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Date:	Fri, 17 Aug 2007 07:31:01 -0700
From:	"Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>
To:	Satyam Sharma <satyam@...radead.org>
Cc:	Herbert Xu <herbert@...dor.apana.org.au>,
	Stefan Richter <stefanr@...6.in-berlin.de>,
	Paul Mackerras <paulus@...ba.org>,
	Christoph Lameter <clameter@....com>,
	Chris Snook <csnook@...hat.com>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
	linux-arch@...r.kernel.org,
	Linus Torvalds <torvalds@...ux-foundation.org>,
	netdev@...r.kernel.org, Andrew Morton <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>,
	ak@...e.de, heiko.carstens@...ibm.com, davem@...emloft.net,
	schwidefsky@...ibm.com, wensong@...ux-vs.org, horms@...ge.net.au,
	wjiang@...ilience.com, cfriesen@...tel.com, zlynx@....org,
	rpjday@...dspring.com, jesper.juhl@...il.com,
	segher@...nel.crashing.org
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/24] make atomic_read() behave consistently across all architectures

On Fri, Aug 17, 2007 at 01:09:08PM +0530, Satyam Sharma wrote:
> 
> 
> On Thu, 16 Aug 2007, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> 
> > On Fri, Aug 17, 2007 at 07:59:02AM +0800, Herbert Xu wrote:
> > > On Thu, Aug 16, 2007 at 09:34:41AM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > > >
> > > > The compiler can also reorder non-volatile accesses.  For an example
> > > > patch that cares about this, please see:
> > > > 
> > > > 	http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/8/7/280
> > > > 
> > > > This patch uses an ORDERED_WRT_IRQ() in rcu_read_lock() and
> > > > rcu_read_unlock() to ensure that accesses aren't reordered with respect
> > > > to interrupt handlers and NMIs/SMIs running on that same CPU.
> > > 
> > > Good, finally we have some code to discuss (even though it's
> > > not actually in the kernel yet).
> > 
> > There was some earlier in this thread as well.
> 
> Hmm, I never quite got what all this interrupt/NMI/SMI handling and
> RCU business you mentioned earlier was all about, but now that you've
> pointed to the actual code and issues with it ...

Glad to help...

> > > First of all, I think this illustrates that what you want
> > > here has nothing to do with atomic ops.  The ORDERED_WRT_IRQ
> > > macro occurs a lot more times in your patch than atomic
> > > reads/sets.  So *assuming* that it was necessary at all,
> > > then having an ordered variant of the atomic_read/atomic_set
> > > ops could do just as well.
> > 
> > Indeed.  If I could trust atomic_read()/atomic_set() to cause the compiler
> > to maintain ordering, then I could just use them instead of having to
> > create an  ORDERED_WRT_IRQ().  (Or ACCESS_ONCE(), as it is called in a
> > different patch.)
> 
> +#define WHATEVER(x)	(*(volatile typeof(x) *)&(x))
> 
> I suppose one could want volatile access semantics for stuff that's
> a bit-field too, no?

One could, but this is not supported in general.  So if you want that,
you need to use the usual bit-mask tricks and (for setting) atomic
operations.

> Also, this gives *zero* "re-ordering" guarantees that your code wants
> as you've explained it below) -- neither w.r.t. CPU re-ordering (which
> probably you don't care about) *nor* w.r.t. compiler re-ordering
> (which you definitely _do_ care about).

You are correct about CPU re-ordering (and about the fact that this
example doesn't care about it), but not about compiler re-ordering.

The compiler is prohibited from moving a volatile access across a sequence
point.  One example of a sequence point is a statement boundary.  Because
all of the volatile accesses in this code are separated by statement
boundaries, a conforming compiler is prohibited from reordering them.

