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Re: [patch] mm: fix lockless pagecache reordering bug (was Re: BUG: soft

To: "Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [patch] mm: fix lockless pagecache reordering bug (was Re: BUG: soft lockup - is this XFS problem?)
From: Nick Piggin <npiggin@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2009 03:05:50 +0100
Cc: Linus Torvalds <torvalds@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Peter Klotz <peter.klotz@xxxxxx>, stable@xxxxxxxxxx, Linux Memory Management List <linux-mm@xxxxxxxxx>, Christoph Hellwig <hch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Roman Kononov <kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx, Andrew Morton <akpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
In-reply-to: <20090105215727.GQ6959@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
References: <20090105041959.GC367@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <20090105064838.GA5209@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <49623384.2070801@xxxxxx> <20090105164135.GC32675@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <alpine.LFD.2.00.0901050859430.3057@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <20090105180008.GE32675@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <alpine.LFD.2.00.0901051027011.3057@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <20090105201258.GN6959@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <alpine.LFD.2.00.0901051224110.3057@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <20090105215727.GQ6959@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i
On Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 01:57:27PM -0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 12:39:14PM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > On Mon, 5 Jan 2009, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > > 
> > > My guess is that Nick believes that the value in *pslot cannot change
> > > in such as way as to cause radix_tree_is_indirect_ptr()'s return value
> > > to change within a given RCU grace period, and that Linus disagrees.
> > 
> > Oh, it's entirely possible that there are some lifetime rules or others 
> > that make it impossible for things to go from "not indirect" -> 
> > "indirect". So if that was Nick's point, then I'm not "disagreeing" per 
> > se.
> > 
> > What I'm disagreeing about is that Nick apparently thinks that this is all 
> > subtle code, and as a result we should add barriers in some very 
> > non-obvious places.
> > 
> > While _I_ think that the problem isn't properly solved by barriers, but by 
> > just making the code less subtle. If the barrier only exists because of 
> > the reload issue, then the obvious solution - to me - is to just use what 
> > is already the proper accessor function that forces a nice reload. That 
> > way the compiler is forced to create code that does what the source 
> > clearly means it to do, regardless of any barriers at all.
> > 
> > Barriers in general should be the _last_ thing added. And if they are 
> > added, they should be added as deeply in the call-chain as possible, so 
> > that we don't need to add them in multiple call-sites. Again, using the 
> > rcu_dereference() approach seems to solve that issue too - rather than add 
> > three barriers in three different places, we just add the proper 
> > dereference in _one_ place.
> I don't have any argument with this line of reasoning, and am myself a bit
> puzzled as to why rcu_dereference() isn't the right tool for Nick's job.
> Then again, I don't claim to fully understand what he is trying to do.

OK, granted I do need the ACCESS_ONCE. It is loading a pointer who's target
can be changed concurrently with the rcu algorithm. The rcu_derefernce
thing kind of set me thinking down the wrong track, because the object of the
pointer it loads is not RCU protected and doesn't need the memory barrier
(on alpha).

But... RCU radix tree is not only used for the pagecache, so it's probably not
worth complicating things to seperate out those two cases. rcu_dereference
might be the best fit.

