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SubjectRe: [PATCH 15/18] rhashtable: use bit_spin_locks to protect hash bucket.
On Fri, Jun 01, 2018 at 02:44:09PM +1000, NeilBrown wrote:
> This patch changes rhashtables to use a bit_spin_lock (BIT(1))
> the bucket pointer to lock the hash chain for that bucket.
> The benefits of a bit spin_lock are:
> - no need to allocate a separate array of locks.
> - no need to have a configuration option to guide the
> choice of the size of this array
> - locking cost if often a single test-and-set in a cache line
> that will have to be loaded anyway. When inserting at, or removing
> from, the head of the chain, the unlock is free - writing the new
> address in the bucket head implicitly clears the lock bit.
> - even when lockings costs 2 updates (lock and unlock), they are
> in a cacheline that needs to be read anyway.
> The cost of using a bit spin_lock is a little bit of code complexity,
> which I think is quite manageable.
> Bit spin_locks are sometimes inappropriate because they are not fair -
> if multiple CPUs repeatedly contend of the same lock, one CPU can
> easily be starved. This is not a credible situation with rhashtable.
> Multiple CPUs may want to repeatedly add or remove objects, but they
> will typically do so at different buckets, so they will attempt to
> acquire different locks.
> As we have more bit-locks than we previously had spinlocks (by at
> least a factor of two) we can expect slightly less contention to
> go with the slightly better cache behavior and reduced memory
> consumption.
> Signed-off-by: NeilBrown <>


> @@ -74,6 +71,61 @@ struct bucket_table {
> struct rhash_head __rcu *buckets[] ____cacheline_aligned_in_smp;
> };
> +/*
> + * We lock a bucket by setting BIT(1) in the pointer - this is always
> + * zero in real pointers and in the nulls marker.
> + * bit_spin_locks do not handle contention well, but the whole point
> + * of the hashtable design is to achieve minimum per-bucket contention.
> + * A nested hash table might not have a bucket pointer. In that case
> + * we cannot get a lock. For remove and replace the bucket cannot be
> + * interesting and doesn't need locking.
> + * For insert we allocate the bucket if this is the last bucket_table,
> + * and then take the lock.
> + * Sometimes we unlock a bucket by writing a new pointer there. In that
> + * case we don't need to unlock, but we do need to reset state such as
> + * local_bh. For that we have rht_unlocked(). This doesn't include
> + * the memory barrier that bit_spin_unlock() provides, but rcu_assign_pointer()
> + * will have provided that.
> + */

Yes the concept looks good to me. But I would like to hear from
Eric/Dave as to whether this would be acceptable for existing
network hash tables such as the ones in inet.

Email: Herbert Xu <>
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