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Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2023 07:48:42 -0700
From: Jakub Kicinski <>
To: Jiri Pirko <>
Subject: Re: [patch net-next] devlink: don't take instance lock for nested
 handle put

On Fri, 6 Oct 2023 09:22:01 +0200 Jiri Pirko wrote:
> Fri, Oct 06, 2023 at 03:30:29AM CEST, wrote:
> >> @@ -310,6 +299,7 @@ static void devlink_release(struct work_struct *work)
> >>  
> >>  	mutex_destroy(&devlink->lock);
> >>  	lockdep_unregister_key(&devlink->lock_key);
> >> +	put_device(devlink->dev);  
> >
> >IDK.. holding references until all references are gone may lead 
> >to reference cycles :(  
> I don't follow. What seems to be the problematic flow? I can't spot any
> reference cycle, do you?

I can't remember to be honest. But we already assume that we can access
struct device of a devlink instance without holding the instance lock.
Because the relationship between devlink objects is usually fairly
straightforward and non-cyclical.

Isn't the "rel infrastructure"... well.. over-designed?

The user creates a port on an instance A, which spawns instance B.
Instance A links instance B to itself.
Instance A cannot disappear before instance B disappears.
Also instance A is what controls the destruction of instance B
so it can unlink it.

We can tell lockdep how the locks nest, too.

> >Overall I feel like recording the references on the objects will be
> >an endless source of locking pain. Would it be insane if we held 
> >the relationships as independent objects? Not as attributes of either
> >side?   
> How exactly do you envision this? rel struct would hold the bus/name
> strings direcly?

No exactly, if we want bi-directional relationships we can create 
the link struct as a:

rel {
	u32 rel_id;
	struct devlink *instanceA, *instanceB; // hold reference
	struct list_head rel_listA, rel_listB; // under instance locks
	u32 state;
	struct list_head ntf_process_queue;

Operations on relationship can take the instance locks (sequentially).
Notifications from a workqueue.
Instance dumps would only report rel IDs, but the get the "members" of
the relationship user needs to issue a separate DL command / syscall.

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