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Subject[PATCH] [v2] Documentation: document ktime_get_*() APIs
Date
As Dave Chinner points out, we don't have a proper documentation for the
ktime_get() family of interfaces, making it rather unclear which of the
over 30 (!) interfaces one should actually use in a driver or elsewhere
in the kernel.

I wrote up an explanation from how I personally see the interfaces,
documenting what each of the functions do and hopefully making it a bit
clearer which should be used where.

This is the first time I tried writing .rst format documentation, so
in addition to any mistakes in the content, I probably also introduce
nonstandard formatting ;-)

I first tried to add an extra section to
Documentation/timers/timekeeping.txt, but this is currently not included
in the generated API, and it seems useful to have the API docs as part
of what gets generated in
https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/core-api/index.html#core-utilities
instead, so I started a new file there.

I also considered adding the documentation inline in the
include/linux/timekeeping.h header, but couldn't figure out how to do
that in a way that would result both in helpful inline comments as
well as readable html output, so I settled for the latter, with
a small note pointing to it from the header.

Cc: Dave Chinner <david@fromorbit.com>
Cc: John Stultz <john.stultz@linaro.org>
Cc: Thomas Gleixner <tglx@linutronix.de>
Cc: Stephen Boyd <sboyd@kernel.org>
Cc: Linus Walleij <linus.walleij@linaro.org>
Tested-by: Randy Dunlap <rdunlap@infradead.org>
Reviewed-by: Randy Dunlap <rdunlap@infradead.org>
Signed-off-by: Arnd Bergmann <arnd@arndb.de>
---
v2: minor changes suggested by Randy
---
Documentation/core-api/index.rst | 1 +
Documentation/core-api/timekeeping.rst | 185 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
include/linux/timekeeping.h | 15 +++
3 files changed, 201 insertions(+)
create mode 100644 Documentation/core-api/timekeeping.rst

diff --git a/Documentation/core-api/index.rst b/Documentation/core-api/index.rst
index e821cf78be3b..11b54e2bbce2 100644
--- a/Documentation/core-api/index.rst
+++ b/Documentation/core-api/index.rst
@@ -29,6 +29,7 @@ Core utilities
printk-formats
circular-buffers
gfp_mask-from-fs-io
+ timekeeping

