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-rw-r--r--Documentation/RCU/RTFP.txt387
-rw-r--r--Documentation/RCU/UP.txt64
-rw-r--r--Documentation/RCU/arrayRCU.txt141
-rw-r--r--Documentation/RCU/checklist.txt157
-rw-r--r--Documentation/RCU/listRCU.txt307
-rw-r--r--Documentation/RCU/rcu.txt67
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diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/RTFP.txt b/Documentation/RCU/RTFP.txt
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+Read the F-ing Papers!
+
+
+This document describes RCU-related publications, and is followed by
+the corresponding bibtex entries.
+
+The first thing resembling RCU was published in 1980, when Kung and Lehman
+[Kung80] recommended use of a garbage collector to defer destruction
+of nodes in a parallel binary search tree in order to simplify its
+implementation. This works well in environments that have garbage
+collectors, but current production garbage collectors incur significant
+read-side overhead.
+
+In 1982, Manber and Ladner [Manber82,Manber84] recommended deferring
+destruction until all threads running at that time have terminated, again
+for a parallel binary search tree. This approach works well in systems
+with short-lived threads, such as the K42 research operating system.
+However, Linux has long-lived tasks, so more is needed.
+
+In 1986, Hennessy, Osisek, and Seigh [Hennessy89] introduced passive
+serialization, which is an RCU-like mechanism that relies on the presence
+of "quiescent states" in the VM/XA hypervisor that are guaranteed not
+to be referencing the data structure. However, this mechanism was not
+optimized for modern computer systems, which is not surprising given
+that these overheads were not so expensive in the mid-80s. Nonetheless,
+passive serialization appears to be the first deferred-destruction
+mechanism to be used in production. Furthermore, the relevant patent has
+lapsed, so this approach may be used in non-GPL software, if desired.
+(In contrast, use of RCU is permitted only in software licensed under
+GPL. Sorry!!!)
+
+In 1990, Pugh [Pugh90] noted that explicitly tracking which threads
+were reading a given data structure permitted deferred free to operate
+in the presence of non-terminating threads. However, this explicit
+tracking imposes significant read-side overhead, which is undesirable
+in read-mostly situations. This algorithm does take pains to avoid
+write-side contention and parallelize the other write-side overheads by
+providing a fine-grained locking design, however, it would be interesting
+to see how much of the performance advantage reported in 1990 remains
+in 2004.
+
+At about this same time, Adams [Adams91] described ``chaotic relaxation'',
+where the normal barriers between successive iterations of convergent
+numerical algorithms are relaxed, so that iteration $n$ might use
+data from iteration $n-1$ or even $n-2$. This introduces error,
+which typically slows convergence and thus increases the number of
+iterations required. However, this increase is sometimes more than made
+up for by a reduction in the number of expensive barrier operations,
+which are otherwise required to synchronize the threads at the end
+of each iteration. Unfortunately, chaotic relaxation requires highly
+structured data, such as the matrices used in scientific programs, and
+is thus inapplicable to most data structures in operating-system kernels.
+
+In 1993, Jacobson [Jacobson93] verbally described what is perhaps the
+simplest deferred-free technique: simply waiting a fixed amount of time
+before freeing blocks awaiting deferred free. Jacobson did not describe
+any write-side changes he might have made in this work using SGI's Irix
+kernel. Aju John published a similar technique in 1995 [AjuJohn95].
+This works well if there is a well-defined upper bound on the length of
+time that reading threads can hold references, as there might well be in
+hard real-time systems. However, if this time is exceeded, perhaps due
+to preemption, excessive interrupts, or larger-than-anticipated load,
+memory corruption can ensue, with no reasonable means of diagnosis.
+Jacobson's technique is therefore inappropriate for use in production
+operating-system kernels, except when such kernels can provide hard
+real-time response guarantees for all operations.
+
+Also in 1995, Pu et al. [Pu95a] applied a technique similar to that of Pugh's
+read-side-tracking to permit replugging of algorithms within a commercial
+Unix operating system. However, this replugging permitted only a single
+reader at a time. The following year, this same group of researchers
+extended their technique to allow for multiple readers [Cowan96a].
+Their approach requires memory barriers (and thus pipeline stalls),
+but reduces memory latency, contention, and locking overheads.
+
+1995 also saw the first publication of DYNIX/ptx's RCU mechanism
+[Slingwine95], which was optimized for modern CPU architectures,
+and was successfully applied to a number of situations within the
+DYNIX/ptx kernel. The corresponding conference paper appeared in 1998
+[McKenney98].
