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SubjectRe: [PATCH 15/20] pinctrl: Fix and simplify locking
On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 7:45 AM, Stephen Warren <> wrote:

> struct pinctrl_dev's pin_desc_tree_lock and pinctrl_hogs_lock aren't
> useful; the data they protect is read-only except when registering or
> unregistering a pinctrl_dev, and at those times, it doesn't make sense to
> protect one part of the structure independently from the rest.

OK makes sense, please split this into a separate patch.

> struct pinctrl_dev's gpio_ranges_lock isn't effective;
> pinctrl_match_gpio_range() only holds this lock while searching for a gpio
> range, but the found range is return and manipulated after releading the
> lock. This could allow pinctrl_remove_gpio_range() for that range while it
> is in use, and the caller may very well delete the range after removing it,
> causing pinctrl code to touch the now-free range object.
> Solving this requires the introduction of a higher-level lock, at least
> a lock per pin controller, which both gpio range registration and
> pinctrl_get()/put() will acquire.

I don't really like this "big pinctrl lock" approach, atleast for the
gpio ranges the proper approach would rather be to use RCU,
would it not? The above looks like a textbook example of where
RCU should be used.

> There is missing locking on HW programming; pin controllers may pack the
> configuration for different pins/groups/config options/... into one
> register, and hence have to read-modify-write the register. This needs to
> be protected, but currently isn't.

Isn't that the responsibility of the driver? The subsystem
should not make assumptions of what locking the driver
may need of some drivers don't need it.

> Related, a future change will add a
> "complete" op to the pin controller drivers, the idea being that each
> state's programming will be programmed into the pinctrl driver followed
> by the "complete" call, which may e.g. flush a register cache to HW. For
> this to work, it must not be possible to interleave the pinctrl driver
> calls for different devices.
> As above, solving this requires the introduction of a higher-level lock,
> at least a lock per pin controller, which will be held for the duration
> of any pinctrl_enable()/disable() call.

I buy this reasoning though, we sure need something there, but
then it can be introduced with the complete() call, and be a
separate lock across the affected call.

> However, each pinctrl mapping table entry may affect a different pin
> controller if necessary. Hence, with a per-pin-controller lock, almost
> any pinctrl API may need to acquire multiple locks, one per controller.
> To avoid deadlock, these would need to be acquired in the same order in
> all cases. This is extremely difficult to implement in the case of
> pinctrl_get(), which doesn't know which pin controllers to lock until it
> has parsed the entire mapping table, since it contains somewhat arbitrary
> data.
> The simplest solution here is to introduce a single lock that covers all
> pin controllers at once. This will be acquired by all pinctrl APIs.
> This then makes struct pinctrl's mutex irrelevant, since that single lock
> will always be held whenever this mutex is currently held.

Introducing a big pincontroller lock :-(

As with the big kernel lock was the simplest approach to CPU

I really would like to hold back on this, is it really that hard to have
a more fine-granular locking here? Maybe this is a sign that we need
to have the list of states sorted in pincontroller order simply?
In that case we only need a lock per pincontroller I think.

Linus Walleij

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