Re: Random panic in load_balance() with 3.16-rc

From: Markus Trippelsdorf
Date: Sat Jul 26 2014 - 16:19:24 EST

On 2014.07.26 at 12:56 -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 12:35 PM, Markus Trippelsdorf
> <markus@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > But fortunately the workaround for the new inode.c bug is the same as
> > for the original bug: -fno-var-tracking-assignments.
> >
> > It would make sense to enabled it unconditionally for all debug
> > configurations for now.
> So how is code generation affected - if at all? Does the whole
> "var-tracking-assignments" thing *only* matter for debug information?

Yes. It should only affect the quality of the debugging information.
If code generation is affected it is a compiler bug.

> Also, when was it introduced as an option? Can we just unconditionally
> enable it, or do we need to be careful about gcc versions?

Git blame says it was introduced: Wed Sep 2 02:42:21 2009.

> I'd *like* a debug kernel to not differ significantly from a non-debug
> kernel. Most sane kernel developers (where "sane" is "me" by
> definition) do not tend to use debug kernels, because the debug
> overhead is absolutely disgustingly enormous at build time. But if we
> then have most users using distro kernels that had debug info enabled,
> it would be sad if code generation differences are huge.
> So I'd prefer to just unconditionally add that
> "-fno-var-tracking-assignments" to the build.
> I just tested it on one file (fs/dcache.c) and it made no difference
> at all for my non-debug build. Is this expected?

Yes. The option only affects -g builds.

> Because if the only effect of "-fno-var-tracking-assignments" is
> potentially slightly worse debug information for variables, I'll
> enable it in a jiffy if it fixes this code generation bug. But I'd
> like to get that confirmed.
> Finally, for CONFIG_DEBUG_INFO_REDUCED, we already use
> "-fno-var-tracking". Is that a stronger version that also disables
> "var-tracking-assignments"?


So, the option should only be enabled for debugging builds. Something
like the following should be sufficient:

diff --git a/Makefile b/Makefile
index 6b2774145d66..037b78d0f407 100644
--- a/Makefile
+++ b/Makefile
@@ -689,7 +689,7 @@ endif

+KBUILD_CFLAGS += -g -fno-var-tracking-assignments
KBUILD_AFLAGS += -Wa,-gdwarf-2

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