Re: [PATCH v7 08/14] KVM: Rename mmu_notifier_*

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Wed May 24 2023 - 16:35:05 EST

On Wed, May 24, 2023 at 01:16:03PM -0700, Sean Christopherson wrote:

> Atomics aren't memory barriers on all architectures, e.g. see the various
> definitions of smp_mb__after_atomic().
> Even if atomic operations did provide barriers, using an atomic would be overkill
> and a net negative. On strongly ordered architectures like x86, memory barriers are
> just compiler barriers, whereas atomics may be more expensive.

Not quite, smp_{r,w}mb() and smp_mb__{before,after}_atomic() are
compiler barriers on the TSO archs, but smp_mb() very much isn't. TSO
still allows stores to be delayed vs later loads (iow it doesn't pretend
to hide the store buffer).

> Of course, the only
> accesses outside of mmu_lock are reads, so on x86 that "atomic" access is just a
> READ_ONCE() load, but that's not the case for all architectures.

This is true on *all* archs. atomic_set() and atomic_read() are no more
and no less than WRITE_ONCE() / READ_ONCE().

> Anyways, the point is that atomics and memory barriers are different things that
> serve different purposes.

This is true; esp. on the weakly ordered architectures where atomics do
not naturally imply any ordering.