Understanding stop_machine() use for cpu_down()

From: Hardik H Bagdi
Date: Thu Jan 26 2017 - 09:13:23 EST


I'm trying to understand why stop_machine() is necessary for
cpu_down() operation.

I see that multi_cpu_stop() on every online cpu (which hogs the cpu
and then triggers state changes state)
and then, take_cpu_down is invoked on the outgoing cpu.
This happens by every cpu decrementing the msdata->thread_ack and last
one trigger a state change.

I'm trying to understand why is this necessary.

Is to wait for RCU grace period(s)?
If yes, what variable/struct is being protected and how does
stop_machine() help there?

I see there was a patch (https://lwn.net/Articles/538819/) but had
some issues with idle_loop.

Is there an alternative where the stop_machine would not be necessary?
Or more specifically, is there a reason why every CPU would need to stop?

Any help would be appreciated.