Interfaces for kernel debugging
===============================
diff --git a/Documentation/core-api/timekeeping.rst b/Documentation/core-api/timekeeping.rst
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..93cbeb9daec0
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/core-api/timekeeping.rst
@@ -0,0 +1,185 @@
+ktime accessors
+===============
+
+Device drivers can read the current time using ktime_get() and the many
+related functions declared in linux/timekeeping.h. As a rule of thumb,
+using an accessor with a shorter name is preferred over one with a longer
+name if both are equally fit for a particular use case.
+
+Basic ktime_t based interfaces
+------------------------------
+
+The recommended simplest form returns an opaque ktime_t, with variants
+that return time for different clock references:
+
+
+.. c:function:: ktime_t ktime_get( void )
+
+ CLOCK_MONOTONIC
+
+ Useful for reliable timestamps and measuring short time intervals
+ accurately. Starts at system boot time but stops during suspend.
+
+.. c:function:: ktime_t ktime_get_boottime( void )
+
+ CLOCK_BOOTTIME
+
+ Like ktime_get(), but does not stop when suspended. This can be
+ used e.g. for key expiration times that need to be synchronized
+ with other machines across a suspend operation.
+
+.. c:function:: ktime_t ktime_get_real( void )
+
+ CLOCK_REALTIME
+
+ Returns the time in relative to the UNIX epoch starting in 1970
+ using the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), same as gettimeofday()
+ user space. This is used for all timestamps that need to
+ persist across a reboot, like inode times, but should be avoided
+ for internal uses, since it can jump backwards due to a leap
+ second update, NTP adjustment settimeofday() operation from user
+ space.
+
+.. c:function:: ktime_t ktime_get_clocktai( void )
+
+ CLOCK_TAI
+
+ Like ktime_get_real(), but uses the International Atomic Time (TAI)
+ reference instead of UTC to avoid jumping on leap second updates.
+ This is rarely useful in the kernel.
+
+.. c:function:: ktime_t ktime_get_raw( void )
+
+ CLOCK_MONOTONIC_RAW
+
+ Like ktime_get(), but runs at the same rate as the hardware
+ clocksource without (NTP) adjustments for clock drift. This is
+ also rarely needed in the kernel.
+
+nanosecond, timespec64, and second output
+-----------------------------------------
+
+For all of the above, there are variants that return the time in a
+different format depending on what is required by the user:
+
+.. c:function:: u64 ktime_get_ns( void )
+ u64 ktime_get_boottime_ns( void )
+ u64 ktime_get_real_ns( void )
+ u64 ktime_get_tai_ns( void )
+ u64 ktime_get_raw_ns( void )
+
+ Same as the plain ktime_get functions, but returning a u64 number
+ of nanoseconds in the respective time reference, which may be
+ more convenient for some callers.
+
+.. c:function:: void ktime_get_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+ void ktime_get_boottime_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+ void ktime_get_real_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+ void ktime_get_clocktai_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+ void ktime_get_raw_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+
+ Same above, but returns the time in a 'struct timespec64', split
+ into seconds and nanoseconds. This can avoid an extra division
+ when printing the time, or when passing it into an external
+ interface that expects a 'timespec' or 'timeval' structure.
+
+.. c:function:: time64_t ktime_get_seconds( void )
+ time64_t ktime_get_boottime_seconds( void )
+ time64_t ktime_get_real_seconds( void )
+ time64_t ktime_get_clocktai_seconds( void )
+ time64_t ktime_get_raw_seconds( void )
+
+ Return a coarse-grained version of the time as a scalar
+ time64_t. This avoids accessing the clock hardware and rounds
+ down the seconds to the full seconds of the last timer tick
+ using the respective reference.
+
+Coarse and fast_ns access
+-------------------------
+
+Some additional variants exist for more specialized cases:
+
+.. c:function:: ktime_t ktime_get_coarse_boottime( void )
+ ktime_t ktime_get_coarse_real( void )
+ ktime_t ktime_get_coarse_clocktai( void )
+ ktime_t ktime_get_coarse_raw( void )
+
+.. c:function:: void ktime_get_coarse_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+ void ktime_get_coarse_boottime_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+ void ktime_get_coarse_real_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+ void ktime_get_coarse_clocktai_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+ void ktime_get_coarse_raw_ts64( struct timespec64 * )
+
+ These are quicker than the non-coarse versions, but less accurate,
+ corresponding to CLOCK_MONONOTNIC_COARSE and CLOCK_REALTIME_COARSE
+ in user space, along with the equivalent boottime/tai/raw
+ timebase not available in user space.
+
+ The time returned here corresponds to the last timer tick, which
+ may be as much as 10ms in the past (for CONFIG_HZ=100), same as
+ reading the 'jiffies' variable. These are only useful when called
+ in a fast path and one still expects better than second accuracy,
+ but can't easily use 'jiffies', e.g. for inode timestamps.
+ Skipping the hardware clock access saves around 100 CPU cycles
+ on most modern machines with a reliable cycle counter, but
+ up to several microseconds on older hardware with an external
+ clocksource.
+
+.. c:function:: u64 ktime_get_mono_fast_ns( void )
+ u64 ktime_get_raw_fast_ns( void )
+ u64 ktime_get_boot_fast_ns( void )
+ u64 ktime_get_real_fast_ns( void )
+
+ These variants are safe to call from any context, including from
+ a non-maskable interrupt (NMI) during a timekeeper update, and
+ while we are entering suspend with the clocksource powered down.
+ This is useful in some tracing or debugging code as well as
+ machine check reporting, but most drivers should never call them,
+ since the time is allowed to jump under certain conditions.
+
+Deprecated time interfaces
+--------------------------
+
+Older kernels used some other interfaces that are now being phased out
+but may appear in third-party drivers being ported here. In particular,
+all interfaces returning a 'struct timeval' or 'struct timespec' have
+been replaced because the tv_sec member overflows in year 2038 on 32-bit
+architectures. These are the recommended replacements:
+
+.. c:function:: void ktime_get_ts( struct timespec * )
+
+ Use ktime_get() or ktime_get_ts64() instead.
+
+.. c:function:: struct timeval do_gettimeofday( void )
+ struct timespec getnstimeofday( void )
+ struct timespec64 getnstimeofday64( void )
+ void ktime_get_real_ts( struct timespec * )
+
+ ktime_get_real_ts64() is a direct replacement, but consider using
+ monotonic time (ktime_get_ts64()) and/or a ktime_t based interface
+ (ktime_get()/ktime_get_real()).
+
+.. c:function:: struct timespec current_kernel_time( void )
+ struct timespec64 current_kernel_time64( void )
+ struct timespec get_monotonic_coarse( void )
+ struct timespec64 get_monotonic_coarse64( void )
+
+ These are replaced by ktime_get_coarse_real_ts64() and
+ ktime_get_coarse_ts64(). However, A lot of code that wants
+ coarse-grained times can use the simple 'jiffies' instead, while
+ some drivers may actually want the higher resolution accessors
+ these days.
+
+.. c:function:: struct timespec getrawmonotonic( void )
+ struct timespec64 getrawmonotonic64( void )
+ struct timespec timekeeping_clocktai( void )
+ struct timespec64 timekeeping_clocktai64( void )
+ struct timespec get_monotonic_boottime( void )
+ struct timespec64 get_monotonic_boottime64( void )
+
+ These are replaced by ktime_get_raw()/ktime_get_raw_ts64(),
+ ktime_get_clocktai()/ktime_get_clocktai_ts64() as well
+ as ktime_get_boottime()/ktime_get_boottime_ts64().
+ However, if the particular choice of clock source is not
+ important for the user, consider converting to
+ ktime_get()/ktime_get_ts64() instead for consistency.
diff --git a/include/linux/timekeeping.h b/include/linux/timekeeping.h
index 86bc2026efce..947b1b8d2d01 100644
--- a/include/linux/timekeeping.h
+++ b/include/linux/timekeeping.h
@@ -21,6 +21,21 @@ extern int do_sys_settimeofday64(const struct timespec64 *tv,
const struct timezone *tz);

/*
+ * ktime_get() family: read the current time in a multitude of ways,
+ *
+ * The default time reference is CLOCK_MONOTONIC, starting at
+ * boot time but not counting the time spent in suspend.
+ * For other references, use the functions with "real", "clocktai",
+ * "boottime" and "raw" suffixes.
+ *
+ * To get the time in a different format, use the ones wit
+ * "ns", "ts64" and "seconds" suffix.
+ *
+ * See Documentation/core-api/timekeeping.rst for more details.
+ */
+
+
+/*
* timespec64 based interfaces
*/
extern void ktime_get_raw_ts64(struct timespec64 *ts);
--
2.9.0
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