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Date:   Wed, 29 Nov 2017 20:46:02 +0100
From:   Peter Zijlstra <>
To:     Daniel Lustig <>
Cc:     Alan Stern <>,
        "Paul E. McKenney" <>,
        Andrea Parri <>,
        Luc Maranget <>,
        Jade Alglave <>,
        Boqun Feng <>,
        Nicholas Piggin <>,
        Will Deacon <>,
        David Howells <>,
        Palmer Dabbelt <>,
        Kernel development list <>
Subject: Re: Unlock-lock questions and the Linux Kernel Memory Model

On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 11:04:53AM -0800, Daniel Lustig wrote:

> 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
> discussion:
> "MP+wmb+xchg-acq" (or some such)
> {}
> P0(int *x, int *y)
> {
>         WRITE_ONCE(*x, 1);
>         smp_wmb();
>         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.

That's just weird. Either its _relaxed, or its _release. Making _relaxed
mean _release is just daft.

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

Curious, I did not know about that rule. I would've thought ARM would in
fact allow it.

> 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?

FWIW I would expect the reorder to be allowed.

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