Re: [RFC PATCH 6/8] kthread: Enable parking requests from setup() andunpark() callbacks

From: Frederic Weisbecker
Date: Wed Jun 05 2013 - 12:33:50 EST

2013/5/21 Srivatsa S. Bhat <srivatsa.bhat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
> On 05/20/2013 09:31 PM, Frederic Weisbecker wrote:
>> When the watchdog code is boot-disabled by the user, for example
>> through the 'nmi_watchdog=0' boot option, the setup() callback of
>> the watchdog kthread requests to park the task, and that until the
>> user later re-enables the watchdog through sysctl or procfs.
>> However the parking request is not well handled when done from
>> the setup() callback. After ->setup() is called, the generic smpboot
>> kthread loop directly tries to call the thread function or wait
>> for some event if ->thread_should_run() is false.
>> In the case of the watchdog kthread, ->thread_should_run() returns
>> false and the kthread goes to sleep and wait for the watchdog timer
>> to wake it up. But the timer is not enabled since the user requested
>> to disable the watchdog. We want the kthread to park instead of waiting
>> for events that can't happen.
>> As a result, later unpark requests after sysctl write through
>> 'sysctl -w kernel.watchdog=1' won't wake up/unpark the task as
>> expected, since it's not parked anyway, leaving the value modified
>> without triggering any action.
>> We could workaround some solution in the watchdog code like forcing
>> one pass to the thread function and immediately return to park.
>> But supporting parking requests from ->setup() or ->unpark()
> unpark() can already do a proper park, because immediately after
> coming out of the parked state, the 'continue' statement helps
> re-evaluate the stop/park condition.


> So this fix is only for the ->setup() case.
>> callbacks look like proper way to implement cancellation in
>> general. So let's fix it that way.
> Sounds good to me.
> Reviewed-by: Srivatsa S. Bhat <srivatsa.bhat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> But I wonder what nmi_watchdog=0 should actually mean, semantically..
> The current code works as if the user asked us not to run the watchdog
> threads, but it could as well be interpreted as if the user does not
> want to run *any* watchdog-related *code*. In that case, ideally we
> should *unregister* the watchdog threads, instead of just parking them.
> And when the user enables them again via sysctl/procfs, we should
> register the watchdog threads with the smpboot infrastructure.
> I'm not saying that the current semantics is wrong, but if we really
> implement it the other way I proposed above, then we won't have to deal
> with weird issues like ->setup() code wanting to park, and watchdog
> threads unparking and parking themselves on every CPU hotplug operation,
> despite the fact that the user specified nmi_watchdog=0 on the kernel
> command line.

That's an interesting point. It seems that using smpboot
register/unregister operations for sysctl control would be more
appropriate and less complicated. I'm going to give it a try.

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