This patchset implements a new futex operation, called FUTEX_WAIT_MULTIPLE,
which allows a thread to wait on several futexes at the same time, and be
awoken by any of them.
The use case lies in the Wine implementation of the Windows NT interface
WaitMultipleObjects. This Windows API function allows a thread to sleep
waiting on the first of a set of event sources (mutexes, timers, signal,
console input, etc) to signal. Considering this is a primitive
synchronization operation for Windows applications, being able to quickly
signal events on the producer side, and quickly go to sleep on the
consumer side is essential for good performance of those running over Wine.
Since this API exposes a mechanism to wait on multiple objects, and
we might have multiple waiters for each of these events, a M->N
relationship, the current Linux interfaces fell short on performance
evaluation of large M,N scenarios. We experimented, for instance, with
eventfd, which has performance problems discussed below, but we also
experimented with userspace solutions, like making each consumer wait on
a condition variable guarding the entire list of objects, and then
waking up multiple variables on the producer side, but this is
prohibitively expensive since we either need to signal many condition
variables or share that condition variable among multiple waiters, and
then verify for the event being signaled in userspace, which means
dealing with often false positive wakes ups.
The natural interface to implement the behavior we want, also
considering that one of the waitable objects is a mutex itself, would be
the futex interface. Therefore, this patchset proposes a mechanism for
a thread to wait on multiple futexes at once, and wake up on the first
futex that was awaken.
In particular, using futexes in our Wine use case reduced the CPU
utilization by 4% for the game Beat Saber and by 1.5% for the game
Shadow of Tomb Raider, both running over Proton (a Wine based solution
for Windows emulation), when compared to the eventfd interface. This
implementation also doesn't rely of file descriptors, so it doesn't risk
overflowing the resource.
In time, we are also proposing modifications to glibc and libpthread to
make this feature available for Linux native multithreaded applications
using libpthread, which can benefit from the behavior of waiting on any
of a group of futexes.
Technically, the existing FUTEX_WAIT implementation can be easily
reworked by using futex_wait_multiple() with a count of one, and I
have a patch showing how it works. I'm not proposing it, since
futex is such a tricky code, that I'd be more comfortable to have
FUTEX_WAIT_MULTIPLE running upstream for a couple development cycles,
before considering modifying FUTEX_WAIT.
The patch series includes an extensive set of kselftests validating
the behavior of the interface. We also implemented support on
Syzkaller and survived the fuzzy testing.
Finally, if you'd rather pull directly a branch with this set you can
find it here:
The RFC for this patch can be found here:
=== Performance of eventfd ===
Polling on several eventfd contexts with semaphore semantics would
provide us with the exact semantics we are looking for. However, as
shown below, in a scenario with sufficient producers and consumers, the
eventfd interface itself becomes a bottleneck, in particular because
each thread will compete to acquire a sequence of waitqueue locks for
each eventfd context in the poll list. In addition, in the uncontended
case, where the producer is ready for consumption, eventfd still
requires going into the kernel on the consumer side.
When a write or a read operation in an eventfd file succeeds, it will try
to wake up all threads that are waiting to perform some operation to
the file. The lock (ctx->wqh.lock) that hold the access to the file value
(ctx->count) is the same lock used to control access the waitqueue. When
all those those thread woke, they will compete to get this lock. Along
with that, the poll() also manipulates the waitqueue and need to hold
this same lock. This lock is specially hard to acquire when poll() calls
poll_freewait(), where it tries to free all waitqueues associated with
this poll. While doing that, it will compete with a lot of read and
write operations that have been waken.
In our use case, with a huge number of parallel reads, writes and polls,
this lock is a bottleneck and hurts the performance of applications. Our
implementation of futex, however, decrease the calls of spin lock by more
than 80% in some user applications.
Finally, eventfd operates on file descriptors, which is a limited
resource that has shown its limitation in our use cases. Despite the
Windows interface not waiting on more than 64 objects at once, we still
have multiple waiters at the same time, and we were easily able to
exhaust the FD limits on applications like games.
Gabriel Krisman Bertazi (4):
futex: Implement mechanism to wait on any of several futexes
selftests: futex: Add FUTEX_WAIT_MULTIPLE timeout test
selftests: futex: Add FUTEX_WAIT_MULTIPLE wouldblock test
selftests: futex: Add FUTEX_WAIT_MULTIPLE wake up test
include/uapi/linux/futex.h | 20 +
kernel/futex.c | 358 +++++++++++++++++-
.../selftests/futex/functional/.gitignore | 1 +
.../selftests/futex/functional/Makefile | 3 +-
.../futex/functional/futex_wait_multiple.c | 173 +++++++++
.../futex/functional/futex_wait_timeout.c | 38 +-
.../futex/functional/futex_wait_wouldblock.c | 28 +-
.../testing/selftests/futex/functional/run.sh | 3 +
.../selftests/futex/include/futextest.h | 22 ++
9 files changed, 639 insertions(+), 7 deletions(-)
create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/futex/functional/futex_wait_multiple.c