Re: [PATCH 4/4] locking: Introduce smp_cond_acquire()

From: Will Deacon
Date: Mon Nov 16 2015 - 08:58:23 EST

Hi Paul,

On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 03:43:51PM -0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 09:33:39PM +0000, Will Deacon wrote:
> > I think we ended up concluding that smp_mb__after_unlock_lock is indeed
> > required, but I don't think we should just resurrect the old definition,
> > which doesn't keep UNLOCK -> LOCK distinct from RELEASE -> ACQUIRE. I'm
> > still working on documenting the different types of transitivity that we
> > identified in that thread, but it's slow going.
> >
> > Also, as far as spin_unlock_wait is concerned, it is neither a LOCK or
> > an UNLOCK and this barrier doesn't offer us anything. Sure, it might
> > work because PPC defines it as smp_mb(), but it doesn't help on arm64
> > and defining the macro is overkill for us in most places (i.e. RCU).
> >
> > If we decide that the current usage of spin_unlock_wait is valid, then I
> > would much rather implement a version of it in the arm64 backend that
> > does something like:
> >
> > 1: ldrex r1, [&lock]
> > if r1 indicates that lock is taken, branch back to 1b
> > strex r1, [&lock]
> > if store failed, branch back to 1b
> >
> > i.e. we don't just test the lock, but we also write it back atomically
> > if we discover that it's free. That would then clear the exclusive monitor
> > on any cores in the process of taking the lock and restore the ordering
> > that we need.
> We could clearly do something similar in PowerPC, but I suspect that this
> would hurt really badly on large systems, given that there are PowerPC
> systems with more than a thousand hardware threads. So one approach
> is ARM makes spin_unlock_wait() do the write, similar to spin_lock();
> spin_lock(), but PowerPC relies on smp_mb__after_unlock_lock().

Sure, I'm certainly not trying to tell you how to do this for PPC, but
the above would be better for arm64 (any huge system should be using the
8.1 atomics anyway).

> Or does someone have a better proposal?

I don't think I'm completely clear on the current proposal wrt
smp_mb__after_unlock_lock. To summarise my understanding (in the context
of Boqun's original example, which I've duplicated at the end of this

* Putting smp_mb__after_unlock_lock() after the LOCK on CPU2 creates
global order, by upgrading the UNLOCK -> LOCK to a full barrier. If
we extend this to include the accesses made by the UNLOCK and LOCK
as happening *before* the notional full barrier, then a from-read
edge from CPU2 to CPU1 on `object' implies that the LOCK operation
is observed by CPU1 before it writes object = NULL. So we can add
this barrier and fix the test for PPC.

* Upgrading spin_unlock_wait to a LOCK operation (which is basically
what I'm proposing for arm64) means that we now rely on LOCK -> LOCK
being part of a single, total order (i.e. all CPUs agree on the
order in which a lock was taken).

Assuming PPC has this global LOCK -> LOCK ordering, then we end up in a
sticky situation defining the kernel's memory model because we don't
have an architecture-agnostic semantic. The only way I can see to fix
this is by adding something like smp_mb__between_lock_unlock_wait, but
that's grim.

Do you see a way forward?



================== ==================== ==============
r1 = *lock; // r1 == 0;
o = READ_ONCE(object); // reordered here
object = NULL;
*lock = 1;
o->dead = true;
if (o) // true
BUG_ON(o->dead); // true!!
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