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SubjectRe: [PATCH kcsan 17/32] kcsan: Introduce ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_* macros
On Fri, Mar 13, 2020 at 05:15:32PM +0100, Marco Elver wrote:
> On Fri, 13 Mar 2020 at 09:52, Boqun Feng <boqun.feng@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Marco,
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 09, 2020 at 12:04:05PM -0700, paulmck@kernel.org wrote:
> > > From: Marco Elver <elver@google.com>
> > >
> > > Introduces ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER and ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_ACCESS, which
> > > may be used to assert properties of synchronization logic, where
> > > violation cannot be detected as a normal data race.
> > >
> > > Examples of the reports that may be generated:
> > >
> > > ==================================================================
> > > BUG: KCSAN: assert: race in test_thread / test_thread
> > >
> > > write to 0xffffffffab3d1540 of 8 bytes by task 466 on cpu 2:
> > > test_thread+0x8d/0x111
> > > debugfs_write.cold+0x32/0x44
> > > ...
> > >
> > > assert no writes to 0xffffffffab3d1540 of 8 bytes by task 464 on cpu 0:
> > > test_thread+0xa3/0x111
> > > debugfs_write.cold+0x32/0x44
> > > ...
> > > ==================================================================
> > >
> > > ==================================================================
> > > BUG: KCSAN: assert: race in test_thread / test_thread
> > >
> > > assert no accesses to 0xffffffffab3d1540 of 8 bytes by task 465 on cpu 1:
> > > test_thread+0xb9/0x111
> > > debugfs_write.cold+0x32/0x44
> > > ...
> > >
> > > read to 0xffffffffab3d1540 of 8 bytes by task 464 on cpu 0:
> > > test_thread+0x77/0x111
> > > debugfs_write.cold+0x32/0x44
> > > ...
> > > ==================================================================
> > >
> > > Signed-off-by: Marco Elver <elver@google.com>
> > > Suggested-by: Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@kernel.org>
> > > Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@kernel.org>
> > > ---
> > > include/linux/kcsan-checks.h | 40 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> > > 1 file changed, 40 insertions(+)
> > >
> > > diff --git a/include/linux/kcsan-checks.h b/include/linux/kcsan-checks.h
> > > index 5dcadc2..cf69617 100644
> > > --- a/include/linux/kcsan-checks.h
> > > +++ b/include/linux/kcsan-checks.h
> > > @@ -96,4 +96,44 @@ static inline void kcsan_check_access(const volatile void *ptr, size_t size,
> > > kcsan_check_access(ptr, size, KCSAN_ACCESS_ATOMIC | KCSAN_ACCESS_WRITE)
> > > #endif
> > >
> > > +/**
> > > + * ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER - assert no other threads are writing @var
> > > + *
> > > + * Assert that there are no other threads writing @var; other readers are
> > > + * allowed. This assertion can be used to specify properties of concurrent code,
> > > + * where violation cannot be detected as a normal data race.
> > > + *
> >
> > I like the idea that we can assert no other writers, however I think
> > assertions like ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER() are a little limited. For
> > example, if we have the following code:
> >
> > preempt_disable();
> > do_sth();
> > raw_cpu_write(var, 1);
> > do_sth_else();
> > preempt_enable();
> >
> > we can add the assert to detect another potential writer like:
> >
> > preempt_disable();
> > do_sth();
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var);
> > raw_cpu_write(var, 1);
> > do_sth_else();
> > preempt_enable();
> >
> > , but, if I understand how KCSAN works correctly, it only works if the
> > another writer happens when the ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var) is called,
> > IOW, it can only detect another writer between do_sth() and
> > raw_cpu_write(). But our intent is to prevent other writers for the
> > whole preemption-off section. With this assertion introduced, people may
> > end up with code like:
>
> To confirm: KCSAN will detect a race if it sets up a watchpoint on
> ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var), and a concurrent write happens. Note
> that the watchpoints aren't always set up, but only periodically
> (discussed more below). For every watchpoint, we also inject an
> artificial delay. Pseudo-code:
>
> if watchpoint for access already set up {
> consume watchpoint;
> else if should set up watchpoint {
> setup watchpoint;
> udelay(...);
> check watchpoint consumed;
> release watchpoint;
> }
>

Yes, I get this part.

