a pointer to data item A.
> >
> > 2. CPU 1 removes data item A from the structure.
> >
> > 3. CPU 1 does not do a synchronize_rcu(). If CPU 1 had done a
> > synchronize_rcu(), then it would have waited until CPU 0 had
> > left its RCU read-side critical section, and thus until
> > CPU 0 stopped using its pointer to data item A. But there was
> > no synchronize_rcu(), so CPU 0 is still looking at data item A.
> >
> > 4. CPU 1 frees data item A.
> >
> > This is very bad. CPU 0 has a pointer into the freelist. Worse yet,
> > some other CPU might allocate memory and get a pointer to data item A.
> > That CPU and CPU 0 would then have an interesting but short lived
> > disagreement about that memory's type. Crash goes the kernel.
> >
> > So please do not remove synchronize_rcu() calls unless you can prove
> > that it is safe to do so!
>
> In these instances are a little different.
>
> We have..
> start teardown
> synchronize_rcu()
> finish teardown
> call_rcu(kfree_it)
> ..so removal wouldn't trigger the standard "let's rummage around in
> freed memory" kind of excitement.
>
> But yeah, removing them without proof is out.
>
> My box was telling me that they _are_ safe to remove, by not exploding
> with list/slub debug enabled while I beat the snot out of it.. which is
> evidence, but not proof :)

P.S. the explosions I was looking into were caused by that finish
teardown being in flight via schedule_work() when android removed
synchronize_rcu() _and synchronization on in-flight teardown_. I became
curious wrt the need for synchronize_rcu() at all when I fixed these
explosions by ensuring that teardown was _not_ in flight before
shredding the cgroup via rmdir, by doing synchronous teardown if
possible, and only synchronizing if it wasn't possible. Only removing
synchronize_rcu() does essentially the same, since teardown is then done
synchronously under the big mutex. Freeing is still done via rcu.

So it wasn't "these things make userspace sleepy, let's remove them".



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