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Date:   Thu, 21 Dec 2017 17:30:36 -0800
From:   "Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>
To:     Matthew Wilcox <willy@...radead.org>
Cc:     rao.shoaib@...cle.com, linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org,
        brouer@...hat.com, linux-mm@...ck.org
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Move kfree_call_rcu() to slab_common.c

On Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 05:27:41PM -0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 09:06:28AM -0800, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> > On Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 07:54:34AM -0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > > > +/* Queue an RCU callback for lazy invocation after a grace period.
> > > > + * Currently there is no way of tagging the lazy RCU callbacks in the
> > > > + * list of pending callbacks. Until then, this function may only be
> > > > + * called from kfree_call_rcu().
> > > 
> > > But now we might have a way.
> > > 
> > > If the value in ->func is too small to be a valid function, RCU invokes
> > > a fixed function name.  This function can then look at ->func and do
> > > whatever it wants, for example, maintaining an array indexed by the
> > > ->func value that says what function to call and what else to pass it,
> > > including for example the slab pointer and offset.
> > > 
> > > Thoughts?
> > 
> > Thought 1 is that we can force functions to be quad-byte aligned on all
> > architectures (gcc option -falign-functions=...), so we can have more
> > than the 4096 different values we currently use.  We can get 63.5 bits of
> > information into that ->func argument if we align functions to at least
> > 4 bytes, or 63 if we only force alignment to a 2-byte boundary.  I'm not
> > sure if we support any architecture other than x86 with byte-aligned
> > instructions.  (I'm assuming that function descriptors as used on POWER
> > and ia64 will also be sensibly aligned).
> 
> I do like this approach, especially should some additional subsystems
> need this sort of special handling from RCU.  It is also much faster
> to demultiplex than alternative schemes based on address ranges and
> the like.

Oh, and having four-byte alignment would allow making laziness orthogonal
to special handling, which should improve energy efficiency of callback
handling by allowing normal call_rcu() callbacks to invoke laziness.
(And would require renaming the call_rcu_lazy() API yet again, sorry Rao!)

							Thanx, Paul

> How many bits are required by slab?  Would ~56 bits (less the bottom
> bit pattern reserved for function pointers) suffice on 64-bit systems
> and ~24 bits on 32-bit systems?  That would allow up to 256 specially
> handled situations, which should be enough.  (Famous last words!)
> 
> > Thought 2 is that the slab is quite capable of getting the slab pointer
> > from the address of the object -- virt_to_head_page(p)->slab_cache
> > So sorting objects by address is as good as storing their slab caches
> > and offsets.
> 
> Different slabs can in some cases interleave their slabs of objects,
> right?  It might well be that grouping together different slabs from
> the same slab cache doesn't help, but seems worth my asking the question.
> 
> > Thought 3 is that we probably don't want to overengineer this.
> > Just allocating a 14-entry buffer (along with an RCU head) is probably
> > enough to give us at least 90% of the wins that a more complex solution
> > would give.
> 
> Can we benchmark this?  After all, memory allocation can sometimes
> counter one's intuition.
> 
> One alternative approach would be to allocate such a buffer per
> slab cache, and run each slab caches through RCU independently.
> Seems like this should allow some savings.  Might not be worthwhile,
> but again seemed worth asking the question.
> 
> 							Thanx, Paul

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