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SubjectRe: [RFC] doc: rcu: remove note on smp_mb during synchronize_rcu
On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 06:11:19PM -0700, Joel Fernandes wrote:
> Hi Paul,
> On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 04:43:36PM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 03:26:49PM -0700, Joel Fernandes wrote:
> > > Hi Paul,
> > >
> > > On Sat, Oct 27, 2018 at 09:30:46PM -0700, Joel Fernandes (Google) wrote:
> > > > As per this thread [1], it seems this smp_mb isn't needed anymore:
> > > > "So the smp_mb() that I was trying to add doesn't need to be there."
> > > >
> > > > So let us remove this part from the memory ordering documentation.
> > > >
> > > > [1]
> > > >
> > > > Signed-off-by: Joel Fernandes (Google) <>
> > >
> > > I was just checking about this patch. Do you feel it is correct to remove
> > > this part from the docs? Are you satisified that a barrier isn't needed there
> > > now? Or did I miss something?
> >
> > Apologies, it got lost in the shuffle. I have now applied it with a
> > bit of rework to the commit log, thank you!
> No worries, thanks for taking it!
> Just wanted to update you on my progress reading/correcting the docs. The
> 'Memory Ordering' is taking a bit of time so I paused that and I'm focusing
> on finishing all the other low hanging fruit. This activity is mostly during
> night hours after the baby is asleep but some times I also manage to sneak it
> into the day job ;-)

If there is anything I can do to make this a more sustainable task for
you, please do not keep it a secret!!!

> BTW I do want to discuss about this smp_mb patch above with you at LPC if you
> had time, even though we are removing it from the documentation. I thought
> about it a few times, and I was not able to fully appreciate the need for the
> barrier (that is even assuming that complete() etc did not do the right
> thing). Specifically I was wondering same thing Peter said in the above
> thread I think that - if that rcu_read_unlock() triggered all the spin
> locking up the tree of nodes, then why is that locking not sufficient to
> prevent reads from the read-side section from bleeding out? That would
> prevent the reader that just unlocked from seeing anything that happens
> _after_ the synchronize_rcu.

Actually, I recall an smp_mb() being added, but am not seeing it anywhere
relevant to wait_for_completion(). So I might need to add the smp_mb()
to synchronize_rcu() and remove the patch (retaining the typo fix). :-/

The short form answer is that anything before a grace period on any CPU
must be seen by any CPU as being before anything on any CPU after that
same grace period. This guarantee requires a rather big hammer.

But yes, let's talk at LPC!

> Also about GP memory ordering and RCU-tree-locking, I think you mentioned to
> me that the RCU reader-sections are virtually extended both forward and
> backward and whereever it ends, those paths do heavy-weight synchronization
> that should be sufficient to prevent memory ordering issues (such as those
> you mentioned in the Requierments document). That is exactly why we don't
> need explicit barriers during rcu_read_unlock. If I recall I asked you why
> those are not needed. So that answer made sense, but then now on going
> through the 'Memory Ordering' document, I see that you mentioned there is
> reliance on the locking. Is that reliance on locking necessary to maintain
> ordering then?

There is a "network" of locking augmented by smp_mb__after_unlock_lock()
that implements the all-to-all memory ordering mentioned above. But it
also needs to handle all the possible complete()/wait_for_completion()
races, even those assisted by hypervisor vCPU preemption.

> Or did I miss the points completely? :(

A question for the ages for both of us! ;-)

> ----------------------
> TODO list of the index file marking which ones I have finished perusing:
> arrayRCU.txt DONE
> checklist.txt DONE
> listRCU.txt DONE
> lockdep.txt DONE
> lockdep-splat.txt DONE
> NMI-RCU.txt
> rcu_dereference.txt
> rcubarrier.txt
> rculist_nulls.txt
> rcuref.txt
> rcu.txt
> stallwarn.txt DONE
> torture.txt
> UP.txt
> whatisRCU.txt DONE
> Design
> - Data-Structures DONE
> - Requirements DONE
> - Expedited-Grace-Periods
> - Memory Ordering next

Great progress, and again, thank you!!!

Thanx, Paul

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