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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/2] Use Media Dev Allocator to fix vimc dev lifetime bugs
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On 7/3/19 5:25 PM, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
> Hi Shuah,
>
> On Wed, Jul 03, 2019 at 10:52:17AM -0600, Shuah Khan wrote:
>> On 7/3/19 10:17 AM, Niklas Söderlund wrote:
>>> On 2019-06-30 14:41:02 +0300, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
>>>> On Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 10:41:07AM -0600, Shuah Khan wrote:
>>>>> On 6/16/19 12:45 PM, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
>>>>>> On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 05:26:46PM -0600, Shuah Khan wrote:
>>>>>>> On 6/13/19 7:24 AM, Helen Koike wrote:
>>>>>>>> On 6/13/19 2:44 AM, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>>>>>>>> On 5/24/19 5:31 AM, Shuah Khan wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> media_device is embedded in struct vimc_device and when vimc is removed
>>>>>>>>>> vimc_device and the embedded media_device goes with it, while the active
>>>>>>>>>> stream and vimc_capture continue to access it.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Fix the media_device lifetime problem by changing vimc to create shared
>>>>>>>>>> media_device using Media Device Allocator API and vimc_capture getting
>>>>>>>>>> a reference to vimc module. With this change, vimc module can be removed
>>>>>>>>>> only when the references are gone. vimc can be removed after vimc_capture
>>>>>>>>>> is removed.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Media Device Allocator API supports just USB devices. Enhance it
>>>>>>>>>> adding a genetic device allocate interface to support other media
>>>>>>>>>> drivers.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> The new interface takes pointer to struct device instead and creates
>>>>>>>>>> media device. This interface allows a group of drivers that have a
>>>>>>>>>> common root device to share media device resource and ensure media
>>>>>>>>>> device doesn't get deleted as long as one of the drivers holds its
>>>>>>>>>> reference.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> The new interface has been tested with vimc component driver to fix
>>>>>>>>>> panics when vimc module is removed while streaming is in progress.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Helen, can you review this series? I'm not sure this is the right approach
>>>>>>>>> for a driver like vimc, and even if it is, then it is odd that vimc-capture
>>>>>>>>> is the only vimc module that's handled here.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Hi Hans,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Yes, I can take a look. Sorry, I've been a bit busy these days but I'll
>>>>>>>> try to take a look at this patch series (and the others) asap.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Helen
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> My gut feeling is that this should be handled inside vimc directly and not
>>>>>>>>> using the media-dev-allocator.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Hi Hans and Helen,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I explored fixing the problem within vimc before I went down the path to
>>>>>>> use Media Device Allocator API. I do think that it is cleaner to go this
>>>>>>> way and easier to maintain.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> vimc is a group pf component drivers that rely on the media device vimc
>>>>>>> in vimc and falls into the use-case Media Device Allocator API is added
>>>>>>> to address. The release and life-time management happens without vimc
>>>>>>> component drivers being changed other than using the API to get and put
>>>>>>> media device reference.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Our replies crossed each other, please see my reply to Hans. I would
>>>>>> just like to comment here that if having multiple kernel modules causes
>>>>>> issue, they can all be merged together. There's no need for vimc to be
>>>>>> handled through multiple modules (I actually think it's quite
>>>>>> counterproductive, it only makes it more complex, for no added value).
>>>>>
>>>>> There are several problems in this group of drivers as far as lifetime
>>>>> management is concerned. I explained some of it in the patch 2/2
>>>>>
>>>>> If vimc module is removed while streaming is active, vimc_exit runs
>>>>> into NULL pointer dereference error when streaming thread tries to
>>>>> access and lock graph_mutex in the struct media_device.
>>>>>
>>>>> The primary reason for this is that:
>>>>>
>>>>> media_device is embedded in struct vimc_device and when vimc is removed
>>>>> vimc_device and the embedded media_device goes with it, while the active
>>>>> stream and vimc_capture continue to access it.
>>>>
>>>> The issue isn't so much that media_devic is embedded in vimc_device, but
>>>> that vimc_device is released too early. Not only does the thread need to
>>>> access the graph_mutex lock in the media_device structure, but it can
>>>> potentially access fields of the device-specific structures as well. The
>>>> proper solution is to propagate media_device_release() one level up, in
>>>> order to only release the top-level structure containing media_device
>>>> when the last reference to the media_device is dropped.
>>
>> Yes. vimc_device is the master device for all the component drivers and
>> it being released early definitely causes problems. I tried to solve
>> this by isolating the media_device embedded in it and taking that out