+
+In 1999, the Tornado and K42 groups described their "generations"
+mechanism, which quite similar to RCU [Gamsa99]. These operating systems
+made pervasive use of RCU in place of "existence locks", which greatly
+simplifies locking hierarchies.
+
+2001 saw the first RCU presentation involving Linux [McKenney01a]
+at OLS. The resulting abundance of RCU patches was presented the
+following year [McKenney02a], and use of RCU in dcache was first
+described that same year [Linder02a].
+
+Also in 2002, Michael [Michael02b,Michael02a] presented techniques
+that defer the destruction of data structures to simplify non-blocking
+synchronization (wait-free synchronization, lock-free synchronization,
+and obstruction-free synchronization are all examples of non-blocking
+synchronization). In particular, this technique eliminates locking,
+reduces contention, reduces memory latency for readers, and parallelizes
+pipeline stalls and memory latency for writers. However, these
+techniques still impose significant read-side overhead in the form of
+memory barriers. Researchers at Sun worked along similar lines in the
+same timeframe [HerlihyLM02,HerlihyLMS03].
+
+In 2003, the K42 group described how RCU could be used to create
+hot-pluggable implementations of operating-system functions. Later that
+year saw a paper describing an RCU implementation of System V IPC
+[Arcangeli03], and an introduction to RCU in Linux Journal [McKenney03a].
+
+2004 has seen a Linux-Journal article on use of RCU in dcache
+[McKenney04a], a performance comparison of locking to RCU on several
+different CPUs [McKenney04b], a dissertation describing use of RCU in a
+number of operating-system kernels [PaulEdwardMcKenneyPhD], and a paper
+describing how to make RCU safe for soft-realtime applications [Sarma04c].
+
+
+Bibtex Entries
+
+@article{Kung80
+,author="H. T. Kung and Q. Lehman"
+,title="Concurrent Maintenance of Binary Search Trees"
+,Year="1980"
+,Month="September"
+,journal="ACM Transactions on Database Systems"
+,volume="5"
+,number="3"
+,pages="354-382"
+}
+
+@techreport{Manber82
+,author="Udi Manber and Richard E. Ladner"
+,title="Concurrency Control in a Dynamic Search Structure"
+,institution="Department of Computer Science, University of Washington"
+,address="Seattle, Washington"
+,year="1982"
+,number="82-01-01"
+,month="January"
+,pages="28"
+}
+
+@article{Manber84
+,author="Udi Manber and Richard E. Ladner"
+,title="Concurrency Control in a Dynamic Search Structure"
+,Year="1984"
+,Month="September"
+,journal="ACM Transactions on Database Systems"
+,volume="9"
+,number="3"
+,pages="439-455"
+}
+
+@techreport{Hennessy89
+,author="James P. Hennessy and Damian L. Osisek and Joseph W. {Seigh II}"
+,title="Passive Serialization in a Multitasking Environment"
+,institution="US Patent and Trademark Office"
+,address="Washington, DC"
+,year="1989"
+,number="US Patent 4,809,168 (lapsed)"
+,month="February"
+,pages="11"
+}
+
+@techreport{Pugh90
+,author="William Pugh"
+,title="Concurrent Maintenance of Skip Lists"
+,institution="Institute of Advanced Computer Science Studies, Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland"
+,address="College Park, Maryland"
+,year="1990"
+,number="CS-TR-2222.1"
+,month="June"
+}
+
+@Book{Adams91
+,Author="Gregory R. Adams"
+,title="Concurrent Programming, Principles, and Practices"
+,Publisher="Benjamin Cummins"
+,Year="1991"
+}
+
+@unpublished{Jacobson93
+,author="Van Jacobson"
+,title="Avoid Read-Side Locking Via Delayed Free"
+,year="1993"
+,month="September"
+,note="Verbal discussion"
+}
+
+@Conference{AjuJohn95
+,Author="Aju John"
+,Title="Dynamic vnodes -- Design and Implementation"
+,Booktitle="{USENIX Winter 1995}"
+,Publisher="USENIX Association"
+,Month="January"
+,Year="1995"
+,pages="11-23"
+,Address="New Orleans, LA"
+}
+
+@techreport{Slingwine95