> > preempt_disable();
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var);
> > do_sth();
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var);
> > raw_cpu_write(var, 1);
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var);
> > do_sth_else();
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var);
> > preempt_enable();
> >
> > and that is horrible...
>
> It is, and I would strongly discourage any such use, because it's not
> necessary. See below.
>
> > So how about making a pair of annotations
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_BEGIN() and ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_END(), so
> > that we can write code like:
> >
> > preempt_disable();
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_BEGIN(var);
> > do_sth();
> > raw_cpu_write(var, 1);
> > do_sth_else();
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_END(var);
> > preempt_enable();
> >
> > ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_BEGIN() could be a rough version of watchpoint
> > setting up and ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_END() could be watchpoint
> > removing. So I think it's feasible.
>
> Keep in mind that the time from ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_BEGIN to END
> might be on the order of a few nanosec, whereas KCSAN's default
> watchpoint delay is 10s of microsec (default ~80 for tasks). That
> means we would still have to set up a delay somewhere, and the few
> nanosec between BEGIN and END are insignificant and don't buy us
> anything.
>

Yeah, the delay doesn't buy us anything given the default watchpoint
delay, and I agree even with *_{BEGIN/END}, we still need to set up a
delay somewhere. Adding a delay makes the watchpoint live longer so that
a problem will more likely happen, but sometimes the delay won't be
enough, considering another writer like:

if (per_cpu(var, cpu) == 1)
per_cpu(var, cpu) = 0;

in this user case, percpu variable "var" is used for maintaining some
state machine, and a CPU set a state with its own variable so that other
CPUs can consume it. And this another writer cannot be catched by:

preempt_disable();
do_sth();
ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var);
raw_cpu_write(var, 1);
do_sth_else();
preempt_enable();

, no matter how long the delay is set. Another example: let's say the
do_sth_else() above is actually an operation that queues a callback
which writes to "var". In one version, do_sth_else() uses call_rcu(),
which works, because preemption-off is treated as RCU read-side critical
section, so we are fine. But if someone else changes it to queue_work()
for some reason, the code is just broken, and KCSAN cannot detect it, no
matter how long the delay is.

To summarize, a delay is helpful to trigger a problem because it allows
_other_ CPU/threads to run more code and do more memory accesses,
however it's not helpful if a particular problem happens due to some
memory effects of the current/watched CPU/thread. While *_{BEGIN/END}
can be helpful in this case.

> Re feasibility: Right now setting up and removing watchpoints is not
> exposed, and doing something like this would be an extremely intrusive
> change. Because of that, without being able to quantify the actual
> usefulness of this, and having evaluated better options (see below),
> I'd recommend not pursuing this.
>
> > Thoughts?
>
> Firstly, what is your objective? From what I gather you want to
> increase the probability of detecting a race with 'var'.
>

Right, I want to increase the probablity.

> I agree, and have been thinking about it, but there are other options
> that haven't been exhausted, before we go and make the interface more
> complicated.
>
> == Interface design ==
> The interface as it is right now, is intuitive and using it is hard to
> get wrong. Demanding begin/end markers introduces complexity that will

Yeah, the interface is intuitive, however it's still an extra effort to
put those assertions, right? Which means it doesn't come for free,
compared to other detection KCSAN can do, the developers don't need to
put extra lines of code. Given the extra effort for developers to use
the detect, I think we should dicuss the design thoroughly.

Besides the semantics of assertions is usually "do some checking right
now to see if things go wrong", and I don't think it quite matches the
semantics of an exclusive writer: "in this piece of code, I'm the only
one who can do the write".

> undoubtedly result in incorrect usage, because as soon as you somehow
> forget to end the region, you'll get tons of false positives. This may
> be due to control-flow that was missed etc. We had a similar problem
> with seqlocks, and getting them to work correctly with KCSAN was
> extremely difficult, because clear begin and end markers weren't
> always given. I imagine introducing an interface like this will
> ultimately result in similar problems, as much as we'd like to believe
> this won't ever happen.
>

Well, if we use *_{BEGIN,END} approach, one solution is combining them
with sections introducing primitives (such as preemp_disable() and
preempt_enable()), for example, we can add

#define preempt_disable_for(var) \
do { \
preempt_disable(); \
ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_BEGIN(var); \
}

#define preempt_enable_for(var) \
do { \
ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_END(var); \
preempt_enable(); \
}

(similar for spin lock)

#define spin_lock_for(lock, var) \
do { \
spin_lock(lock); \
ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_BEGIN(var); \
}

#define spin_unlock_for(lock, var) \
do { \
ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER_END(var); \
spin_unlock(lock); \
}

I admit that I haven't thought this thoroughly, but I think this works,
and besides primitives like above can help the reader to understand the
questions like: what this lock/preemption-off critical sections are
protecting?

