Re: Fix time going backward with clock=pit [1/2]

From: Roman Zippel
Date: Thu May 18 2006 - 07:51:14 EST


On Wed, 17 May 2006, Tim Mann wrote:

> 2) do_timer_overflow was trying to detect the case where the counter
> has wrapped since jiffies was incremented by checking whether the
> timer interrupt is still pending in the PIC. This is bogus for a
> couple of reasons: (a) There is a window between the point where
> the PIC interrupt is acknowledged and jiffies is incremented.
> (b) Most systems use the IOAPIC for interrupt routing now. The
> kernel has code that tries to also route the timer interrupt to the
> PIC and acknowledge it there, but this does not appear to work; in
> my testing on a couple of IOAPIC systems, do_timer_overflow always
> thought a timer interrupt was pending. Also, this code has the
> same window as in (a).

Do you (or anyone else) have more information about this? If it's not
possible to detect the underflow, it would mean that PIT isn't usable
as clock in these cases, as the clock would still jump around (just not
visibly backwards).

> if( jiffies_t == jiffies_p ) {
> if( count > count_p ) {
> /* the nutcase */
> - count = do_timer_overflow(count);
> + count = count_p;
> }
> } else
> jiffies_p = jiffies_t;

IMO the else part is not correct. I think the whole think should look
something like this:

if (jiffies_t == jiffies_p) {
if (count > count_p) {
underflow or crappy timer;
} else {
jiffies_p = jiffies_t;
if (count > LATCH/2 && underflow)
count -= LATCH;

This would also basically solve the ordering problem, retrying the
function would produce the correct result.

So we basically have two issues:
1. Fix the timekeeping to produce correct results.
2. Broken underflow handling.

If the second isn't fixable, it would make the whole thing practically
unusable. I hope that it's at least detectable, so we don't use it as a
clock, which would be IMO preferable instead of completely removing the
underflow check (which would make the clock unreliable for everyone).

BTW another bug here is the wrong initialization of jiffies_p (it should

bye, Roman
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at