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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 04/14] pipe: Add O_NOTIFICATION_PIPE [ver #2]
On Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 10:48 AM David Howells <dhowells@redhat.com> wrote:
>
> Andy Lutomirski <luto@kernel.org> wrote:
>
> > > Add an O_NOTIFICATION_PIPE flag that can be passed to pipe2() to indicate
> > > that the pipe being created is going to be used for notifications. This
> > > suppresses the use of splice(), vmsplice(), tee() and sendfile() on the
> > > pipe as calling iov_iter_revert() on a pipe when a kernel notification
> > > message has been inserted into the middle of a multi-buffer splice will be
> > > messy.
> >
> > How messy?
>
> Well, iov_iter_revert() on a pipe iterator simply walks backwards along the
> ring discarding the last N contiguous slots (where N is normally the number of
> slots that were filled by whatever operation is being reverted).
>
> However, unless the code that transfers stuff into the pipe takes the spinlock
> spinlock and disables softirqs for the duration of its ring filling, what were
> N contiguous slots may now have kernel notifications interspersed - even if it
> has been holding the pipe mutex.
>
> So, now what do you do? You have to free up just the buffers relevant to the
> iterator and then you can either compact down the ring to free up the space or
> you can leave null slots and let the read side clean them up, thereby
> reducing the capacity of the pipe temporarily.
>
> Either way, iov_iter_revert() gets more complex and has to hold the spinlock.

I feel like I'm missing something fundamental here.

I can open a normal pipe from userspace (with pipe() or pipe2()), and
I can have two threads. One thread writes to the pipe with write().
The other thread writes with splice(). Everything works fine. What's
special about notifications?

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