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Date:	Mon,  6 Oct 2014 20:32:41 +0200
From:	Manfred Spraul <>
To:	Andrew Morton <>
Cc:	LKML <>,
	Davidlohr Bueso <>,
	Michael Kerrisk <>,
	Rafael Aquini <>,
	Rik van Riel <>,,
	Manfred Spraul <>
Subject: [PATCH 1/3] ipc/sem.c: Chance memory barrier in sem_lock() to smp_rmb()

When I fixed bugs in the sem_lock() logic, I was more conservative than
Therefore it is safe to replace the smp_mb() with smp_rmb().
And: With smp_rmb(), semop() syscalls are up to 10% faster.

The race we must protect against is:

	sem->lock is free
	sma->complex_count = 0
	sma->sem_perm.lock held by thread B

thread A:

A: spin_lock(&sem->lock)

			B: sma->complex_count++; (now 1)
			B: spin_unlock(&sma->sem_perm.lock);

A: spin_is_locked(&sma->sem_perm.lock);
A: XXXXX memory barrier
A: if (sma->complex_count == 0)

Thread A must read the increased complex_count value, i.e. the read must
not be reordered with the read of sem_perm.lock done by spin_is_locked().

Since it's about ordering of reads, smp_rmb() is sufficient.

Signed-off-by: Manfred Spraul <>
 ipc/sem.c | 12 +++++++++---
 1 file changed, 9 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/ipc/sem.c b/ipc/sem.c
index 454f6c6..ffc71de 100644
--- a/ipc/sem.c
+++ b/ipc/sem.c
@@ -326,10 +326,16 @@ static inline int sem_lock(struct sem_array *sma, struct sembuf *sops,
 		/* Then check that the global lock is free */
 		if (!spin_is_locked(&sma->sem_perm.lock)) {
-			/* spin_is_locked() is not a memory barrier */
-			smp_mb();
+			/*
+			 * The next test must happen after the test for
+			 * sem_perm.lock, otherwise we can race with another
+			 * thread that does
+			 *	complex_count++;spin_unlock(sem_perm.lock);
+			 */
+			smp_rmb();
-			/* Now repeat the test of complex_count:
+			/*
+			 * Now repeat the test of complex_count:
 			 * It can't change anymore until we drop sem->lock.
 			 * Thus: if is now 0, then it will stay 0.

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