> > > Whatever the answer, I would argue for -at- -least- a comment explaining
> > > why it is safe.  I am not seeing the objection to rcu_dereference(), but
> > > I must confess that it has been awhile since I have looked closely at
> > > the radix_tree code.  :-/
> > 
> > And I'm actually suprised that gcc can generate the problematic code in 
> > the first place. I'd expect that a "atomic_add_unless()" would always be 
> > at LEAST a compiler barrier, even if it isn't necessarily a CPU memory 
> > barrier.
> > 
> > But because we inline it, and because we allow gcc to see that it doesn't 
> > do anything if it gets just the right value from memory, I guess gcc ends 
> > up able to change the "for()" loop so that the first iteration can exit 
> > specially, and then for that case (and no other case) it can cache 
> > variables over the whole atomic_add_unless().
> > 
> > Again, that's very fragile. The fact that Documentation/atomic_ops.txt 
> > says that the failure case doesn't contain any barriers is really _meant_ 
> > to be about the architecture-specific CPU barriers, not so much about 
> > something as simple as a compiler re-ordering. 
> > 
> > So while I think that we should use rcu_dereference() (regardless of any 
> > other issues), I _also_ think that part of the problem really is the 
> > excessive subtlety in the whole code, and the (obviously very surprising) 
> > fact that gcc could end up caching an unrelated memory load across that 
> > whole atomic op.
> > 
> > Maybe we should make atomics always imply a compiler barrier, even when 
> > they do not imply a memory barrier. The one exception would be the 
> > (special) case of "atomic_read()/atomic_set()", which don't really do any 
> > kind of complex operation at all, and where we really do want the compiler 
> > to be able to coalesce multiple atomic_reads() to a single one.
> > 
> > In contrast, there's no sense in allowing the compiler to coalesce a 
> > "atomic_add_unless()" with anything else. Making it a compiler barrier 
> > (possibly by uninlining it, or just adding a barrier to it) would also 
> > have avoided the whole subtle case - which is always a good thing.
> That makes a lot of sense to me!

It would have avoided one problem (the same one my patch did). But it
doesn't solve the problem of the missing ACCESS_ONCE allowing the
pointer to be reloaded from the slot pointer.

Sticking an rcu_dereference in radix_tree_deref_slot seems to fix the
assembly for me too, I grafted the changelog onto that. Linus probably
you are using -Os?

Subject: mm lockless pagecache barrier fix

An XFS workload showed up a bug in the lockless pagecache patch. Basically it
would go into an "infinite" loop, although it would sometimes be able to break
out of the loop! The reason is a missing compiler barrier in the "increment
reference count unless it was zero" case of the lockless pagecache protocol in
the gang lookup functions.

This would cause the compiler to use a cached value of struct page pointer to
retry the operation with, rather than reload it. So the page might have been
removed from pagecache and freed (refcount==0) but the lookup would not 
notice the page is no longer in pagecache, and keep attempting to increment the
refcount and failing, until the page gets reallocated for something else. This
isn't a data corruption because the condition will be detected if the page has
been reallocated. However it can result in a lockup. 

Linus points out that ACCESS_ONCE is also required in that pointer load, even
if it's absence is not causing a bug on our particular build. The most general
way to solve this is just to put an rcu_dereference in radix_tree_deref_slot.

Assembly of find_get_pages,
        movq    (%rbx), %rax    #* ivtmp.1162, tmp82
        movq    (%rax), %rdi    #, prephitmp.1149
        testb   $1, %dil        #, prephitmp.1149
        jne     .L217   #,
        testq   %rdi, %rdi      # prephitmp.1149
        je      .L203   #,
        cmpq    $-1, %rdi       #, prephitmp.1149
        je      .L217   #,
        movl    8(%rdi), %esi   # <variable>._count.counter, c
        testl   %esi, %esi      # c
        je      .L218   #,

        movq    (%rbx), %rax    #* ivtmp.1109, tmp81
        movq    (%rax), %rdi    #, ret
        testb   $1, %dil        #, ret
        jne     .L211   #,
        testq   %rdi, %rdi      # ret
        je      .L197   #,
        cmpq    $-1, %rdi       #, ret
        je      .L211   #,
        movl    8(%rdi), %esi   # <variable>._count.counter, c
        testl   %esi, %esi      # c
        je      .L212   #,

(notice the obvious infinite loop in the first example, if page->count remains 

Signed-off-by: Nick Piggin <npiggin@xxxxxxx>
 include/linux/radix-tree.h |    2 +-
 mm/filemap.c               |   23 ++++++++++++++++++++---
 2 files changed, 21 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)

Index: linux-2.6/include/linux/radix-tree.h
--- linux-2.6.orig/include/linux/radix-tree.h
+++ linux-2.6/include/linux/radix-tree.h
@@ -136,7 +136,7 @@ do {                                                        
 static inline void *radix_tree_deref_slot(void **pslot)
-       void *ret = *pslot;
+       void *ret = rcu_dereference(*pslot);
        if (unlikely(radix_tree_is_indirect_ptr(ret)))
                ret = RADIX_TREE_RETRY;
        return ret;

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