Re: [PATCH -mm resend] cpuhotplug: introduce try_get_online_cpus()take 3

From: Andrew Morton
Date: Tue Jun 09 2009 - 21:43:41 EST

On Wed, 10 Jun 2009 09:13:58 +0800 Lai Jiangshan <laijs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> It's for -mm tree.
> It also works for mainline if you apply this at first:
> Subject: [PATCH -mm] cpuhotplug: introduce try_get_online_cpus() take 3
> get_online_cpus() is a typically coarsely granular lock.
> It's a source of ABBA or ABBCCA... deadlock.
> Thanks to the CPU notifiers, Some subsystem's global lock will
> be required after cpu_hotplug.lock. Subsystem's global lock
> is coarsely granular lock too, thus a lot's of lock in kernel
> should be required after cpu_hotplug.lock(if we need
> cpu_hotplug.lock held too)
> Otherwise it may come to a ABBA deadlock like this:
> thread 1 | thread 2
> _cpu_down() | Lock a-kernel-lock.
> cpu_hotplug_begin() |
> mutex_lock(&cpu_hotplug.lock) |
> __raw_notifier_call_chain(CPU_DOWN_PREPARE) | get_online_cpus()
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Lock a-kernel-lock.(wait thread2) | mutex_lock(&cpu_hotplug.lock)
> (wait thread 1)

uh, OK.

> But CPU online/offline are happened very rarely, get_online_cpus()
> returns success quickly in all probability.
> So it's an asinine behavior that get_online_cpus() is not allowed
> to be required after we had held "a-kernel-lock".
> To dispel the ABBA deadlock, this patch introduces
> try_get_online_cpus(). It returns fail very rarely. It gives the
> caller a chance to select an alternative way to finish works,
> instead of sleeping or deadlock.

I still think we should really avoid having to do this. trylocks are
nasty things.

Looking at the above, one would think that a correct fix would be to fix
the bug in "thread 2": take the locks in the correct order? As
try_get_online_cpus() doesn't actually have any callers, it's hard to
take that thought any further.

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