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Subject[PATCH tip/core/rcu 2/9] doc: Add mid-boot operation to expedited grace periods
This commit adds a description of how expedited grace periods operate
during the mid-boot "dead zone", which starts when the scheduler spawns
the first kthread and ends when all of RCU's kthreads have been spawned.
In short, before mid-boot, synchronous grace periods can be a no-op.
After the end of mid-boot, workqueues may be used. During mid-boot,
the requesting task drivees the expedited grace period.

For more detail, see

Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <>
.../Expedited-Grace-Periods.html | 47 ++++++++++++++++++++--
1 file changed, 44 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/Design/Expedited-Grace-Periods/Expedited-Grace-Periods.html b/Documentation/RCU/Design/Expedited-Grace-Periods/Expedited-Grace-Periods.html
index 7a3194c5559a..e5d0bbd0230b 100644
--- a/Documentation/RCU/Design/Expedited-Grace-Periods/Expedited-Grace-Periods.html
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/Design/Expedited-Grace-Periods/Expedited-Grace-Periods.html
@@ -284,6 +284,7 @@ Expedited Grace Period Refinements</a></h2>
Funnel locking and wait/wakeup</a>.
<li> <a href="#Use of Workqueues">Use of Workqueues</a>.
<li> <a href="#Stall Warnings">Stall warnings</a>.
+<li> <a href="#Mid-Boot Operation">Mid-boot operation</a>.

<h3><a name="Idle-CPU Checks">Idle-CPU Checks</a></h3>
@@ -524,7 +525,7 @@ their grace periods and carrying out their wakeups.
In earlier implementations, the task requesting the expedited
grace period also drove it to completion.
This straightforward approach had the disadvantage of needing to
-account for signals sent to user tasks,
+account for POSIX signals sent to user tasks,
so more recent implemementations use the Linux kernel's
<a href="">workqueues</a>.

@@ -533,8 +534,8 @@ The requesting task still does counter snapshotting and funnel-lock
processing, but the task reaching the top of the funnel lock
does a <tt>schedule_work()</tt> (from <tt>_synchronize_rcu_expedited()</tt>
so that a workqueue kthread does the actual grace-period processing.
-Because workqueue kthreads do not accept signals, grace-period-wait
-processing need not allow for signals.
+Because workqueue kthreads do not accept POSIX signals, grace-period-wait
+processing need not allow for POSIX signals.

In addition, this approach allows wakeups for the previous expedited
grace period to be overlapped with processing for the next expedited
@@ -586,6 +587,46 @@ blocking the current grace period are printed.
Each stall warning results in another pass through the loop, but the
second and subsequent passes use longer stall times.

+<h3><a name="Mid-Boot Operation">Mid-boot operation</a></h3>
+The use of workqueues has the advantage that the expedited
+grace-period code need not worry about POSIX signals.
+Unfortunately, it has the
+corresponding disadvantage that workqueues cannot be used until
+they are initialized, which does not happen until some time after
+the scheduler spawns the first task.
+Given that there are parts of the kernel that really do want to
+execute grace periods during this mid-boot &ldquo;dead zone&rdquo;,
+expedited grace periods must do something else during thie time.
+What they do is to fall back to the old practice of requiring that the
+requesting task drive the expedited grace period, as was the case
+before the use of workqueues.
+However, the requesting task is only required to drive the grace period
+during the mid-boot dead zone.
+Before mid-boot, a synchronous grace period is a no-op.
+Some time after mid-boot, workqueues are used.
+Non-expedited non-SRCU synchronous grace periods must also operate
+normally during mid-boot.
+This is handled by causing non-expedited grace periods to take the
+expedited code path during mid-boot.
+The current code assumes that there are no POSIX signals during
+the mid-boot dead zone.
+However, if an overwhelming need for POSIX signals somehow arises,
+appropriate adjustments can be made to the expedited stall-warning code.
+One such adjustment would reinstate the pre-workqueue stall-warning
+checks, but only during the mid-boot dead zone.
+With this refinement, synchronous grace periods can now be used from
+task context pretty much any time during the life of the kernel.
<h3><a name="Summary">

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