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Subject[PATCH v4.4] x86/kconfig: Fall back to ticket spinlocks
From: Daniel Wagner <>

Sebastian writes:

We reproducibly observe cache line starvation on a Core2Duo E6850 (2
cores), a i5-6400 SKL (4 cores) and on a NXP LS2044A ARM Cortex-A72 (4

The problem can be triggered with a v4.9-RT kernel by starting

cyclictest -S -p98 -m -i2000 -b 200

and as "load"

stress-ng --ptrace 4

The reported maximal latency is usually less than 60us. If the problem
triggers then values around 400us, 800us or even more are reported. The
upperlimit is the -i parameter.

Reproduction with 4.9-RT is almost immediate on Core2Duo, ARM64 and SKL,
but it took 7.5 hours to trigger on v4.14-RT on the Core2Duo.

Instrumentation show always the picture:

=> do_syscall_64 => do_syscall_64
=> SyS_ptrace => syscall_slow_exit_work
=> ptrace_check_attach => ptrace_do_notify / rt_read_unlock
=> wait_task_inactive rt_spin_lock_slowunlock()
-> while task_running() __rt_mutex_unlock_common()
/ check_task_state() mark_wakeup_next_waiter()
| raw_spin_lock_irq(&p->pi_lock); raw_spin_lock(&current->pi_lock);
| . .
| raw_spin_unlock_irq(&p->pi_lock); .
\ cpu_relax() .
- .
*IRQ* <lock acquired>

In the error case we observe that the while() loop is repeated more than
5000 times which indicates that the pi_lock can be acquired. CPU1 on the
other side does not make progress waiting for the same lock with interrupts

This continues until an IRQ hits CPU0. Once CPU0 starts processing the IRQ
the other CPU is able to acquire pi_lock and the situation relaxes.

This matches with the observeration for v4.4-rt on a Core2Duo E6850:

CPU 0:

- no progress for a very long time in rt_mutex_dequeue_pi):

stress-n-1931 0d..11 5060.891219: function: __try_to_take_rt_mutex
stress-n-1931 0d..11 5060.891219: function: rt_mutex_dequeue
stress-n-1931 0d..21 5060.891220: function: rt_mutex_enqueue_pi
stress-n-1931 0....2 5060.891220: signal_generate: sig=17 errno=0 code=262148 comm=stress-ng-ptrac pid=1928 grp=1 res=1
stress-n-1931 0d..21 5060.894114: function: rt_mutex_dequeue_pi
stress-n-1931 0d.h11 5060.894115: local_timer_entry: vector=239

CPU 1:

- IRQ at 5060.894114 on CPU 1 followed by the IRQ on CPU 0

stress-n-1928 1....0 5060.891215: sys_enter: NR 101 (18, 78b, 0, 0, 17, 788)
stress-n-1928 1d..11 5060.891216: function: __try_to_take_rt_mutex
stress-n-1928 1d..21 5060.891216: function: rt_mutex_enqueue_pi
stress-n-1928 1d..21 5060.891217: function: rt_mutex_dequeue_pi
stress-n-1928 1....1 5060.891217: function: rt_mutex_adjust_prio
stress-n-1928 1d..11 5060.891218: function: __rt_mutex_adjust_prio
stress-n-1928 1d.h10 5060.894114: local_timer_entry: vector=239

Thomas writes:

This has nothing to do with RT. RT is merily exposing the
problem in an observable way. The same issue happens with upstream, it's
harder to trigger and it's harder to observe for obvious reasons.

If you read through the discussions [see the links below] then you
really see that there is an upstream issue with the x86 qrlock
implementation and Peter has posted fixes which resolve it, both at
the practical and the theoretical level.

Backporting all qspinlock related patches is very likely to introduce
regressions on v4.4. Therefore, the recommended solution by Peter and
Thomas is to drop back to ticket spinlocks for v4.4.

Link :
Cc: Sebastian Andrzej Siewior <>
Cc: Peter Zijlstra <>
Cc: Thomas Gleixner <>
Signed-off-by: Daniel Wagner <>

Thomas suggest following plan for fixing the issues on the varous
stable trees:

4.4: Trivial by switching back to ticket locks.

4.9: Decide whether bringing back ticket locks or backporting all qrlock
fixes. Sebastian has done the latter already and it's probably the
right solution

4.18: Backporting the qrlock fixes

4.19: Either the fix ends up in 4.19 final or it needs to be backported

arch/x86/Kconfig | 1 -
1 file changed, 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/arch/x86/Kconfig b/arch/x86/Kconfig
index 6df130a37d41..f00cab581e2d 100644
--- a/arch/x86/Kconfig
+++ b/arch/x86/Kconfig
@@ -42,7 +42,6 @@ config X86
 \ /
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