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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH v9 for 4.15 01/14] Restartable sequences system call
----- On Oct 14, 2017, at 12:05 AM, Linus Torvalds torvalds@linux-foundation.org wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 8:01 PM, Andi Kleen <andi@firstfloor.org> wrote:
>>
>> As far as I can see the current model fundamentally only works for
>> one user per process (because there is only a single range and abort IP)
>
> No, it should work for libraries, you just need to always initialize
> the proper start/commit/abort IP's for every transaction. Then
> everybody should be fine.

Yes, it does work for libraries. I have used it in my lttng-ust and
liburcu prototypes, which are libraries. LTTng-UST requires at least
two distinct critical sections (reserve and commit). For use in
both executable and multiple libraries, we need each to declare the
struct rseq TLS as a weak symbol, so only one gets picked throughout the
process.

One clarification about your statement above: the user-space fast-path
does not need to initialize much at runtime: one "rseq_cs descriptor"
is created by each rseq_finish assembly section. Each of those is
initialized by the dynamic loader with the proper addresses.

All the user-space fast-path really needs to do is to store the address
to that descriptor into the TLS "rseq_cs" field. It does not even have to
clear it after the critical section: the kernel can do it lazily.

>
> So I _think_ it's all good. But I really would want to see that
> actually being the case.

There is one other use-case I've been made aware of in the past months:
Will Deacon want to use rseq on aarch64 to read PMU counters on
big.LITTLE to prevent migration and use of an unsupported PMC on a
LITTLE core, which could trigger a fault.

You had a really good point about cpu hotplug by the way. I recently
realize that algorithms that have multiple non-atomic steps may
_require_ to execute a series of steps on the same CPU.
One example is lttng-ust ring buffer: it works on per-cpu buffers,
and does a series of operations: reserve, [write to buffer], commit.
Both reserve and commit can benefit from rseq, but we really need
the commit to happen on the right CPU. Currently, in order to handle
CPU hotplug, lttng-ust allocates CPU buffers for all possible cpus.
If a CPU is hotunplugged between the reserve and commit though, we
would run into a scenario where the "commit" could never be completed
on the right CPU. I've actually prepared a follow-up patch [1]
yesterday that fixes this in the cpu_opv() system call: it detects
situations where the target CPU is possible but not online, prevents
cpu hotplug, grabs a mutex, and performs the requested operation
from whichever CPU it happens to run on.

Those are the kind of use-cases I want to gather more feedback on
before we integrate those system calls for good.

Thanks,

Mathieu

[1] https://github.com/compudj/linux-percpu-dev/commit/b602821e446f7bd8a0a2de44c598f257cf4120f5


>
> Linus

--
Mathieu Desnoyers
EfficiOS Inc.
http://www.efficios.com

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