Re: sequence lock in Linux

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Fri Jun 11 2010 - 16:08:34 EST

On Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 12:40 PM, Mathieu Desnoyers
<mathieu.desnoyers@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Is it just me, or the following code:
> static __always_inline unsigned read_seqbegin(const seqlock_t *sl)
> {
>        unsigned ret;
> repeat:
>        ret = sl->sequence;
>        smp_rmb();
>        if (unlikely(ret & 1)) {
>                cpu_relax();
>                goto repeat;
>        }
>        return ret;
> }
> could use a ACCESS_ONCE() around the sl->sequence read ? I'm concerned about the
> compiler generating code that reads the sequence number chunkwise.

What compiler would do that? That would seem to be a compiler bug, or
a compiler that is just completely crazy.

But it wouldn't be _wrong_ to make it do ACCESS_ONCE(). I just suspect
that any compiler that cares is not a compiler worth worrying about,
and the compiler should be shot in the head rather than us necessarily
worrying about it.

There is no way a sane compiler can do anything but one read anyway.
We do end up using all the bits (for the "return ret") part, so a
compiler that reads the low bit separately is just being a totally
moronic one - we wouldn't want to touch such a stupid compiler with a
ten-foot pole.

But at the same time, ACCESS_ONCE() ends up being a reasonable hint to
programmers, so I wouldn't object to it. I just don't think we should
pander to "compilers can be crazy". If compilers are crazy, we
shouldn't use them.

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