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SubjectRe: [patch V2 08/15] Documentation: Add lock ordering and nesting documentation
Joel Fernandes <> writes:
>> +rwlock_t
>> +========
>> +
>> +rwlock_t is a multiple readers and single writer lock mechanism.
>> +
>> +On a non PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel rwlock_t is implemented as a spinning
>> +lock and the suffix rules of spinlock_t apply accordingly. The
>> +implementation is fair and prevents writer starvation.
> You mentioned writer starvation, but I think it would be good to also mention
> that rwlock_t on a non-PREEMPT_RT kernel also does not have _reader_
> starvation problem, since it uses queued implementation. This fact is worth
> mentioning here, since further below you explain that an rwlock in PREEMPT_RT
> does have reader starvation problem.

It's worth mentioning. But RT really has only write starvation not
reader starvation.

>> +rwlock_t and PREEMPT_RT
>> +-----------------------
>> +
>> +On a PREEMPT_RT enabled kernel rwlock_t is mapped to a separate
>> +implementation based on rt_mutex which changes the semantics:
>> +
>> + - Same changes as for spinlock_t
>> +
>> + - The implementation is not fair and can cause writer starvation under
>> + certain circumstances. The reason for this is that a writer cannot grant
>> + its priority to multiple readers. Readers which are blocked on a writer
>> + fully support the priority inheritance protocol.
> Is it hard to give priority to multiple readers because the number of readers
> to give priority to could be unbounded?

Yes, and it's horribly complex and racy. We had an implemetation years
ago which taught us not to try it again :)

>> +PREEMPT_RT also offers a local_lock mechanism to substitute the
>> +local_irq_disable/save() constructs in cases where a separation of the
>> +interrupt disabling and the locking is really unavoidable. This should be
>> +restricted to very rare cases.
> It would also be nice to mention where else local_lock() can be used, such as
> protecting per-cpu variables without disabling preemption. Could we add a
> section on protecting per-cpu data? (Happy to do that and send a patch if you
> prefer).

The local lock section will come soon when we post the local lock
patches again.

>> +rwsems have grown interfaces which allow non owner release for special
>> +purposes. This usage is problematic on PREEMPT_RT because PREEMPT_RT
>> +substitutes all locking primitives except semaphores with RT-mutex based
>> +implementations to provide priority inheritance for all lock types except
>> +the truly spinning ones. Priority inheritance on ownerless locks is
>> +obviously impossible.
>> +
>> +For now the rwsem non-owner release excludes code which utilizes it from
>> +being used on PREEMPT_RT enabled kernels.
> I could not parse the last sentence here, but I think you meant "For now,
> PREEMPT_RT enabled kernels disable code that perform a non-owner release of
> an rwsem". Correct me if I'm wrong.

Right, that's what I wanted to say :)

Care to send a delta patch?



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