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Date:   Tue, 26 Mar 2019 16:44:29 +0800
From:   Tianyu Lan <>
To:     Thomas Gleixner <>
Cc:     Ingo Molnar <>,
        Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk <>,,,
        Peter Zijlstra <>,
        Jiri Kosina <>, Rik van Riel <>,
        Andy Lutomirski <>,
        Tianyu Lan <>,, KY Srinivasan <>,
        Greg KH <>,
        LKML <>,,
        Linus Torvalds <>,
        Borislav Petkov <>
Subject: Re: [Fix PATCH] cpu/hotplug: Fix bug report when add "nosmt"
 parameter with CONFIG_HOTPLUG_CPU=N

Hi Thomas:
           Thanks for your review.

On Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 6:39 AM Thomas Gleixner <> wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Mar 2019, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
> > That has nothing to do with 'nosmt'. It's a general bug in the rollback
> > code when HOTPLUG_CPU=n. 'nosmt' is using the rollback mechanism and is
> > just a reliable way to trigger the problem. This happens in the same way
> > when the bringup of a CPU fails for any other reason. That bug was there
> > way before 0cc3cd21657b.
> >
> > I'll have a look, but I fear that needs some surgery to fix.
> This is SMP=y HOTPLUG_CPU=n case is broken and was broken forever.
> Of course that tglx moron did not notice this particular wreckage when
> cleaning up the hotplug code. So we just kept the historical brainfart
> around.
> The problem is that a failure in the bringup path triggers the rollback
> down to the point where the CPU is dead and resources are cleaned up.
> But the interesting part of the rollback, i.e. takedown_cpu(), is not
> available when CONFIG_HOTPLUG_CPU=n.
> As a consequence the former CPU_DYING callbacks are invoked on the control
> CPU with interrupts disabled. That rightfully explodes and even if
> interrupts were disabled then it's still violating the fundamental
> requirements of CPU unplug which include stop machine and various
> synchronizations in facilities like RCU which are all unavailable with
> The pre state machine code has a different failure mode, but the end result
> is a straight forward crash as well. Just less obvious to decode.
> So the SMP=y HOTPLUG_CPU=n onlining is just working by chance as long as
> none of the bringup callbacks fails.
> 'nosmt' exposes this flaw nicely because the wonderful MCE design of x86
> forces us to bringup the sibling thread and then tear it down right
> away. That's equivalent to a callback failure and triggers the same
> rollback code which is broken...
> But this is not a x86 only problem. Any architecture which supports the
> SMP=y HOTPLUG_CPU=n combination suffers from the same issue. It's just less
> likely to be triggered because in 99.99999% of the cases all bringup
> callbacks succeed.
> Now making HOTPLUG_CPU mandatory for SMP is not working on all
> architectures as the following architectures have either no hotplug support
> at all or not all subarchitectures support it:
> alpha, arc, hexagon, openrisc, riscv, sparc (32bit), mips (partial).
> So I looked into a 'minimal rollback' for the HOTPLUG=n case which prevents
> at least the full crash. That would mean:
>  - the CPU is brought down to the point where the stop_machine takedown
>    would happen.
>  - the CPU stays there forever and is idle
>  - The CPU is cleared in the CPU active mask, but not in the CPU online
>    mask which is a legit state.
>  - Interrupts are not forced away from the CPU
>  - All facilities which only look at online mask would still see it, but
>    that is the case on normal hotplug/unplug operations as well. It's just
>    a longer time frame.
> There might be some subtle stuff broken, but that's something we should
> figure out anyway as it's then also broken during unplug to the point where
> it is actually taken down. Letting it stay there just increases the time
> window. Same applies for the onlining path.
> And indeed with that minimal rollback workaround in place this makes the
> vmstat code trigger an preemtible warning because it schedules work on a
> CPU which is online but inactive. The workqueue for that CPU is not bound
> yet and that triggers a preemptible warning of some sort over and over.
> And that's not a problem of the workaround. Just onlining the CPU to the
> same point makes that problem visible as well.
> A simple test which delayed the full onlining of a CPU and a test module
> scheduling work on this already marked online CPU triggers the same issue
> when the worker callback uses e.g. this_cpu_read(). So there is some nasty
> crap lurking all over the place.
> We surely want to fix the fallout of this, but I think the sane short term
> solution for x86 is to enforce HOTPLUG_CPU when SMP is enabled which is
> also the sane and simple fix for backporting. That 'nosmt' stuff is popular
> nowadays for some reasons.
> Minimal rollback patch to prevent crashing below.
> Thoughts?

Yes, you are right. The "nosmt" parameter just exposes the issue and
root cause is that
DYING callbacks should be called with interrupts disabled.I didn't
notice synchronizations
(e.g RCU) were also not available when HOTPLUG_CPU=n. Other
synchronization issues
maybe not exposed.

Agree. Force HOTPLUG_CPU=Y if SMP=Y on x86 would be a quick fix and it's easy to
be backported.

>         tglx
> 8<----------------
> --- a/kernel/cpu.c
> +++ b/kernel/cpu.c
> @@ -564,6 +564,20 @@ static void undo_cpu_up(unsigned int cpu
>                 cpuhp_invoke_callback(cpu, st->state, false, NULL, NULL);
>  }
> +static inline bool can_rollback_cpu(struct cpuhp_cpu_state *st)
> +{
> +               return true;
> +       /*
> +        * When CPU hotplug is disabled, then taking the CPU down is not
> +        * possible because takedown_cpu() and the architecture and
> +        * subsystem specific mechanisms are not available. So the CPU
> +        * which would be completely unplugged again needs to stay around
> +        * in the current state, i.e. <= CPUHP_AP_ONLINE_IDLE.
> +        */
> +       return st->state <= CPUHP_BRINGUP_CPU;
> +}
> +
>  static int cpuhp_up_callbacks(unsigned int cpu, struct cpuhp_cpu_state *st,
>                               enum cpuhp_state target)
>  {
> @@ -574,8 +588,10 @@ static int cpuhp_up_callbacks(unsigned i
>                 st->state++;
>                 ret = cpuhp_invoke_callback(cpu, st->state, true, NULL, NULL);
>                 if (ret) {
> -                       st->target = prev_state;
> -                       undo_cpu_up(cpu, st);
> +                       if (can_rollback_cpu(st)) {
> +                               st->target = prev_state;
> +                               undo_cpu_up(cpu, st);
> +                       }
>                         break;
>                 }
>         }

I have tested your patch. It resolves the crash with "nosmt" parameter.
Best regards
Tianyu Lan

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