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SubjectRe: [PATCH] cpu/hotplug: Cache number of online CPUs
----- On Jul 4, 2019, at 6:33 PM, Thomas Gleixner wrote:

> On Thu, 4 Jul 2019, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
>> ----- On Jul 4, 2019, at 5:10 PM, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
>> >
>> > num_online_cpus() is racy today vs. CPU hotplug operations as
>> > long as you don't hold the hotplug lock.
>> Fair point, AFAIU none of the loads performed within num_online_cpus()
>> seem to rely on atomic nor volatile accesses. So not using a volatile
>> access to load the cached value should not introduce any regression.
>> I'm concerned that some code may rely on re-fetching of the cached
>> value between iterations of a loop. The lack of READ_ONCE() would
>> let the compiler keep a lifted load within a register and never
>> re-fetch, unless there is a cpu_relax() or a barrier() within the
>> loop.
> If someone really wants to write code which can handle concurrent CPU
> hotplug operations and rely on that information, then it's probably better
> to write out:
> ncpus = READ_ONCE(__num_online_cpus);
> explicitely along with a big fat comment.
> I can't figure out why one wants to do that and how it is supposed to work,
> but my brain is in shutdown mode already :)
> I'd rather write a proper kernel doc comment for num_online_cpus() which
> explains what the constraints are instead of pretending that the READ_ONCE
> in the inline has any meaning.

The other aspect I am concerned about is freedom given to the compiler
to perform the store to __num_online_cpus non-atomically, or the load
non-atomically due to memory pressure. Is that something we should be
concerned about ?

I thought we had WRITE_ONCE and READ_ONCE to take care of that kind of

The semantic I am looking for here is C11's relaxed atomics.



> Thanks,
> tglx

Mathieu Desnoyers
EfficiOS Inc.

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