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SubjectRe: Adding plain accesses and detecting data races in the LKMM
On Thu, 18 Apr 2019, Andrea Parri wrote:

> > Another question is "should the kernel permit smp_mb__{before,after}*()
> > anywhere other than immediately before or after the primitive being
> > strengthened?"
>
> Mmh, I do think that keeping these barriers "immediately before or after
> the primitive being strengthened" is a good practice (readability, and
> all that), if this is what you're suggesting.
>
> However, a first auditing of the callsites showed that this practice is
> in fact not always applied, notably... ;-)
>
> kernel/rcu/tree_exp.h:sync_exp_work_done
> kernel/sched/cpupri.c:cpupri_set
>
> So there appear, at least, to be some exceptions/reasons for not always
> following it? Thoughts?
>
> BTW, while auditing these callsites, I've stumbled across the following
> snippet (from kernel/futex.c):
>
> *futex = newval;
> sys_futex(WAKE, futex);
> futex_wake(futex);
> smp_mb(); (B)
> if (waiters)
> ...
>
> where B is actually (c.f., futex_get_mm()):
>
> atomic_inc(...->mm_count);
> smp_mb__after_atomic();
>
> It seems worth mentioning the fact that, AFAICT, this sequence does not
> necessarily provide ordering when plain accesses are involved: consider,
> e.g., the following variant of the snippet:
>
> A:*x = 1;
> /*
> * I've "ignored" the syscall, which should provide
> * (at least) a compiler barrier...
> */
> atomic_inc(u);
> smp_mb__after_atomic();
> B:r0 = *y;
>
> On x86, AFAICT, the compiler can do this:
>
> atomic_inc(u);
> A:*x = 1;
> smp_mb__after_atomic();
> B:r0 = *y;
>
> (the implementation of atomic_inc() contains no compiler barrier), then
> the CPU can "reorder" A and B (smp_mb__after_atomic() being #defined to
> a compiler barrier).

Are you saying that on x86, atomic_inc() acts as a full memory barrier
but not as a compiler barrier, and vice versa for
smp_mb__after_atomic()? Or that neither atomic_inc() nor
smp_mb__after_atomic() implements a full memory barrier?

Either one seems like a very dangerous situation indeed.

Alan

> The mips implementation seems also affected by such "reorderings": I am
> not familiar with this implementation but, AFAICT, it does not enforce
> ordering from A to B in the following snippet:
>
> A:*x = 1;
> atomic_inc(u);
> smp_mb__after_atomic();
> B:WRITE_ONCE(*y, 1);
>
> when CONFIG_WEAK_ORDERING=y, CONFIG_WEAK_REORDERING_BEYOND_LLSC=n.
>
> Do these observations make sense to you? Thoughts?
>
> Andrea

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