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SubjectRe: perf events ring buffer memory barrier on powerpc
On Sat, Nov 02, 2013 at 10:32:39AM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 01, 2013 at 03:56:34PM +0100, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> > On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 11:40:15PM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > > > Now the whole crux of the question is if we need barrier A at all, since
> > > > the STORES issued by the @buf writes are dependent on the ubuf->tail
> > > > read.
> > >
> > > The dependency you are talking about is via the "if" statement?
> > > Even C/C++11 is not required to respect control dependencies.
> > >
> > > This one is a bit annoying. The x86 TSO means that you really only
> > > need barrier(), ARM (recent ARM, anyway) and Power could use a weaker
> > > barrier, and so on -- but smp_mb() emits a full barrier.
> > >
> > > Perhaps a new smp_tmb() for TSO semantics, where reads are ordered
> > > before reads, writes before writes, and reads before writes, but not
> > > writes before reads? Another approach would be to define a per-arch
> > > barrier for this particular case.
> >
> > I suppose we can only introduce new barrier primitives if there's more
> > than 1 use-case.
>
> There probably are others.

If there was an smp_tmb(), I would likely use it in rcu_assign_pointer().
There are some corner cases that can happen with the current smp_wmb()
that would be prevented by smp_tmb(). These corner cases are a bit
strange, as follows:

struct foo gp;

void P0(void)
{
struct foo *p = kmalloc(sizeof(*p);

if (!p)
return;
ACCESS_ONCE(p->a) = 0;
BUG_ON(ACCESS_ONCE(p->a));
rcu_assign_pointer(gp, p);
}

void P1(void)
{
struct foo *p = rcu_dereference(gp);

if (!p)
return;
ACCESS_ONCE(p->a) = 1;
}

With smp_wmb(), the BUG_ON() can occur because smp_wmb() does
not prevent CPU from reordering the read in the BUG_ON() with the
rcu_assign_pointer(). With smp_tmb(), it could not.

Now, I am not too worried about this because I cannot think of any use
for code like that in P0() and P1(). But if there was an smp_tmb(),
it would be cleaner to make the BUG_ON() impossible.

Thanx, Paul

> > > > If the read shows no available space, we simply will not issue those
> > > > writes -- therefore we could argue we can avoid the memory barrier.
> > >
> > > Proving that means iterating through the permitted combinations of
> > > compilers and architectures... There is always hand-coded assembly
> > > language, I suppose.
> >
> > I'm starting to think that while the C/C++ language spec says they can
> > wreck the world by doing these silly optimization, real world users will
> > push back for breaking their existing code.
> >
> > I'm fairly sure the GCC people _will_ get shouted at _loudly_ when they
> > break the kernel by doing crazy shit like that.
> >
> > Given its near impossible to write a correct program in C/C++ and
> > tagging the entire kernel with __atomic is equally not going to happen,
> > I think we must find a practical solution.
> >
> > Either that, or we really need to consider forking the language and
> > compiler :-(
>
> Depends on how much benefit the optimizations provide. If they provide
> little or no benefit, I am with you, otherwise we will need to bit some
> bullet or another. Keep in mind that there is a lot of code in the
> kernel that runs sequentially (e.g., due to being fully protected by
> locks), and aggressive optimizations for that sort of code are harmless.
>
> Can't say I know the answer at the moment, though.
>
> Thanx, Paul



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