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Date:   Wed, 9 Jan 2019 09:10:53 -0800
From:   "Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@...ux.ibm.com>
To:     Dmitry Vyukov <dvyukov@...gle.com>
Cc:     Andrea Parri <andrea.parri@...rulasolutions.com>,
        Anatol Pomozov <anatol.pomozov@...il.com>,
        Florian Westphal <fw@...len.de>,
        LKML <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
        Andrey Konovalov <andreyknvl@...gle.com>,
        Alan Stern <stern@...land.harvard.edu>,
        Luc Maranget <luc.maranget@...ia.fr>,
        Will Deacon <will.deacon@....com>,
        Peter Zijlstra <peterz@...radead.org>
Subject: Re: seqcount usage in xt_replace_table()

On Wed, Jan 09, 2019 at 01:29:02PM +0100, Dmitry Vyukov wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 1:11 PM Andrea Parri
> <andrea.parri@...rulasolutions.com> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, Jan 09, 2019 at 12:55:27PM +0100, Dmitry Vyukov wrote:
> > > On Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 12:24 PM Andrea Parri
> > > <andrea.parri@...rulasolutions.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > On Tue, Jan 08, 2019 at 04:36:46PM -0800, Anatol Pomozov wrote:
> > > > > Hello
> > > > >
> > > > > On Tue, Jan 8, 2019 at 4:02 PM Andrea Parri
> > > > > <andrea.parri@...rulasolutions.com> wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Hi Anatol,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > On Tue, Jan 08, 2019 at 11:33:39AM -0800, Anatol Pomozov wrote:
> > > > > > > Hello folks,
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > A bit of context what I am doing. I am trying to port KTSAN (Kernel
> > > > > > > Thread Sanitizer) tool to v4.20. That tool tracks shared data usage
> > > > > > > and makes sure it is accessed in a thread-safe manner.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Interesting!  FYI, some LKMM's maintainers (Paul included) had and
> > > > > > continued to have some "fun" discussing topics related to "thread-
> > > > > > safe memory accesses": I'm sure that they'll be very interested in
> > > > > > such work of yours and eager to discuss your results.
> > > > >
> > > > > Thread Sanitizer is a great tool to find thread-safety issues with
> > > > > user-space code. The tool been developed by a team of smart people
> > > > > from Google [1].
> > > > >
> > > > > KTSAN is an attempt to bring the same ideas to Linux kernel [2]. A
> > > > > bunch of work been done there but the project is still at
> > > > > proof-of-concept point.
> > > >
> > > > Yes, I have been aware of these tools since at least  ;-)
> > > >
> > > >   https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/ktsan/bVZ1c6H2NE0/Dxrw55bfBAAJ
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > I am not a part of Google's dynamic tools team. But I've decided to
> > > > > pick something to do during the New Year holidays so started porting
> > > > > KTSAN from v4.2 to v4.20. The work is "almost completed" but I need to
> > > > > fix a few crashes [3].
> > > >
> > > > I guess my first reaction would remain
> > > >
> > > >   "it's kind of hard (to use an euphemism) to review 7,582 additions
> > > >   or so for a data race detector without a clear/an accepted (by the
> > > >   community) notion of data race..."
> > >
> > > Tsan's notion of a data race is basically the C/C++'s notion:
> > > concurrent/unsynchronized non-atomic access in different threads at
> > > least one of which is a write.
> >
> > Yeah, I think that this notion needs to be detailed, discussed,
> > documented, and discussed again. ;-)
> >
> >
> > > Tremendous (for such a project) benefits of automatic data race
> > > detection is a good motivation to finally agree on and accept a
> > > practically useful notion of a data race.
> >
> > Agreed.
> 
> While having a 100% formal definition of a data race upfront would be
> useful, I don't think this is a hard requirement for deployment of
> KTSAN. What I think is required is:
> 1. Agree that the overall direction is right.
> 2. Agree that we want to enable data race detection and resolve
> problems as they appear in a practical manner (rather than block whole
> effort on every small thing).
> We deployed TSAN in user-space in much larger code bases than kernel,
> and while we had the C/C++ formal definition of a data race, practical
> and legacy matters were similar to that of the kernel (lots of legacy
> code, different opinions, etc). Doing both things in tandem (defining
> a memory model and deploying a data race detector) can actually have
> benefits as a race detector may point to under-defined or
> impractically defined areas, and will otherwise help to validate that
> the model works and is useful.
> KTSAN is not fixed as well. We adopted it as we gathered more
> knowledge and understanding of the kernel. So it's not that we have to
> commit to something upfront.

In any case, there might well be some differences in approach between
KTSAN and LKMM due to input size differences:  One would expect LKMM
to be able to tolerate a more computationally intensive definition as
a consequence of KTSAN's ability to process much larger code bases.

But I nevertheless believe that it would be good to have these differences
be a matter of conscious choice rather than a matter of chance.  ;-)

My guess is that LKMM picks its starting point (which might take some
additional time), then KTSAN critiques it, and then we work out what
differences should result in a change to one or the other (or both)
and which differences are inherent in the different workloads that LKMM
and KTSAN are presented with.

Seem reasonable?

							Thanx, Paul

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