Re: [PATCH tip/core/rcu 6/7] rcu: Drive quiescent-state-forcingdelay from HZ

From: Paul Mackerras
Date: Sun Apr 14 2013 - 22:04:13 EST

On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 11:38:04PM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 04:54:02PM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 04:19:13PM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > > From: "Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > >
> > > Systems with HZ=100 can have slow bootup times due to the default
> > > three-jiffy delays between quiescent-state forcing attempts. This
> > > commit therefore auto-tunes the RCU_JIFFIES_TILL_FORCE_QS value based
> > > on the value of HZ. However, this would break very large systems that
> > > require more time between quiescent-state forcing attempts. This
> > > commit therefore also ups the default delay by one jiffy for each
> > > 256 CPUs that might be on the system (based off of nr_cpu_ids at
> > > runtime, -not- NR_CPUS at build time).
> > >
> > > Reported-by: Paul Mackerras <paulus@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> > > Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> >
> > Something seems very wrong if RCU regularly hits the fqs code during
> > boot; feels like there's some more straightforward solution we're
> > missing. What causes these CPUs to fall under RCU's scrutiny during
> > boot yet not actually hit the RCU codepaths naturally?
> The problem is that they are running HZ=100, so that RCU will often
> take 30-60 milliseconds per grace period. At that point, you only
> need 16-30 grace periods to chew up a full second, so it is not all
> that hard to eat up the additional 8-12 seconds of boot time that
> they were seeing. IIRC, UP boot was costing them 4 seconds.

I added some instrumentation, which counted 202 calls to
synchronize_sched() during boot (Fedora 17 minimal install +
development tools) with a 3.8.0 kernel on a 4-cpu KVM virtual machine
on a POWER7. Without this patch, those 202 calls take up a total of
4.32 seconds; with it, they take up 3.6 seconds. The kernel is
compiled with HZ=100 and NR_CPUS=1024, like the standard Fedora

I suspect a lot of the calls are in udevd and related processes.
Interestingly there were no calls to synchronize_rcu_bh or

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