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SubjectRe: dataring_push() barriers Re: [RFC PATCH v4 1/9] printk-rb: add a new printk ringbuffer implementation
On 2019-08-27, Petr Mladek <> wrote:
>>>> +/**
>>>> + * dataring_push() - Reserve a data block in the data array.
>>>> + *
>>>> + * @dr: The data ringbuffer to reserve data in.
>>>> + *
>>>> + * @size: The size to reserve.
>>>> + *
>>>> + * @desc: A pointer to a descriptor to store the data block information.
>>>> + *
>>>> + * @id: The ID of the descriptor to be associated.
>>>> + * The data block will not be set with @id, but rather initialized with
>>>> + * a value that is explicitly different than @id. This is to handle the
>>>> + * case when newly available garbage by chance matches the descriptor
>>>> + * ID.
>>>> + *
>>>> + * This function expects to move the head pointer forward. If this would
>>>> + * result in overtaking the data array index of the tail, the tail data block
>>>> + * will be invalidated.
>>>> + *
>>>> + * Return: A pointer to the reserved writer data, otherwise NULL.
>>>> + *
>>>> + * This will only fail if it was not possible to invalidate the tail data
>>>> + * block.
>>>> + */
>>>> +char *dataring_push(struct dataring *dr, unsigned int size,
>>>> + struct dr_desc *desc, unsigned long id)
>>>> +{
>>>> + unsigned long begin_lpos;
>>>> + unsigned long next_lpos;
>>>> + struct dr_datablock *db;
>>>> + bool ret;
>>>> +
>>>> + to_db_size(&size);
>>>> +
>>>> + do {
>>>> + /* fA: */
>>>> + ret = get_new_lpos(dr, size, &begin_lpos, &next_lpos);
>>>> +
>>>> + /*
>>>> + * fB:
>>>> + *
>>>> + * The data ringbuffer tail may have been pushed (by this or
>>>> + * any other task). The updated @tail_lpos must be visible to
>>>> + * all observers before changes to @begin_lpos, @next_lpos, or
>>>> + * @head_lpos by this task are visible in order to allow other
>>>> + * tasks to recognize the invalidation of the data
>>>> + * blocks.
>>> This sounds strange. The write barrier should be done only on CPU
>>> that really modified tail_lpos. I.e. it should be in _dataring_pop()
>>> after successful dr->tail_lpos modification.
>> The problem is that there are no data dependencies between the different
>> variables. When a new datablock is being reserved, it is critical that
>> all other observers see that the tail_lpos moved forward _before_ any
>> other changes. _dataring_pop() uses an smp_rmb() to synchronize for
>> tail_lpos movement.
> It should be symmetric. It makes sense that _dataring_pop() uses an
> smp_rmb(). Then there should be wmb() in dataring_push().

dataring_pop() is adjusting the tail. dataring_push() is adjusting the
head. These operations are handled (ordered) separately. They do not
need be happening in lockstep. They don't need to be happening on the
same CPU.

> The wmb() should be done only by the CPU that actually did the write.
> And it should be done after the write. This is why I suggested to
> do it after cmpxchg(dr->head_lpos).

If CPU0 issues an smp_wmb() after moving the tail and (after seeing the
moved tail) CPU1 issues an smp_wmb() after updating the head, it is
still possible for CPU2 to see the head move (and possibly even overtake
the tail) before seeing the tail move.

If a CPU didn't move the tail but _will_ move the head, only a full
memory barrier will allow _all_ observers to see the tail move before
seeing the head move.

>> This CPU is about to make some changes and may have seen an updated
>> tail_lpos. An smp_wmb() is useless if this is not the CPU that
>> performed that update. The full memory barrier ensures that all other
>> observers will see what this CPU sees before any of its future
>> changes are seen.
> I do not understand it. Full memory barrier will not cause that all
> CPUs will see the same.

I did not write that. I wrote (emphasis added):

The full memory barrier ensures that all other observers will see
what _this_ CPU sees before any of _its_ future changes are seen.

> These barriers need to be symmetric.

They are. The comments for fB list the pairs (all being
smp_mb()/smp_rmb() pairings).

> Back to our situation:
> + rmb() should not be needed here because get_new_lpos() provided
> a valid lpos.
> + wmb() is not needed because we have not written anything yet
> If there was a race with another CPU than cmpxchg(dr->head_lpos)
> would fail and we will need to repeat everything again.

It's not about racing to update the head. It's about making sure that
_all_ CPUs observe that a datablock was invalidated _before_ observing
that _this_ CPU started modifying other shared variables. And again,
this CPU might _not_ be the one that invalidated the datablock
(i.e. moved the tail).

John Ogness

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