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SubjectRe: [PATCH v10 05/10] livepatch: Support separate list for replaced patches.
On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 10:45:07AM +0100, Petr Mladek wrote:
> On Tue 2018-03-20 15:15:02, Josh Poimboeuf wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 20, 2018 at 01:25:38PM +0100, Petr Mladek wrote:
> > > On Mon 2018-03-19 16:43:24, Josh Poimboeuf wrote:
> > > > On Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 04:02:07PM +0100, Petr Mladek wrote:
> > > > > > Along those lines, I'd also propose that we constrain our existing patch
> > > > > > stacking even further. Right now we allow a new patch to be registered
> > > > > > on top of a disabled patch, though we don't allow the new patch to be
> > > > > > enabled until the previous patch gets enabled. I'd propose we no longer
> > > > > > allow that condition. We should instead enforce that all existing
> > > > > > patches are *enabled* before allowing a new patch to be registered on
> > > > > > top. That way the patch stacking is even more sane, and there are less
> > > > > > "unusual" conditions to worry about. We have enough of those already.
> > > > > > Each additional bit of flexibility has a maintenance cost, and this one
> > > > > > isn't worth it IMO.
> > > > >
> > > > > Again, this might make some things easier but it might also bring
> > > > > problems.
> > > > >
> > > > > For example, we would need to solve the situation when the last
> > > > > patch is disabled and cannot be removed because the transition
> > > > > was forced. This might be more common after removing the immediate
> > > > > feature.
> > > >
> > > > I would stop worrying about forced patches so much :-)
> > >
> > > I have already seen blocked transition several times. It is true that
> > > it was with kGraft. But we just do not have enough real life experience
> > > with the upstream livepatch code.
> >
> > But we're talking about patching on top of a *disabled* patch. Forced
> > or not, why would the patch be disabled in the first place?
> For example, it might be disabled because the transition stalled for
> too long and the user reverted it. Or just because it is possible
> to disable it.

If they haven't previously forced any patches, and they reverted the
topmost patch because it stalled, they can easily unload the patch.

If they *have* previously forced a patch, they can force enable the
topmost patch as well, or if that's not safe they can reboot (that's
what you get for forcing a patch...)

> > We were just recently discussing the possibility of not allowing the
> > disabling of patches at all. If we're not going that far, let's at
> > least further restrict it, for the sanity of our code, so we don't have
> > to worry about a nasty mismatched stack of enabled/disabled/enabled/etc,
> > at least for the cases where 'replace' patches aren't used.
> I am not completely sure where all these fears come from. From my
> point of view, this change is pretty safe and trivial thanks to NOPs
> and overall design. It would be a shame to do not have it. But I
> might be blind after spending so much time with the feature.

I think you're missing my point. This isn't about your patch set, per
se. It's really about our existing code. Today, our patch stack
doesn't follow real stack semantics, because patches in the middle might
be disabled. I see that as a problem.

If 'replace' were the only mode, then we wouldn't even need a patch
stack because it wouldn't really matter much whether the previous patch
is enabled or disabled. I think this is in agreement with the point
you're making.

But we still support non-replace patches. My feeling is that we should
either do a true stack, or no stack at all. The in-between thing is
going to be confusing, not only for us, but for patch authors and end

In fact, *no stack* might be better, now that we have replace.
Cumulative patches can use replace, so a stack is no longer needed for
them. And for non cumulative patches, a stack may not make sense, since
the patches should be independent anyway.

But I don't know how big of a deal it is.

> BTW: It seems that I am more paranoid when being in the reviewer role.
> Anyway, I am getting close to send v11. This change is done by a separate
> and last code-related patch. So, it can be omitted rather easily.

Thanks a lot for splitting it up. It looks much easier to review now.

I still would really like to see the selftests merged first (or at the
same time).

Unfortunately I'll be out next week, so I won't be able to give it a
proper review until I get back. Maybe I will come back in a more
ACK-conducive mood ;-)


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