Re: [patch] mm: fix anon_vma races

From: Nick Piggin
Date: Sat Oct 18 2008 - 01:50:09 EST

On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 01:50:57PM +1100, Paul Mackerras wrote:
> Nick Piggin writes:
> > But after thinking about this a bit more, I think Linux would be
> > broken all over the map under such ordering schemes. I think we'd
> > have to mandate causal consistency. Are there any architectures we
> > run on where this is not guaranteed? (I think recent clarifications
> > to x86 ordering give us CC on that architecture).
> >
> > powerpc, ia64, alpha, sparc, arm, mips? (cced linux-arch)
> Not sure what you mean by causal consistency, but I assume it's the

I think it can be called transitive. Basically (assumememory starts off zeroed)
x := 1

if (x == 1) {
y := 1

if (y == 1) {
assert(x == 1)

As opposed to pairwise, which only provides an ordering of visibility between
any given two CPUs (so the store to y might be propogated to CPU2 after the
store to x, regardless of the fences).

Apparently pairwise ordering is more interesting than just a theoretical
thing, and not just restricted to Alpha's funny caches. It can allow for
arbitrary network propogating stores / cache coherency between CPUs. x86's
publically documented memory model supposedly could allow for such ordering
up until a year or so ago (when they clarified and strengthened it).

> same as saying that barriers give cumulative ordering, as described on
> page 413 of the Power Architecture V2.05 document at:
> The ordering provided by sync, lwsync and eieio is cumulative (see
> pages 446 and 448), so we should be OK on powerpc AFAICS. (The
> cumulative property of eieio only applies to accesses to normal system
> memory, but that should be OK since we use sync when we want barriers
> that affect non-cacheable accesses as well as cacheable.)

The section on cumulative ordering sounds like it might do the trick. But
I haven't really worked through exactly what it is saying ;)

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