Re: [PATCH 1/6] perf/core: Provide a kernel-internal interface toget to performance counters

From: Paul Mackerras
Date: Mon Nov 02 2009 - 05:48:02 EST

Arjan van de Ven writes:

> On Mon, 2 Nov 2009 14:46:55 +1100
> Paul Mackerras <paulus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > Frederic Weisbecker writes:
> >
> > > /*
> > > + * perf_event_create_kernel_counter
> > > + * MUST be called from a kernel thread.
> >
> > Why? The reason for this requirement isn't obvious to me. It would
> > be good to have the reason documented in the comment for the sake of
> > people modifying the code in future.
> because if you call it from another context it will attach to that
> context... and go away when that context goes away...

I don't think that's right. When a task exits, that doesn't
automatically kill all the perf_events it created. The perf_events
each have a reference to their owner's task_struct, so the task_struct
will hang around until all of the perf_events get released. Normally
top-level perf_events have an associated filp and we use its reference
count to control the perf_event lifetime, but with these new kernel
perf_events there is no filp, so the caller will have to do any
refcounting required.

Bottom line is that a perf_event created by
perf_event_create_kernel_counter will exist until someone calls
perf_event_release_kernel on it, whether or not the owner task exits
(and whether or not that task is a kernel thread or a usermode
process). So I see no need to prohibit creating kernel perf_events in
the context of a user task, though callers need to be aware that doing
so could potentially mean the user task's task_struct has to hang
around for a long time after the task exits.

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