lists  /  announce  owl-users  owl-dev  john-users  john-dev  passwdqc-users  yescrypt  popa3d-users  /  oss-security  kernel-hardening  musl  sabotage  tlsify  passwords  /  crypt-dev  xvendor  /  Bugtraq  Full-Disclosure  linux-kernel  linux-netdev  linux-ext4  PHC 
Open Source and information security mailing list archives
Hash Suite: Windows password security audit tool. GUI, reports in PDF.
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date:   Wed, 29 Nov 2017 11:04:53 -0800
From:   Daniel Lustig <>
To:     Alan Stern <>,
        "Paul E. McKenney" <>,
        Andrea Parri <>,
        Luc Maranget <>,
        Jade Alglave <>,
        Boqun Feng <>,
        Nicholas Piggin <>,
        Peter Zijlstra <>,
        Will Deacon <>,
        David Howells <>,
        Palmer Dabbelt <>
CC:     Kernel development list <>
Subject: Re: Unlock-lock questions and the Linux Kernel Memory Model

On 11/27/2017 1:16 PM, Alan Stern wrote:
> This is essentially a repeat of an email I sent out before the
> Thanksgiving holiday, the assumption being that lack of any responses
> was caused by the holiday break.  (And this time the message is CC'ed
> to LKML, so there will be a public record of it.)
> A few people have said they believe the Linux Kernel Memory Model
> should make unlock followed by lock (of the same variable) act as a
> write memory barrier.  In other words, they want the memory model to
> forbid the following litmus test:
> I (and others!) would like to know people's opinions on these matters.
> Alan Stern

While we're here, let me ask about another test which isn't directly
about unlock/lock but which is still somewhat related to this

"MP+wmb+xchg-acq" (or some such)


P0(int *x, int *y)
        WRITE_ONCE(*x, 1);
        WRITE_ONCE(*y, 1);

P1(int *x, int *y)
        r1 = atomic_xchg_relaxed(y, 2);
        r2 = smp_load_acquire(y);
        r3 = READ_ONCE(*x);

exists (1:r1=1 /\ 1:r2=2 /\ 1:r3=0)

C/C++ would call the atomic_xchg_relaxed part of a release sequence
and hence would forbid this outcome.

x86 and Power would forbid this.  ARM forbids this via a special-case
rule in the memory model, ordering atomics with later load-acquires.

RISC-V, however, wouldn't forbid this by default using RCpc or RCsc
atomics for smp_load_acquire().  It's an "fri; rfi" type of pattern,
because xchg doesn't have an inherent internal data dependency.

If the Linux memory model is going to forbid this outcome, then
RISC-V would either need to use fences instead, or maybe we'd need to
add a special rule to our memory model similarly.  This is one detail
where RISC-V is still actively deciding what to do.

Have you all thought about this test before?  Any idea which way you
are leaning regarding the outcome above?


Powered by blists - more mailing lists