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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/9] Documentation: Add lock ordering and nesting documentation
Date
Hi,

A few comments for your consideration:

On 3/13/20 10:46 AM, Sebastian Andrzej Siewior wrote:
> From: Thomas Gleixner <tglx@linutronix.de>
>
> The kernel provides a variety of locking primitives. The nesting of these
> lock types and the implications of them on RT enabled kernels is nowhere
> documented.
>
> Add initial documentation.
>
> Signed-off-by: Thomas Gleixner <tglx@linutronix.de>
> Signed-off-by: Sebastian Andrzej Siewior <bigeasy@linutronix.de>
> ---
> Documentation/locking/index.rst | 1 +
> Documentation/locking/locktypes.rst | 298 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> 2 files changed, 299 insertions(+)
> create mode 100644 Documentation/locking/locktypes.rst

> diff --git a/Documentation/locking/locktypes.rst b/Documentation/locking/locktypes.rst
> new file mode 100644
> index 0000000000000..d4c3f2094ad20
> --- /dev/null
> +++ b/Documentation/locking/locktypes.rst
> @@ -0,0 +1,298 @@
> +.. _kernel_hacking_locktypes:
> +
> +==========================
> +Lock types and their rules
> +==========================
> +
> +Introduction
> +============
> +
> +The kernel provides a variety of locking primitives which can be divided
> +into two categories:
> +
> + - Sleeping locks
> + - Spinning locks
> +
> +This document describes the lock types at least at the conceptual level and
> +provides rules for nesting of lock types also under the aspect of PREEMPT_RT.
> +
> +Lock categories
> +===============
> +
> +Sleeping locks
> +--------------
> +
> +Sleeping locks can only be acquired in preemptible task context.
> +
> +Some of the implementations allow try_lock() attempts from other contexts,
> +but that has to be really evaluated carefully including the question
> +whether the unlock can be done from that context safely as well.
> +
> +Note, that some lock types change their implementation details when

Drop comma.

> +debugging is enabled, so this should be really only considered if there is
> +no other option.
> +
> +Sleeping lock types:
> +
> + - mutex
> + - rt_mutex
> + - semaphore
> + - rw_semaphore
> + - ww_mutex
> + - percpu_rw_semaphore
> +
> +On a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel the following lock types are converted to
> +sleeping locks:
> +
> + - spinlock_t
> + - rwlock_t
> +
> +Spinning locks
> +--------------
> +
> + - raw_spinlock_t
> + - bit spinlocks
> +
> +On a non PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel the following lock types are spinning
> +locks as well:
> +
> + - spinlock_t
> + - rwlock_t
> +
> +Spinning locks implicitly disable preemption and the lock / unlock functions
> +can have suffixes which apply further protections:
> +
> + =================== ====================================================
> + _bh() Disable / enable bottom halfs (soft interrupts)

