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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 1/5] x86: introduce preemption disable prefix
at 9:29 PM, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:

>> On Oct 18, 2018, at 6:08 PM, Nadav Amit <> wrote:
>> at 10:00 AM, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
>>>> On Oct 18, 2018, at 9:47 AM, Nadav Amit <> wrote:
>>>> at 8:51 PM, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
>>>>>> On Wed, Oct 17, 2018 at 8:12 PM Nadav Amit <> wrote:
>>>>>> at 6:22 PM, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
>>>>>>>> On Oct 17, 2018, at 5:54 PM, Nadav Amit <> wrote:
>>>>>>>> It is sometimes beneficial to prevent preemption for very few
>>>>>>>> instructions, or prevent preemption for some instructions that precede
>>>>>>>> a branch (this latter case will be introduced in the next patches).
>>>>>>>> To provide such functionality on x86-64, we use an empty REX-prefix
>>>>>>>> (opcode 0x40) as an indication that preemption is disabled for the
>>>>>>>> following instruction.
>>>>>>> Nifty!
>>>>>>> That being said, I think you have a few bugs. First, you can’t just ignore
>>>>>>> a rescheduling interrupt, as you introduce unbounded latency when this
>>>>>>> happens — you’re effectively emulating preempt_enable_no_resched(), which
>>>>>>> is not a drop-in replacement for preempt_enable(). To fix this, you may
>>>>>>> need to jump to a slow-path trampoline that calls schedule() at the end or
>>>>>>> consider rewinding one instruction instead. Or use TF, which is only a
>>>>>>> little bit terrifying…
>>>>>> Yes, I didn’t pay enough attention here. For my use-case, I think that the
>>>>>> easiest solution would be to make synchronize_sched() ignore preemptions
>>>>>> that happen while the prefix is detected. It would slightly change the
>>>>>> meaning of the prefix.
>>>> So thinking about it further, rewinding the instruction seems the easiest
>>>> and most robust solution. I’ll do it.
>>>>>>> You also aren’t accounting for the case where you get an exception that
>>>>>>> is, in turn, preempted.
>>>>>> Hmm.. Can you give me an example for such an exception in my use-case? I
>>>>>> cannot think of an exception that might be preempted (assuming #BP, #MC
>>>>>> cannot be preempted).
>>>>> Look for cond_local_irq_enable().
>>>> I looked at it. Yet, I still don’t see how exceptions might happen in my
>>>> use-case, but having said that - this can be fixed too.
>>> I’m not totally certain there’s a case that matters. But it’s worth checking
>> I am still checking. But, I wanted to ask you whether the existing code is
>> correct, since it seems to me that others do the same mistake I did, unless
>> I don’t understand the code.
>> Consider for example do_int3(), and see my inlined comments:
>> dotraplinkage void notrace do_int3(struct pt_regs *regs, long error_code)
>> {
>> ...
>> ist_enter(regs); // => preempt_disable()
>> cond_local_irq_enable(regs); // => assume it enables IRQs
>> ...
>> // resched irq can be delivered here. It will not caused rescheduling
>> // since preemption is disabled
>> cond_local_irq_disable(regs); // => assume it disables IRQs
>> ist_exit(regs); // => preempt_enable_no_resched()
>> }
>> At this point resched will not happen for unbounded length of time (unless
>> there is another point when exiting the trap handler that checks if
>> preemption should take place).
> I think it's only a bug in the cases where someone uses extable to fix
> up an int3 (which would be nuts) or that we oops. But I should still
> fix it. In the normal case where int3 was in user code, we'll miss
> the reschedule in do_trap(), but we'll reschedule in
> prepare_exit_to_usermode() -> exit_to_usermode_loop().

Thanks for your quick response, and sorry for bothering instead of dealing
with it. Note that do_debug() does something similar to do_int3().

And then there is optimized_callback() that also uses
preempt_enable_no_resched(). I think the original use was correct, but then
a19b2e3d7839 ("kprobes/x86: Remove IRQ disabling from ftrace-based/optimized
kprobes”) removed the IRQ disabling, while leaving
preempt_enable_no_resched() . No?

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