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Subject[PATCH v1 3/3] net: skb_queue_purge(): lock/unlock the queue only once
Thanks for your input, Eric Dumazet and Stephen Hemminger; based on
your observations, this version of the patch implements a very
lightweight purging of the queue.

To apply this patch, save this email to:


and then run:

git am --scissors /path/to/email

You may also fetch this patch from GitHub:

git checkout -b test 5969d1bb3082b41eba8fd2c826559abe38ccb6df
git pull net/tcp-ip/01-cleanup/02

Michael Witten


Hitherto, the queue's lock has been locked/unlocked every time
an item is dequeued; this seems not only inefficient, but also
incorrect, as the whole point of `skb_queue_purge()' is to clear
the queue, presumably without giving any other thread a chance to
manipulate the queue in the interim.

With this commit, the queue's lock is locked/unlocked only once
when `skb_queue_purge()' is called, and in a way that disables
the IRQs for only a minimal amount of time.

This is achieved by atomically re-initializing the queue (thereby
clearing it), and then freeing each of the items as though it were
enqueued in a private queue that doesn't require locking.

Signed-off-by: Michael Witten <>
net/core/skbuff.c | 26 ++++++++++++++++++--------
1 file changed, 18 insertions(+), 8 deletions(-)

diff --git a/net/core/skbuff.c b/net/core/skbuff.c
index 68065d7d383f..bd26b0bde784 100644
--- a/net/core/skbuff.c
+++ b/net/core/skbuff.c
@@ -2825,18 +2825,28 @@ struct sk_buff *skb_dequeue_tail(struct sk_buff_head *list)

- * skb_queue_purge - empty a list
- * @list: list to empty
+ * skb_queue_purge - empty a queue
+ * @q: the queue to empty
- * Delete all buffers on an &sk_buff list. Each buffer is removed from
- * the list and one reference dropped. This function takes the list
- * lock and is atomic with respect to other list locking functions.
+ * Dequeue and free each socket buffer that is in @q.
+ *
+ * This function is atomic with respect to other queue-locking functions.
-void skb_queue_purge(struct sk_buff_head *list)
+void skb_queue_purge(struct sk_buff_head *q)
- struct sk_buff *skb;
- while ((skb = skb_dequeue(list)) != NULL)
+ unsigned long flags;
+ struct sk_buff *skb, *next, *head = (struct sk_buff *)q;
+ spin_lock_irqsave(&q->lock, flags);
+ skb = q->next;
+ __skb_queue_head_init(q);
+ spin_unlock_irqrestore(&q->lock, flags);
+ while (skb != head) {
+ next = skb->next;
+ skb = next;
+ }

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