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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/2] Use Media Dev Allocator to fix vimc dev lifetime bugs
Hi Shauah, Laurent,

On 2019-06-30 14:41:02 +0300, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
> Hi Shuah,
>
> 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.

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.

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.

>
> > 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.
>
> > 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.
>
> > Collapsing the drivers into one might be lot more difficult and complex
> > than solving this problem with Media Device Allocator API. This approach
> > has an added benefit of extending the API to be generic and not just for
> > USB.
>
> I've never disputed the fact that fixing a problem correctly is usually
> more work than hacking around it :-)
>
> > I looked at this as a good way to add generic API and have a great test
> > case for it. This patch series fixes the problem for the current vimc
> > architecture.
>
> NAK, for the reasons above. Please drop this series and fix the problem
> properly.
>
> --
> Regards,
>
> Laurent Pinchart

--
Regards,
Niklas Söderlund

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