Re: [PATCH 7/8] membarrier: Remove arm (32) support for SYNC_CORE

From: Andy Lutomirski
Date: Thu Jun 17 2021 - 10:00:54 EST

On Thu, Jun 17, 2021, at 6:51 AM, Mark Rutland wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 17, 2021 at 06:41:41AM -0700, Andy Lutomirski wrote:

> > In any event, I’m even more convinced that no new SYNC_CORE arches
> > should be added. We need a new API that just does the right thing.
> My intuition is the other way around, and that this is a gnereally
> useful thing for architectures that require context synchronization.

Except that you can't use it in a generic way. You have to know the specific rules for your arch.

> It's not clear to me what "the right thing" would mean specifically, and
> on architectures with userspace cache maintenance JITs can usually do
> the most optimal maintenance, and only need help for the context
> synchronization.

This I simply don't believe -- I doubt that any sane architecture really works like this. I wrote an email about it to Intel that apparently generated internal discussion but no results. Consider:

mmap(some shared library, some previously unmapped address);

this does no heavyweight synchronization, at least on x86. There is no "serializing" instruction in the fast path, and it *works* despite anything the SDM may or may not say.

We can and, IMO, should develop a sane way for user programs to install instructions into VMAs, for security-conscious software to verify them (by splitting the read and write sides?), and for their consumers to execute them, without knowing any arch details. And I think this can be done with no IPIs except for possible TLB flushing when needed, at least on most architectures. It would require a nontrivial amount of design work, and it would not resemble sys_cacheflush() or SYNC_CORE.