Re: NMI reentrant RCU list for -rt kernels

From: hui
Date: Mon Jul 24 2006 - 13:22:31 EST

On Sat, Jul 22, 2006 at 07:14:22PM +0100, Esben Nielsen wrote:
> On Sat, 22 Jul 2006, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> >So, basically, the idea is to have two RCU API that could take names like :
> >atomic_rcu_* and rcu_*
> >
> >Does this idea make sense ?
> No,
> 1) Can you readily identify the very short code pathes? What about future
> code added to the kernel?
> 2) Having two parellel systems is a bad idea.
> 3) I believe RCU can be made much cheaper than the
> current implementation which look horrible.
> I remember once discussing RCU on the list. I came up with the idea
> rcu_read_lock()/unlock() to be implemented as a per-task counter just as
> preempt_disable()/disable(). The run-queue then has a sum of all the
> counters of tasks on that cpu (minus the counter for the current task).
> I even made some sample code...
> The only reason this wasn't considered working was the migration from CPU
> to CPU. I frankly can't see why this couldn't be fixed.
> So the answer to you is: No. Fix the preemptible RCU instead. You have an
> idea above.


For Mathieu's uses, it's critical to have a short a path as possible in his
instrumentation code since the results can be effected by it as well as general
impact on the kernel.

The reason why the old RCU read-side logic is ok is that in the -rt kernel RCU
is use to protect things like dcache_lock and other large kernel subsystems. A
non-preemptible RCU would otherwise make all locks in the file system with a
RCU critical section above it in the lock graph non-preemptible or else it
violates the locking rules resulting in dead locking. Since Mathieu's NMI code
doesn't take other kernel locks outside of his own code, it won't create a
situation where it forces parts of the -rt system back below an RCU read-side
section to be non-preemptible.

A preempt_disable/enable should be good enough to restore the previous RCU
behavior just for Mathieu's NMI code with maybe a different function for RCU
synchronization. Making RCU safe for NMI isn't really necessary, but I'm sure
it won't stop you (Paul) from trying. :)


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at