Re: [PATCH v3 05/11] x86/mm: Track the TLB's tlb_gen and update the flushing algorithm

From: Andy Lutomirski
Date: Fri Jun 23 2017 - 11:47:36 EST

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 1:42 AM, Borislav Petkov <bp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 11:08:38AM -0700, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
>> Yes, I agree it's confusing. There really are three numbers. Those
>> numbers are: the latest generation, the generation that this CPU has
>> caught up to, and the generation that the requester of the flush we're
>> currently handling has asked us to catch up to. I don't see a way to
>> reduce the complexity.
> Yeah, can you pls put that clarification what what is, over it. It
> explains it nicely what the check is supposed to do.

Done. I've tried to improve a bunch of the comments in this function.

>> >> The flush IPI hits after a switch_mm_irqs_off() call notices the
>> >> change from 1 to 2. switch_mm_irqs_off() will do a full flush and
>> >> increment the local tlb_gen to 2, and the IPI handler for the partial
>> >> flush will see local_tlb_gen == mm_tlb_gen - 1 (because local_tlb_gen
>> >> == 2 and mm_tlb_gen == 3) and do a partial flush.
>> >
>> > Why, the 2->3 flush has f->end == TLB_FLUSH_ALL.
>> >
>> > That's why you have this thing in addition to the tlb_gen.
>> Yes. The idea is that we only do remote partial flushes when it's
>> 100% obvious that it's safe.
> So why wouldn't my simplified suggestion work then?
> if (f->end != TLB_FLUSH_ALL &&
> mm_tlb_gen == local_tlb_gen + 1)
> 1->2 is a partial flush - gets promoted to a full one
> 2->3 is a full flush - it will get executed as one due to the f->end setting to

This could still fail in some cases, I think. Suppose 1->2 is a
partial flush and 2->3 is a full flush. We could have this order of

- CPU 1: Partial flush. Increase context.tlb_gen to 2 and send IPI.
- CPU 0: switch_mm(), observe mm_tlb_gen == 2, set local_tlb_gen to 2.
- CPU 2: Full flush. Increase context.tlb_gen to 3 and send IPI.
- CPU 0: Receive partial flush IPI. mm_tlb_gen == 2 and
local_tlb_gen == 3. Do __flush_tlb_single() and set local_tlb_gen to

Our invariant is now broken: CPU 0's percpu tlb_gen is now ahead of
its actual TLB state.

- CPU 0: Receive full flush IPI and skip the flush. Oops.

I think my condition makes it clear that the invariants we need hold
no matter it.

>> It could be converted to two full flushes or to just one, I think,
>> depending on what order everything happens in.
> Right. One flush at the right time would be optimal.
>> But this approach of using three separate tlb_gen values seems to
>> cover all the bases, and I don't think it's *that* bad.
> Sure.
> As I said in IRC, let's document that complexity then so that when we
> stumble over it in the future, we at least know why it was done this
> way.

I've given it a try. Hopefully v4 is more clear.