[lkml]   [2019]   [Jan]   [10]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
Patch in this message
Subject[PATCH v4] coding-style: Clarify the expectations around bool
There has been some confusion since checkpatch started warning about bool
use in structures, and people have been avoiding using it.

Many people feel there is still a legitimate place for bool in structures,
so provide some guidance on bool usage derived from the entire thread that
spawned the checkpatch warning.

Signed-off-by: Joe Perches <>
Acked-by: Joe Perches <>
Reviewed-by: Bart Van Assche <>
Signed-off-by: Jason Gunthorpe <>
Documentation/process/coding-style.rst | 38 +++++++++++++++++++++++---
scripts/ | 13 ---------
2 files changed, 34 insertions(+), 17 deletions(-)

- Describe true/false as definitions [Joe]
- Use clearer language for the _Bool explanation [Bart]
- Delete the checkpatch tests [Joe]

diff --git a/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst b/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst
index b78dd680c03809..db3e030d0df908 100644
--- a/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst
+++ b/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst
@@ -921,7 +921,37 @@ result. Typical examples would be functions that return pointers; they use
NULL or the ERR_PTR mechanism to report failure.

-17) Don't re-invent the kernel macros
+17) Using bool
+The Linux kernel bool type is an alias for the C99 _Bool type. bool values can
+only evaluate to 0 or 1, and implicit or explicit conversion to bool
+automatically converts the value to true or false. When using bool types the
+!! construction is not needed, which eliminates a class of bugs.
+When working with bool values the true and false definitions should be used
+instead of 0 and 1.
+bool function return types and stack variables are always fine to use whenever
+appropriate. Use of bool is encouraged to improve readability and is often a
+better option than 'int' for storing boolean values.
+Do not use bool if cache line layout or size of the value matters, its size
+and alignment varies based on the compiled architecture. Structures that are
+optimized for alignment and size should not use bool.
+If a structure has many true/false values, consider consolidating them into a
+bitfield with 1 bit members, or using an appropriate fixed width type, such as
+Similarly for function arguments, many true/false values can be consolidated
+into a single bitwise 'flags' argument and 'flags' can often a more readable
+alternative if the call-sites have naked true/false constants.
+Otherwise limited use of bool in structures and arguments can improve
+18) Don't re-invent the kernel macros

The header file include/linux/kernel.h contains a number of macros that
@@ -944,7 +974,7 @@ need them. Feel free to peruse that header file to see what else is already
defined that you shouldn't reproduce in your code.

-18) Editor modelines and other cruft
+19) Editor modelines and other cruft

Some editors can interpret configuration information embedded in source files,
@@ -978,7 +1008,7 @@ own custom mode, or may have some other magic method for making indentation
work correctly.

-19) Inline assembly
+20) Inline assembly

In architecture-specific code, you may need to use inline assembly to interface
@@ -1010,7 +1040,7 @@ the next instruction in the assembly output:
: /* outputs */ : /* inputs */ : /* clobbers */);

-20) Conditional Compilation
+21) Conditional Compilation

Wherever possible, don't use preprocessor conditionals (#if, #ifdef) in .c
diff --git a/scripts/ b/scripts/
index b737ca9d720441..d62abd032885a1 100755
--- a/scripts/
+++ b/scripts/
@@ -6368,19 +6368,6 @@ sub process {

-# check for bool bitfields
- if ($sline =~ /^.\s+bool\s*$Ident\s*:\s*\d+\s*;/) {
- "Avoid using bool as bitfield. Prefer bool bitfields as unsigned int or u<8|16|32>\n" . $herecurr);
- }
-# check for bool use in .h files
- if ($realfile =~ /\.h$/ &&
- $sline =~ /^.\s+bool\s*$Ident\s*(?::\s*d+\s*)?;/) {
- "Avoid using bool structure members because of possible alignment issues - see:\n" . $herecurr);
- }
# check for semaphores initialized locked
if ($line =~ /^.\s*sema_init.+,\W?0\W?\)/) {
 \ /
  Last update: 2019-01-11 00:49    [W:0.069 / U:0.544 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site