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Subject[PATCH v2 tip/core/rcu 2/8] Documentation: Record bottom-bit-zero guarantee for ->next
Date
This commit records RCU's guarantee that the bottom bit of the rcu_head
structure's ->next field will remain zero for callbacks posted via
call_rcu(), but not necessarily for <tt>kfree_rcu()</tt> or some
possible future call_rcu_lazy() variant that might one day be created
for energy-efficiency purposese.

Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com>
[ paulmck: Updates URLs as suggested by Josh Triplett. ]
---
.../RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.html | 43 ++++++++++++++++++++++
.../RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.htmlx | 43 ++++++++++++++++++++++
2 files changed, 86 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.html b/Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.html
index 36de7aaa941e..871f627b7713 100644
--- a/Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.html
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.html
@@ -1678,6 +1678,7 @@ Some of the relevant points of interest are as follows:
<li> <a href="#Scheduler and RCU">Scheduler and RCU</a>.
<li> <a href="#Tracing and RCU">Tracing and RCU</a>.
<li> <a href="#Energy Efficiency">Energy Efficiency</a>.
+<li> <a href="#Memory Efficiency">Memory Efficiency</a>.
<li> <a href="#Performance, Scalability, Response Time, and Reliability">
Performance, Scalability, Response Time, and Reliability</a>.
</ol>
@@ -2006,6 +2007,48 @@ I learned of many of these requirements via angry phone calls:
Flaming me on the Linux-kernel mailing list was apparently not
sufficient to fully vent their ire at RCU's energy-efficiency bugs!

+<h3><a name="Memory Efficiency">Memory Efficiency</a></h3>
+
+<p>
+Although small-memory non-realtime systems can simply use Tiny RCU,
+code size is only one aspect of memory efficiency.
+Another aspect is the size of the <tt>rcu_head</tt> structure
+used by <tt>call_rcu()</tt> and <tt>kfree_rcu()</tt>.
+Although this structure contains nothing more than a pair of pointers,
+it does appear in many RCU-protected data structures, including
+some that are size critical.
+The <tt>page</tt> structure is a case in point, as evidenced by
+the many occurrences of the <tt>union</tt> keyword within that structure.
+
+<p>
+This need for memory efficiency is one reason that RCU uses hand-crafted
+singly linked lists to track the <tt>rcu_head</tt> structures that
+are waiting for a grace period to elapse.
+It is also the reason why <tt>rcu_head</tt> structures do not contain
+debug information, such as fields tracking the file and line of the
+<tt>call_rcu()</tt> or <tt>kfree_rcu()</tt> that posted them.
+Although this information might appear in debug-only kernel builds at some
+point, in the meantime, the <tt>-&gt;func</tt> field will often provide
+the needed debug information.
+
+<p>
+However, in some cases, the need for memory efficiency leads to even
+more extreme measures.
+Returning to the <tt>page</tt> structure, the <tt>rcu_head</tt> field
+shares storage with a great many other structures that are used at
+various points in the corresponding page's lifetime.
+In order to correctly resolve certain
+<a href="https://lkml.kernel.org/g/1439976106-137226-1-git-send-email-kirill.shutemov@linux.intel.com">race conditions</a>,
+the Linux kernel's memory-management subsystem needs a particular bit
+to remain zero during all phases of grace-period processing,
+and that bit happens to map to the bottom bit of the
+<tt>rcu_head</tt> structure's <tt>-&gt;next</tt> field.
+RCU makes this guarantee as long as <tt>call_rcu()</tt>
+is used to post the callback, as opposed to <tt>kfree_rcu()</tt>
+or some future &ldquo;lazy&rdquo;
+variant of <tt>call_rcu()</tt> that might one day be created for
+energy-efficiency purposes.
+
<h3><a name="Performance, Scalability, Response Time, and Reliability">
Performance, Scalability, Response Time, and Reliability</a></h3>

diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.htmlx b/Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.htmlx
index 1168010c39fe..a544db4646c6 100644
--- a/Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.htmlx
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.htmlx
@@ -1837,6 +1837,7 @@ Some of the relevant points of interest are as follows:
<li> <a href="#Scheduler and RCU">Scheduler and RCU</a>.
<li> <a href="#Tracing and RCU">Tracing and RCU</a>.
<li> <a href="#Energy Efficiency">Energy Efficiency</a>.
+<li> <a href="#Memory Efficiency">Memory Efficiency</a>.
<li> <a href="#Performance, Scalability, Response Time, and Reliability">
Performance, Scalability, Response Time, and Reliability</a>.
</ol>
@@ -2173,6 +2174,48 @@ I learned of many of these requirements via angry phone calls:
Flaming me on the Linux-kernel mailing list was apparently not
sufficient to fully vent their ire at RCU's energy-efficiency bugs!

+<h3><a name="Memory Efficiency">Memory Efficiency</a></h3>
+
+<p>
+Although small-memory non-realtime systems can simply use Tiny RCU,
+code size is only one aspect of memory efficiency.
+Another aspect is the size of the <tt>rcu_head</tt> structure
+used by <tt>call_rcu()</tt> and <tt>kfree_rcu()</tt>.
+Although this structure contains nothing more than a pair of pointers,
+it does appear in many RCU-protected data structures, including
+some that are size critical.
+The <tt>page</tt> structure is a case in point, as evidenced by
+the many occurrences of the <tt>union</tt> keyword within that structure.
+
+<p>
+This need for memory efficiency is one reason that RCU uses hand-crafted
+singly linked lists to track the <tt>rcu_head</tt> structures that
+are waiting for a grace period to elapse.
+It is also the reason why <tt>rcu_head</tt> structures do not contain
+debug information, such as fields tracking the file and line of the
+<tt>call_rcu()</tt> or <tt>kfree_rcu()</tt> that posted them.
+Although this information might appear in debug-only kernel builds at some
+point, in the meantime, the <tt>-&gt;func</tt> field will often provide
+the needed debug information.
+
+<p>
+However, in some cases, the need for memory efficiency leads to even
+more extreme measures.
+Returning to the <tt>page</tt> structure, the <tt>rcu_head</tt> field
+shares storage with a great many other structures that are used at
+various points in the corresponding page's lifetime.
+In order to correctly resolve certain
+<a href="https://lkml.kernel.org/g/1439976106-137226-1-git-send-email-kirill.shutemov@linux.intel.com">race conditions</a>,
+the Linux kernel's memory-management subsystem needs a particular bit
+to remain zero during all phases of grace-period processing,
+and that bit happens to map to the bottom bit of the
+<tt>rcu_head</tt> structure's <tt>-&gt;next</tt> field.
+RCU makes this guarantee as long as <tt>call_rcu()</tt>
+is used to post the callback, as opposed to <tt>kfree_rcu()</tt>
+or some future &ldquo;lazy&rdquo;
+variant of <tt>call_rcu()</tt> that might one day be created for
+energy-efficiency purposes.
+
<h3><a name="Performance, Scalability, Response Time, and Reliability">
Performance, Scalability, Response Time, and Reliability</a></h3>

--
2.5.2


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