Thoughts?

Regards,
Boqun

> == Improving race detection for KCSAN_ACCESS_ASSERT access types ==
> There are several options:
>
> 1. Always set up a watchpoint for assert-type accesses, and ignore
> KCSAN_SKIP_WATCH/kcsan_skip counter (see 'should_watch()'). One
> problem with this is that it would seriously impact overall
> performance as soon as we get a few ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_*() in a hot path
> somewhere. A compromise might be simply being more aggressive with
> setting up watchpoints on assert-type accesses.
>
> 2. Let's say in the above example (without BEGIN/END) the total
> duration (via udelay) of watchpoints for 'var' being set up is 4*D.
> Why not just increase the watchpoint delay for assert-type accesses to
> 4*D? Then, just having one ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var) somewhere in
> the region would have the same probability of catching a race.
> (Assuming that the region's remaining execution time is on the order
> of nanosecs.)
>
> I have some limited evidence that (1) is going to help, but not (2).
> This is based on experiments trying to reproduce racy use-after-free
> bugs that KASAN found, but with KCSAN. The problem is that it does
> slow-down overall system performance if in a hot path like an
> allocator. Which led me to a 3rd option.
>
> 3. Do option (1) but do the opposite of (2), i.e. always set up a
> watchpoint on assert-type accesses, but *reduce* the watchpoint delay.
>
> I haven't yet sent a patch for any one of 1-3 because I'm hesitant
> until we can actually show one of them would always be useful and
> improve things. For now, the best thing is to dynamically adjust
> udelay_{task,interrupt} and skip_watch either via Kconfig options or
> /sys/modules/kcsan/parameters/ and not add more complexity without
> good justification. A good stress test will also go a long way.
>
> There are some more (probably bad) ideas I have, but the above are the
> best options for now.
>
> So, anything that somehow increases the total time that a watchpoint
> is set up will increase the probability of detecting a race. However,
> we're also trying to balance overall system performance, as poor
> performance could equally affect race detection negatively (fewer
> instructions executed, etc.). Right now any one of 1-3 might sound
> like a decent idea, but I don't know what it will look like once we
> have dozens of ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_*() in places, especially if a few of
> them are in hot paths.
>
> Thanks,
> -- Marco
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > Regards,
> > Boqun
> >
> > > + * For example, if a per-CPU variable is only meant to be written by a single
> > > + * CPU, but may be read from other CPUs; in this case, reads and writes must be
> > > + * marked properly, however, if an off-CPU WRITE_ONCE() races with the owning
> > > + * CPU's WRITE_ONCE(), would not constitute a data race but could be a harmful
> > > + * race condition. Using this macro allows specifying this property in the code
> > > + * and catch such bugs.
> > > + *
> > > + * @var variable to assert on
> > > + */
> > > +#define ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_WRITER(var) \
> > > + __kcsan_check_access(&(var), sizeof(var), KCSAN_ACCESS_ASSERT)
> > > +
> > > +/**
> > > + * ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_ACCESS - assert no other threads are accessing @var
> > > + *
> > > + * Assert that no other thread is accessing @var (no readers nor writers). This
> > > + * assertion can be used to specify properties of concurrent code, where
> > > + * violation cannot be detected as a normal data race.
> > > + *
> > > + * For example, in a reference-counting algorithm where exclusive access is
> > > + * expected after the refcount reaches 0. We can check that this property
> > > + * actually holds as follows:
> > > + *
> > > + * if (refcount_dec_and_test(&obj->refcnt)) {
> > > + * ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_ACCESS(*obj);
> > > + * safely_dispose_of(obj);
> > > + * }
> > > + *
> > > + * @var variable to assert on
> > > + */
> > > +#define ASSERT_EXCLUSIVE_ACCESS(var) \
> > > + __kcsan_check_access(&(var), sizeof(var), KCSAN_ACCESS_WRITE | KCSAN_ACCESS_ASSERT)
> > > +
> > > #endif /* _LINUX_KCSAN_CHECKS_H */
> > > --
> > > 2.9.5
> > >

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