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SubjectRe: Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN)
On Sat, Oct 5, 2019 at 6:16 AM Dmitry Vyukov <dvyukov@google.com> wrote:
>
> On Sat, Oct 5, 2019 at 2:58 AM Eric Dumazet <eric.dumazet@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > This one is tricky. What I think we need to avoid is an onslaught of
> > > patches adding READ_ONCE/WRITE_ONCE without a concrete analysis of the
> > > code being modified. My worry is that Joe Developer is eager to get their
> > > first patch into the kernel, so runs this tool and starts spamming
> > > maintainers with these things to the point that they start ignoring KCSAN
> > > reports altogether because of the time they take up.
> > >
> > > I suppose one thing we could do is to require each new READ_ONCE/WRITE_ONCE
> > > to have a comment describing the racy access, a bit like we do for memory
> > > barriers. Another possibility would be to use atomic_t more widely if
> > > there is genuine concurrency involved.
> > >
> >
> > About READ_ONCE() and WRITE_ONCE(), we will probably need
> >
> > ADD_ONCE(var, value) for arches that can implement the RMW in a single instruction.
> >
> > WRITE_ONCE(var, var + value) does not look pretty, and increases register pressure.
>
> FWIW modern compilers can handle this if we tell them what we are trying to do:
>
> void foo(int *p, int x)
> {
> x += __atomic_load_n(p, __ATOMIC_RELAXED);
> __atomic_store_n(p, x, __ATOMIC_RELAXED);
> }
>
> $ clang test.c -c -O2 && objdump -d test.o
>
> 0000000000000000 <foo>:
> 0: 01 37 add %esi,(%rdi)
> 2: c3 retq
>
> We can have syntactic sugar on top of this of course.

An interesting precedent come up in another KCSAN bug report. Namely,
it may be reasonable for a compiler to use different optimization
heuristics for concurrent and non-concurrent code. Consider there are
some legal code transformations, but it's unclear if they are
profitable or not. It may be the case that for non-concurrent code the
expectation is that it's a profitable transformation, but for
concurrent code it is not. So that may be another reason to
communicate to compiler what we want to do, rather than trying to
trick and play against each other. I've added the concrete example
here:
https://github.com/google/ktsan/wiki/READ_ONCE-and-WRITE_ONCE#it-may-improve-performance

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