halves

> + _irq() Disable / enable interrupts
> + _irqsave/restore() Save and disable / restore interrupt disabled state
> + =================== ====================================================
> +
> +
> +rtmutex
> +=======
> +
> +RT-mutexes are mutexes with support for priority inheritance (PI).
> +
> +PI has limitations on non PREEMPT_RT enabled kernels due to preemption and
> +interrupt disabled sections.
> +
> +On a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel most of these sections are fully
> +preemptible. This is possible because PREEMPT_RT forces most executions
> +into task context, especially interrupt handlers and soft interrupts, which
> +allows to substitute spinlock_t and rwlock_t with RT-mutex based
> +implementations.
> +
> +
> +raw_spinlock_t and spinlock_t
> +=============================
> +
> +raw_spinlock_t
> +--------------
> +
> +raw_spinlock_t is a strict spinning lock implementation regardless of the
> +kernel configuration including PREEMPT_RT enabled kernels.
> +
> +raw_spinlock_t is to be used only in real critical core code, low level
> +interrupt handling and places where protecting (hardware) state is required
> +to be safe against preemption and eventually interrupts.
> +
> +Another reason to use raw_spinlock_t is when the critical section is tiny
> +to avoid the overhead of spinlock_t on a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel in the
> +contended case.
> +
> +spinlock_t
> +----------
> +
> +The semantics of spinlock_t change with the state of CONFIG_PREEMPT_RT.
> +
> +On a non PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel spinlock_t is mapped to raw_spinlock_t
> +and has exactly the same semantics.
> +
> +spinlock_t and PREEMPT_RT
> +-------------------------
> +
> +On a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel spinlock_t is mapped to a separate
> +implementation based on rt_mutex which changes the semantics:
> +
> + - Preemption is not disabled
> +
> + - The hard interrupt related suffixes for spin_lock / spin_unlock
> + operations (_irq, _irqsave / _irqrestore) do not affect the CPUs
> + interrupt disabled state
> +
> + - The soft interrupt related suffix (_bh()) is still disabling the
> + execution of soft interrupts, but contrary to a non PREEMPT_RT enabled
> + kernel, which utilizes the preemption count, this is achieved by a per
> + CPU bottom half locking mechanism.
> +
> +All other semantics of spinlock_t are preserved:
> +
> + - Migration of tasks which hold a spinlock_t is prevented. On a non
> + PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel this is implicit due to preemption disable.
> + PREEMPT_RT has a separate mechanism to achieve this. This ensures that
> + pointers to per CPU variables stay valid even if the task is preempted.
> +
> + - Task state preservation. The task state is not affected when a lock is
> + contended and the task has to schedule out and wait for the lock to
> + become available. The lock wake up restores the task state unless there
> + was a regular (not lock related) wake up on the task. This ensures that
> + the task state rules are always correct independent of the kernel
> + configuration.
> +
> +rwlock_t
> +========
> +
> +rwlock_t is a multiple readers and single writers lock mechanism.

writer

> +
> +On a non PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel rwlock_t is implemented as a spinning
> +lock and the suffix rules of spinlock_t apply accordingly. The
> +implementation is fair and prevents writer starvation.
> +
> +rwlock_t and PREEMPT_RT
> +-----------------------
> +
> +On a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel rwlock_t is mapped to a separate
> +implementation based on rt_mutex which changes the semantics:
> +
> + - Same changes as for spinlock_t
> +
> + - The implementation is not fair and can cause writer starvation under
> + certain circumstances. The reason for this is that a writer cannot
> + inherit its priority to multiple readers. Readers which are blocked

^^^^^^^ I think this is backwards. Maybe more like so:
a writer cannot
bequeath or grant or bestow or pass down ... its priority to

> + on a writer fully support the priority inheritance protocol.
> +
> +
> +PREEMPT_RT caveats
> +==================
> +
> +spinlock_t and rwlock_t
> +-----------------------
> +
> +The substitution of spinlock_t and rwlock_t on PREEMPT_RT enabled kernels
> +with RT-mutex based implementations has a few implications.
> +
> +On a non PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel the following code construct is
> +perfectly fine::
> +
> + local_irq_disable();
> + spin_lock(&lock);
> +
> +and fully equivalent to::
> +
> + spin_lock_irq(&lock);
> +
> +Same applies to rwlock_t and the _irqsave() suffix variant.
> +
> +On a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel this breaks because the RT-mutex
> +substitution expects a fully preemptible context.
> +
> +The preferred solution is to use :c:func:`spin_lock_irq()` or
> +:c:func:`spin_lock_irqsave()` and their unlock counterparts.
> +
> +PREEMPT_RT also offers a local_lock mechanism to substitute the
> +local_irq_disable/save() constructs in cases where a separation of the
> +interrupt disabling and the locking is really unavoidable. This should be
> +restricted to very rare cases.
> +
> +
> +raw_spinlock_t
> +--------------
> +
> +As raw_spinlock_t locking disables preemption and eventually interrupts the
> +code inside the critical region has to be careful to avoid calls into code

Can I buy a comma in there somewhere, please?
I don't get it as is.

