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SubjectRe: [GIT PULL rcu/next] fixes and breakup of memory-barrier-decrease patch
On Sat, May 21, 2011 at 09:14:18PM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> * Paul E. McKenney <> wrote:
> > On Sat, May 21, 2011 at 04:28:44PM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> > >
> > > * Paul E. McKenney <> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hello, Ingo,
> > > >
> > > > This pull requests covers some RCU bug fixes and one patch rework.
> > > >
> > > > The first group breaks up the infamous now-reverted (but ultimately
> > > > vindicated) "Decrease memory-barrier usage based on semi-formal proof"
> > > > commit into five commits. These five commits immediately follow the
> > > > revert, and the diff across all six of these commits is empty, so that
> > > > the effect of the five commits is to revert the revert.
> > >
> > > But ... the regression that was observed with that commit needs to be fixed
> > > first, or not? In what way was the barrier commit vindicated?
> >
> > From what I can see, the hang was fixed by Frederic's patch at
> > I was interpreting that as vindication,
> > perhaps ill-advisedly.
> I mean, without Frederic's patch we are getting very long hangs due to the
> barrier patch, right?

Yes. The reason we are seeing these hangs is that HARDIRQ_ENTER()
invoked irq_enter(), which calls rcu_irq_enter() but that the matching
HARDIRQ_EXIT() invoked __irq_exit(), which does not call rcu_irq_exit().
This resulted in calls to rcu_irq_enter() that were not balanced by
matching calls to rcu_irq_exit(). Therefore, after these tests completed,
RCU's dyntick-idle nesting count was a large number, which caused RCU
to conclude that the affected CPU was not in dyntick-idle mode when in
fact it was.

RCU would therefore incorrectly wait for this dyntick-idle CPU.

With Frederic's patch, these tests don't ever call either rcu_irq_enter()
or rcu_irq_exit(), which works because the CPU running the test is
already marked as not being in dyntick-idle mode.

So, with Frederic's patch, the rcu_irq_enter() and rcu_irq_exit() calls
are balanced and things work.

The reason that the imbalance was not noticed before the barrier patch
was applied is that the old implementation of rcu_enter_nohz() ignored
the nesting depth. This could still result in delays, but much shorter
ones. Whenever there was a delay, RCU would IPI the CPU with the
unbalanced nesting level, which would eventually result in rcu_enter_nohz()
being called, which in turn would force RCU to see that the CPU was in
dyntick-idle mode.

Hmmm... I should add this line of reasoning to one of the commit logs,
shouldn't I? (Added it. Which of course invalidates my pull request.)

> Even if the barrier patch is not to blame - somehow it still managed to produce
> these hangs - and we do not understand it yet.

From Yinghai's message, I believe
that the residual delay he is seeing is not due to the barrier patch,
but rather due to a26ac2455 (move TREE_RCU from softirq to kthrea).

More on this below.

> > Yinghai said that he was still seeing a delay, adn that he was seeing it even
> > with the "Decrease memory-barrier usage based on semi-formal proof" reverted:
> > This hang seems to happen when he uses
> > gcc 4.5.0, but not when using gcc 4.5.1, assuming I understood his sequence
> > of emails. So I was interpreting that as meaning that the delay was unlikely
> > to be caused by that commit, probably by one of the later commits.
> >
> > I clearly need to figure out what is causing this delay. I asked Yinghai to
> > apply c7a378603 (Remove waitqueue usage for cpu, node, and boost kthreads)
> > from Peter Zijlstra because the long delays that Yinghai is seeing (93
> > seconds for memory_dev_init() rather than 3 or 4 seconds) might be due to my
> > less-efficient method of awakening the RCU kthreads, so that Peter's
> > approache might help.
> >
> > If that doesn't speed things up for Yinghai, then I will work out some
> > tracing to help localize the slowdown that he is seeing.
> >
> > Of course, if you would rather that I get to the bottom of this before
> > pulling, fair enough!
> We should fix the delay regression i suspect - do we have to revert more stuff
> perhaps?
> Would it be possible to figure out what caused that other delay for Yinghai?

Earlier, Yinghai reported that reverting a26ac2455ffc (move TREE_RCU
from softirq to kthread) and everything after it made what appears to be
the same sort of delay go away (
This commit replaced raise_softirq() with wait queues, flags, and
wake_up(). Later, Yinghai said that the delay shows up in kernels
built using opensuse 11.3, but not in kernels build using fedora 14
( Still later, he said that opensuse
11.3 has gcc 4.5.0 and fedora 14 has gcc 4.5.1.

Differences in compilers usually don't produce 20-to-1 latency differences
without something amplifying them. In this case, that something
is likely to be the wait/wakeup coordination. Peter's recent patch
( to fix some CPU-hotplug-related
issues in the scheduler ( changed
RCU's kthread wait/wakeup coordination.

So I asked that Yinghai try c7a3786030 (Remove waitqueue usage for cpu,
node, and boost kthreads) from Peter currently queued on -rcu.

If that doesn't help, I will probably provide Yinghai some tracing

Thanx, Paul

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