Re: [PATCH] slub: fix slab_pad_check()

From: Eric Dumazet
Date: Thu Sep 03 2009 - 18:09:34 EST

Christoph Lameter a écrit :
> On Thu, 3 Sep 2009, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
>> 2. CPU 0 discovers that the slab cache can now be destroyed.
>> It determines that there are no users, and has guaranteed
>> that there will be no future users. So it knows that it
>> can safely do kmem_cache_destroy().
>> 3. In absence of rcu_barrier(), kmem_cache_destroy() would
>> immediately tear down the slab data structures.
> Of course. This has been discussed before.
> You need to ensure that no objects are in use before destroying a slab. In
> case of DESTROY_BY_RCU you must ensure that there are no potential
> readers. So use a suitable rcu barrier or something else like a
> synchronize_rcu...
>>> But going through the RCU period is pointless since no user of the cache
>>> remains.
>> Which is irrelevant. The outstanding RCU callback was posted by the
>> slab cache itself, -not- by the user of the slab cache.
> There will be no rcu callbacks generated at kmem_cache_destroy with the
> patch I posted.
>>> The dismantling does not need RCU since there are no operations on the
>>> objects in progress. So simply switch DESTROY_BY_RCU off for close.
>> Unless I am missing something, this patch re-introduces the bug that
>> the rcu_barrier() was added to prevent. So, in absence of a better
>> explanation of what I am missing:
> The "fix" was ill advised. Slab users must ensure that no objects are in
> use before destroying a slab. Only the slab users know how the objects
> are being used. The slab allocator itself cannot know how to ensure that
> there are no pending references. Putting a rcu_barrier in there creates an
> inconsistency in the operation of kmem_cache_destroy() and an expectation
> of functionality that the function cannot provide.

Problem is not _objects_ Christoph, but _slabs_, and your patch is not working.

Its true that when User calls kmem_cache_destroy(), all _objects_ were previously freed.
This is mandatory, with or withou SLAB_DESTROY_BY_RCU thing

Problem is that slub has some internal state, including some to-be-freed _slabs_,
that User have no control at all on it.

User cannot "know" slabs are freed, inuse, or whatever state in cache or call_rcu queues.

Face it, SLAB_DESTROY_BY_RCU is internal affair (to slub/slab/... allocators)

We absolutely need a rcu_barrier() somewhere, believe it or not. You can argue that it should
be done *before*, but it gives no speedup, only potential bugs.

Only case User should do its rcu_barrier() itself is if it knows some call_rcu() are pending
and are delaying _objects_ freeing (typical !SLAB_DESTROY_RCU usage in RCU algos).

I dont even understand why you care so much about kmem_cache_destroy(SLAB_DESTROY_BY_RCU),
given that almost nobody use it. We took almost one month to find out what the bug was in first
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