> +which takes regular spinlock_t or rwlock_t. A prime example is memory
> +allocation.
> +
> +On a non PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel the following code construct is
> +perfectly fine code::
> +
> + raw_spin_lock(&lock);
> + p = kmalloc(sizeof(*p), GFP_ATOMIC);
> +
> +On a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel this breaks because the memory allocator is
> +fully preemptible and therefore does not support allocations from truly
> +atomic contexts.
> +
> +Contrary to that the following code construct is perfectly fine on
> +PREEMPT_RT as spin_lock() does not disable preemption::
> +
> + spin_lock(&lock);
> + p = kmalloc(sizeof(*p), GFP_ATOMIC);
> +
> +Most places which use GFP_ATOMIC allocations are safe on PREEMPT_RT as the
> +execution is forced into thread context and the lock substitution is
> +ensuring preemptability.

preemptibility would go along with preemptible

> +
> +
> +bit spinlocks
> +-------------
> +
> +Bit spinlocks are problematic for PREEMPT_RT as they cannot be easily
> +substituted by a RT-mutex based implementation for obvious reasons.

by an

(IMO; depends on how you pronounce it)

> +
> +The semantics of bit spinlocks are preserved on a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel
> +and the caveats vs. raw_spinlock_t apply.
> +
> +Some bit spinlocks are substituted by regular spinlock_t for PREEMPT_RT but
> +this requires conditional (#ifdef'ed) code changes at the usage side while
> +the spinlock_t substitution is simply done by the compiler and the
> +conditionals are restricted to header files and core implementation of the
> +locking primitives and the usage sites do not require any changes.
> +
> +
> +Lock type nesting rules
> +=======================
> +
> +The most basic rules are:
> +
> + - Lock types of the same lock category (sleeping, spinning) can nest
> + arbitrarily as long as they respect the general lock ordering rules to
> + prevent deadlocks.
> +
> + - Sleeping lock types cannot nest inside spinning lock types.
> +
> + - Spinning lock types can nest inside sleeping lock types.
> +
> +These rules apply in general independent of CONFIG_PREEMPT_RT.

independently

> +
> +As PREEMPT_RT changes the lock category of spinlock_t and rwlock_t from
> +spinning to sleeping this has obviously restrictions how they can nest with
> +raw_spinlock_t.
> +
> +This results in the following nest ordering:
> +
> + 1) Sleeping locks
> + 2) spinlock_t and rwlock_t
> + 3) raw_spinlock_t and bit spinlocks
> +
> +Lockdep is aware of these constraints to ensure that they are respected.
> +
> +
> +Owner semantics
> +===============
> +
> +Most lock types in the Linux kernel have strict owner semantics, i.e. the
> +context (task) which acquires a lock has to release it.
> +
> +There are two exceptions:
> +
> + - semaphores
> + - rwsem

rwsems
(plural, like semaphores)

> +
> +semaphores have no strict owner semantics for historical reasons. They are
> +often used for both serialization and waiting purposes. That's generally
> +discouraged and should be replaced by separate serialization and wait
> +mechanisms.
> +
> +rwsem have grown interfaces which allow non owner release for special

rwsems non-owner

> +purposes. This usage is problematic on PREEMPT_RT because PREEMPT_RT
> +substitutes all locking primitives except semaphores with RT-mutex based
> +implementation to provide priority inheritance for all lock types except
> +the truly spinning ones. Priority inheritance on ownerless locks is
> +obviously impossible.
> +
> +For now the rwsem non-owner release excludes code which utilizes it from
> +being used on PREEMPT_RT enabled kernels. In same cases this can be
> +mitigated by disabling portions of the code, in other cases the complete
> +functionality has to be disabled until a workable solution has been found.
>

cheers.
--
~Randy

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