>> of contention for release later. This problem could be solved by making
>> sure vimc_device sticks around and I am on that solution now.
>
> Thank you :-)
>
>>> I have seen similar problems with rcar-vin, the device specific data is
>>> released to early. In my case it was not triggered by the struct
>>> media_device but with a struct v4l2_device embedded in the device
>>> specific data IIRC.
>>>
>>> This was when I tried to address the lifetime issues of the video device
>>> when binding/unbinding the device to the driver and not when unloading
>>> the module. This was quiet a while ago so I don't recall specifics,
>>> sorry about that. One finding was that there are also unsolved problems
>>> when it comes async notifiers and unloading/unbinding and then
>>> loading/binding subdevices as well as the driver controlling the video
>>> device. It was such a mess I gave up.
>>
>> Yes. You will find such problems with various media drivers. It could be
>> the v4l2 device or some other device that gets released while still in
>> use.
>>
>>> I'm happy to see activity in this area but I fear it might need work on
>>> a higher level and not trying to work around the problem in drivers.
>>
>> Drivers still need to handle such issues anyway. Is there a reason why
>> you think it is a work-around?
>>
>>>>> If we chose to keep these drivers as component drivers, media device
>>>>> needs to stick around until all components stop using it. This is tricky
>>>>> because there is no tie between these set of drivers. vimc module can
>>>>> be deleted while others are still active. As vimc gets removed, other
>>>>> component drivers start wanting to access the media device tree.
>>>>
>>>> Reference-counting is the key.
>>>>
>>>>> This is classic media device lifetime problem which could be solved
>>>>> easily with the way I solved it with this series. I saw this as a
>>>>> variation on the same use-case we had with sound and media drivers
>>>>> sharing the media device.
>>>>
>>>> This isn't about solving it easily, it's about solving it properly. The
>>>> media device allocator as used here is a hack and takes us in the
>>>> opposite direction of a proper fix.
>>
>> Labeling this hack doesn't accurate. I agree though that this might be a
>> big hammer and there might be other solutions that can be limited to
>> just vimc scope. :)
>
> The reason I call this a hack is that it may hide the early free of the
> media_device structure itself, but won't help at all with the vimc
> device structure that may also need to be accessed by the other drivers.
> In order to fix this problem - and all similar lifetime management
> problems - correctly we need to look at every structure and track how
> they are referenced. Only through proper reference counting can we be
> safe.
>
> The media device allocator was specifically designed to handle cases
> where there is no single master driver that can own a media device. This
> caused the problems explained below which to my infinite disappointment
> have been ignored while being pointed out multiple times during review.
> I can only blame myself for not having done a better job at explaining
> those issues of course, as the patch adding the allocator is signed by
> three V4L2 core developers, so I must have failed three times.
> Nevertheless, this API shall not be used until those problems are fixed,
> to avoid spreading them to more drivers. At least until then - and I
> believe beyond that too - it shall not be used for drivers where a media
> device master exists, such as vimc.
>
>>>>> I have a TODO request from you asking to extend Media Device Allocator
>>>>> API to generic case and not restrict it to USB devices. My thinking is
>>>>> that this gives a perfect test case to extend the API to be generic
>>>>> and use to solve this problem.
>>>>
>>>> The biggest issue at the moment with the media device allocator, which I
>>>> have pointed out numerous times and has never been addressed (and which
>>>> explains why I didn't think the code was ready to be merged) is that the
>>>> media_device contains operations that are based on having a single
>>>> driver controlling the media device. A proper shared media device
>>>> allocator needs to drop the concept of a single master for the media
>>>> device, and thus needs to refactor those operations to allow any user of
>>>> the media device to implement them (the .link_notify() operation is a
>>>> prime example, and the recently added request operations will make this
>>>> even more challenging - think of how this patch series would prevent
>>>> vimc from properly implementing the request API). As long as these issue
>>>> are not fixed I will be firmly opposed to spreading the usage of the
>>>> media device allocator beyond what exists today.
>>
>> During the reviews, it was deemed necessary to make media driver as the
>> master for creating parts of the tree and provide hooks for other
>> drivers to add their own media components to the tree. The same is
>> extended to other interfaces. This feature was on ice for so long,
>> I don't recall all the details on how it evolved.
>
> Do you mean during the review of the vimc driver or of the media
> allocator API ?
>

I meant the media device allocator api. I did some looking after I sent
this email. link_notify itself isn't in the media device allocator api
scope. What is missing is someway to provide registering link_notify
similar to entity_notify that exists today.

Perhaps we can adrres the link_notify can be solved in the future. Let's
chat when we meet in person at one of the conferences.

thanks,
-- Shuah

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