> > > However, I still don't know which atomic_read/atomic_set in
> > > your patch would be broken if there were no volatile.  Could
> > > you please point them out?
> > 
> > Suppose I tried replacing the ORDERED_WRT_IRQ() calls with
> > atomic_read() and atomic_set().  Starting with __rcu_read_lock():
> > 
> > o	If "ORDERED_WRT_IRQ(__get_cpu_var(rcu_flipctr)[idx])++"
> > 	was ordered by the compiler after
> > 	"ORDERED_WRT_IRQ(me->rcu_read_lock_nesting) = nesting + 1", then
> > 	suppose an NMI/SMI happened after the rcu_read_lock_nesting but
> > 	before the rcu_flipctr.
> > 
> > 	Then if there was an rcu_read_lock() in the SMI/NMI
> > 	handler (which is perfectly legal), the nested rcu_read_lock()
> > 	would believe that it could take the then-clause of the
> > 	enclosing "if" statement.  But because the rcu_flipctr per-CPU
> > 	variable had not yet been incremented, an RCU updater would
> > 	be within its rights to assume that there were no RCU reads
> > 	in progress, thus possibly yanking a data structure out from
> > 	under the reader in the SMI/NMI function.
> > 
> > 	Fatal outcome.  Note that only one CPU is involved here
> > 	because these are all either per-CPU or per-task variables.
> 
> Ok, so you don't care about CPU re-ordering. Still, I should let you know
> that your ORDERED_WRT_IRQ() -- bad name, btw -- is still buggy. What you
> want is a full compiler optimization barrier().

No.  See above.

> [ Your code probably works now, and emits correct code, but that's
>   just because of gcc did what it did. Nothing in any standard,
>   or in any documented behaviour of gcc, or anything about the real
>   (or expected) semantics of "volatile" is protecting the code here. ]

Really?  Why doesn't the prohibition against moving volatile accesses
across sequence points take care of this?

> > o	If "ORDERED_WRT_IRQ(me->rcu_read_lock_nesting) = nesting + 1"
> > 	was ordered by the compiler to follow the
> > 	"ORDERED_WRT_IRQ(me->rcu_flipctr_idx) = idx", and an NMI/SMI
> > 	happened between the two, then an __rcu_read_lock() in the NMI/SMI
> > 	would incorrectly take the "else" clause of the enclosing "if"
> > 	statement.  If some other CPU flipped the rcu_ctrlblk.completed
> > 	in the meantime, then the __rcu_read_lock() would (correctly)
> > 	write the new value into rcu_flipctr_idx.
> > 
> > 	Well and good so far.  But the problem arises in
> > 	__rcu_read_unlock(), which then decrements the wrong counter.
> > 	Depending on exactly how subsequent events played out, this could
> > 	result in either prematurely ending grace periods or never-ending
> > 	grace periods, both of which are fatal outcomes.
> > 
> > And the following are not needed in the current version of the
> > patch, but will be in a future version that either avoids disabling
> > irqs or that dispenses with the smp_read_barrier_depends() that I
> > have 99% convinced myself is unneeded:
> > 
> > o	nesting = ORDERED_WRT_IRQ(me->rcu_read_lock_nesting);
> > 
> > o	idx = ORDERED_WRT_IRQ(rcu_ctrlblk.completed) & 0x1;
> > 
> > Furthermore, in that future version, irq handlers can cause the same
> > mischief that SMI/NMI handlers can in this version.
> > 
> > Next, looking at __rcu_read_unlock():
> > 
> > o	If "ORDERED_WRT_IRQ(me->rcu_read_lock_nesting) = nesting - 1"
> > 	was reordered by the compiler to follow the
> > 	"ORDERED_WRT_IRQ(__get_cpu_var(rcu_flipctr)[idx])--",
> > 	then if an NMI/SMI containing an rcu_read_lock() occurs between
> > 	the two, this nested rcu_read_lock() would incorrectly believe
> > 	that it was protected by an enclosing RCU read-side critical
> > 	section as described in the first reversal discussed for
> > 	__rcu_read_lock() above.  Again, fatal outcome.
> > 
> > This is what we have now.  It is not hard to imagine situations that
> > interact with -both- interrupt handlers -and- other CPUs, as described
> > earlier.
> 
> It's not about interrupt/SMI/NMI handlers at all! What you clearly want,
> simply put, is that a certain stream of C statements must be emitted
> by the compiler _as they are_ with no re-ordering optimizations! You must
> *definitely* use barrier(), IMHO.

Almost.  I don't care about most of the operations, only about the loads
and stores marked volatile.  Again, although the compiler is free to
reorder volatile accesses that occur -within- a single statement, it
is prohibited by the standard from moving volatile accesses from one
statement to another.  Therefore, this code can legitimately use volatile.

Or am I missing something subtle?

						Thanx, Paul
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