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Subjectstop machine question
 Hi guys,

I've been made some study in System Management Interrupts (SMI) using
Linux. Looking into, I found a module called "Hardware Latency
Detector (formerly SMI detector)" written by Jon Masters a few years
ago, as Jon says (

"This is a loadable module that grabs the CPU for
configurable periods of time (all under stop_machine()) and samples the
looking for discontinuity. If observed latencies exceed a threshold
example caused by an System Management Interrupt or similar) then the
event is recorded in a global ring_buffer, readable via debugfs."

I modified the module to grab the TSC directly as you can see in the
"get_sample" code below:

static int get_sample(void *unused)


do {
t2 = ktime_get();


total = ktime_to_us(ktime_sub(t2, start)); /* sample width */
//diff = ktime_to_us(ktime_sub(t2, t1)); /* current diff */

diff = (s64)(tsc[1] - tsc[0]); /* tsc diff*/

/* This shouldn't happen */
if (diff < 0) {
printk(KERN_ERR BANNER "time running backwards\n");
goto out;

if (diff > data.threshold){
sample = diff; /* only want highest value */
s.timestamp = tsc[1];

tsc[0] = tsc[1];


} while (total <= data.sample_width);


The function get_sample is invoked by a kernel thread coded below:

static int kthread_fn(void *unused)

while (!kthread_should_stop()) {


err = stop_machine(get_sample, unused, &cpus);
if (err) {
/* Houston, we have a problem */
goto err_out;

interval = data.sample_window - data.sample_width;
do_div(interval, USEC_PER_MSEC); /* modifies interval value */


if (data.count > data.max_count){
enabled = 0;
data.count = 0;

if (msleep_interruptible(interval))
goto out;


Running this code in kernel (Slackware 13.37) there is a huge
discontinuity, (diff = (s64)(tsc[1] - tsc[0])), about 25000 cycles,
just when I run this code with a msleep_interruptible() in the kernel
thread. When I remove it, the problem disappears. Moreover, the
discontinuity appears always in the same time in the get_sample's while
and never in the first execution of the kthread_fn's while. The kernel
trace doesn't shows get_sample to be interrupted.

My question, is possible to some kernel code run inside stop_machine?
In other words, why get_sample seems to be interrupted when I use a

Any help will be apreeciated.

Thanks a lot,

Renan Augusto Starke

processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 15
model name : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6400 @ 2.13GHz
stepping : 2
cpu MHz : 2133.336
cache size : 2048 KB

The system is a Dell Optiplex 745.

Xtarke under Slackware 13.1
Linux user ID #354257

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