Michael Ellerman's on June 19, 2019 3:14 pm:
Sorry I meant to reply to this earlier .. :/
"Naveen N. Rao" <naveen.n.rao@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
With -mprofile-kernel, gcc emits 'mflr r0', followed by 'bl _mcount' to
enable function tracing and profiling. So far, with dynamic ftrace, we
used to only patch out the branch to _mcount(). However, mflr is
executed by the branch unit that can only execute one per cycle on
POWER9 and shared with branches, so it would be nice to avoid it where
We cannot simply nop out the mflr either. When enabling function
tracing, there can be a race if tracing is enabled when some thread was
interrupted after executing a nop'ed out mflr. In this case, the thread
would execute the now-patched-in branch to _mcount() without having
executed the preceding mflr.
To solve this, we now enable function tracing in 2 steps: patch in the
mflr instruction, use synchronize_rcu_tasks() to ensure all existing
threads make progress, and then patch in the branch to _mcount(). We
override ftrace_replace_code() with a powerpc64 variant for this
According to the ISA we're not allowed to patch mflr at runtime. See the
section on "CMODX".
According to "quasi patch class" engineering note, we can patch
anything with a preferred nop. But that's written as an optional
facility, which we don't have a feature to test for.
I'm also not convinced the ordering between the two patches is
guaranteed by the ISA, given that there's possibly no isync on the other
Will they go through a context synchronizing event?
synchronize_rcu_tasks() should ensure a thread is scheduled away, but
I'm not actually sure it guarantees CSI if it's kernel->kernel. Could
do a smp_call_function to do the isync on each CPU to be sure.