Re: [PATCH] time, ntp: Do not update time_state in middle of leap second [v3]

From: Prarit Bhargava
Date: Fri Feb 20 2015 - 09:12:53 EST

On 02/17/2015 06:16 PM, John Stultz wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 5:58 AM, Prarit Bhargava <prarit@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>> which was intended to mimic the insertion of a leap second. A
>> successful run of the test would result in the time_state transitioning
>> from TIME_OK to TIME_INS, then to TIME_OOP when the leap second was
>> inserted, and then to TIME_WAIT when the leap second was completed. While
>> running this code failures were seen in which the time_state remained TIME_INS,
>> even though the leap second had occurred.
> Ok, thanks for the more verbose explanation. Although this is more a
> history of what you've seen rather then the crux of the change.
> To distill this down just a bit, the point is the usual mode for NTP
> time_state machine looks like:
> | |
> v v
> TIME_DEL ------------> TIME_WAIT -(back)-> TIME_OK
> (hopefully the ascii art survives here)
> Now, from any of these states, currently if adjtimex is called w/ the
> STA_PLL bit cleared (after STA_PLL was set), we reset back to TIME_OK,
> effectively cancelling any transitions. (You'll have to imagine a line
> from any of the states back to TIME_OK, since that's going to be too
> ugly to do in ascii)
> Your patch is trying to remove the line back from TIME_OOP back to
> TIME_OK. Basically stopping the ability to reset the ntp state during
> a leapsecond.


> I do get that the behavior seen was strange due to a bug in the test
> code which caused unexpected cancellation of state, but I'm not sure
> if we should change the behavior to enforce that cancellation not be
> possible. I could imagine some logic which really wants to reset the
> state, which just by chance lands during a leap second, and the
> application is confused since the state change didn't occur as
> expected.

I think setting it in the middle of the leap second should be a NOOP. We all
know how fragile this code has been in the past and allowing a state transition
at that particular time isn't a good idea given the outcome that the state may
remain TIME_INS.

> So I guess I'm not seeing that the state machine is actually "broken"
> in this case that you've outlined. If you can articulate better why
> the OOP -> OK transition is truly invalid, I'd be interested in
> hearing, but I'm not sure I want to risk a behavioral change unless
> there's wide agreement.

I understand -- After thinking about it from your point of view I agree that
calling it "broken" is not right. Perhaps a better way of looking at it is, as
you also point out, if OOP -> OK is truly valid.


> thanks
> -john
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