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SubjectRe: [PATCH] futex: avoid race between requeue and wake
On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 11:13 AM, Peter Zijlstra <> wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 08, 2014 at 10:33:55AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>> Hmm. And let's think about that powerpc race, where "spin_is_locked()"
>> can be false when somebody is waiting to get the lock..
> Right; so in the original discussion I never really got to why that is a
> problem. A pending waiter cannot modify the wait list, so either we see
> the current holder, or we see a stable list.

It's not just the list vs lock, it's also the ordering wrt the actual
futex value accesses. I have to say, the "waiters" approach makes
things a lot simpler, because then the main ordering issues are just
between "waiters and futex value".

The spinlock+waitqueue thing is rather more complex, because the
spinlock is gotten before reading the futex value (on the waiting
side), but *after* writing the futex value (on the waking side). While
the waitqueue is then modified *after* reading the futex value (on
both the waiting and waking side).

Now, on x86, my argument for using the "spinlock + wait queue"
combination was that getting the spinlock actually has the exact same
semantics as the atomic waiters update (because it really *is* an
atomic add), and while the spin-unlock destroys it, we can largely
ignore that because by that time we'd have been guaranteed to see the
wait-queue change too.

But even on x86, I was a *bit* worried about the ordering of the
"spin_is_locked()" read and the waitqueue value read. I thought about
it, and the smp_rmb() we put in place should have been safe, but I
have to admit that I was a bit nervous. It gets really hard to think
about these things.

So while I still think it should all work, I have to admit that I
didn't really mind horribly much going back to the explicit "waiters"
model that had a lot simpler ordering: just between the "waiters"
accesses and the "futex value" accesses, and without that combination
of "before and after" thing.

Which is also why I think I'd prefer to make the requeueing case have
the *same* rules, ie "waiters" needs to be incremented *before*
getting the spinlock.

A simple patch that adds a "hb_waiters_inc(&hb2);" to the top of
double_lock_hb(), and a "hb_waiters_decc(&hb2);" to double_unlock_hb()
would seem to be the simplest solution. But that adds some unnecessary
atomics (in particular, to the futex_wake_op() case too, which doesn't
need it at all, it's just futex_requeue() that needs it, afaik).

But that alternative patch might be worth testing, just to verify that
"yes, doing the hb_waiters_inc before getting the lock really does fix
Jan's case *without* the use spin_is_locked()". Jan? Can you try that?


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