+,author="John D. Slingwine and Paul E. McKenney"
+,title="Apparatus and Method for Achieving Reduced Overhead Mutual
+Exclusion and Maintaining Coherency in a Multiprocessor System
+Utilizing Execution History and Thread Monitoring"
+,institution="US Patent and Trademark Office"
+,address="Washington, DC"
+,year="1995"
+,number="US Patent 5,442,758 (contributed under GPL)"
+,month="August"
+}
+
+@techreport{Slingwine97
+,author="John D. Slingwine and Paul E. McKenney"
+,title="Method for maintaining data coherency using thread
+activity summaries in a multicomputer system"
+,institution="US Patent and Trademark Office"
+,address="Washington, DC"
+,year="1997"
+,number="US Patent 5,608,893 (contributed under GPL)"
+,month="March"
+}
+
+@techreport{Slingwine98
+,author="John D. Slingwine and Paul E. McKenney"
+,title="Apparatus and method for achieving reduced overhead
+mutual exclusion and maintaining coherency in a multiprocessor
+system utilizing execution history and thread monitoring"
+,institution="US Patent and Trademark Office"
+,address="Washington, DC"
+,year="1998"
+,number="US Patent 5,727,209 (contributed under GPL)"
+,month="March"
+}
+
+@Conference{McKenney98
+,Author="Paul E. McKenney and John D. Slingwine"
+,Title="Read-Copy Update: Using Execution History to Solve Concurrency
+Problems"
+,Booktitle="{Parallel and Distributed Computing and Systems}"
+,Month="October"
+,Year="1998"
+,pages="509-518"
+,Address="Las Vegas, NV"
+}
+
+@Conference{Gamsa99
+,Author="Ben Gamsa and Orran Krieger and Jonathan Appavoo and Michael Stumm"
+,Title="Tornado: Maximizing Locality and Concurrency in a Shared Memory
+Multiprocessor Operating System"
+,Booktitle="{Proceedings of the 3\textsuperscript{rd} Symposium on
+Operating System Design and Implementation}"
+,Month="February"
+,Year="1999"
+,pages="87-100"
+,Address="New Orleans, LA"
+}
+
+@techreport{Slingwine01
+,author="John D. Slingwine and Paul E. McKenney"
+,title="Apparatus and method for achieving reduced overhead
+mutual exclusion and maintaining coherency in a multiprocessor
+system utilizing execution history and thread monitoring"
+,institution="US Patent and Trademark Office"
+,address="Washington, DC"
+,year="2001"
+,number="US Patent 5,219,690 (contributed under GPL)"
+,month="April"
+}
+
+@Conference{McKenney01a
+,Author="Paul E. McKenney and Jonathan Appavoo and Andi Kleen and
+Orran Krieger and Rusty Russell and Dipankar Sarma and Maneesh Soni"
+,Title="Read-Copy Update"
+,Booktitle="{Ottawa Linux Symposium}"
+,Month="July"
+,Year="2001"
+,note="Available:
+\url{http://www.linuxsymposium.org/2001/abstracts/readcopy.php}
+\url{http://www.rdrop.com/users/paulmck/rclock/rclock_OLS.2001.05.01c.pdf}
+[Viewed June 23, 2004]"
+annotation="
+Described RCU, and presented some patches implementing and using it in
+the Linux kernel.
+"
+}
+
+@Conference{Linder02a
+,Author="Hanna Linder and Dipankar Sarma and Maneesh Soni"
+,Title="Scalability of the Directory Entry Cache"
+,Booktitle="{Ottawa Linux Symposium}"
+,Month="June"
+,Year="2002"
+,pages="289-300"
+}
+
+@Conference{McKenney02a
+,Author="Paul E. McKenney and Dipankar Sarma and
+Andrea Arcangeli and Andi Kleen and Orran Krieger and Rusty Russell"
+,Title="Read-Copy Update"
+,Booktitle="{Ottawa Linux Symposium}"
+,Month="June"
+,Year="2002"
+,pages="338-367"
+,note="Available:
+\url{http://www.linux.org.uk/~ajh/ols2002_proceedings.pdf.gz}
+[Viewed June 23, 2004]"
+}
+
+@article{Appavoo03a
+,author="J. Appavoo and K. Hui and C. A. N. Soules and R. W. Wisniewski and
+D. M. {Da Silva} and O. Krieger and M. A. Auslander and D. J. Edelsohn and
+B. Gamsa and G. R. Ganger and P. McKenney and M. Ostrowski and
+B. Rosenburg and M. Stumm and J. Xenidis"
+,title="Enabling Autonomic Behavior in Systems Software With Hot Swapping"
+,Year="2003"
+,Month="January"
+,journal="IBM Systems Journal"
+,volume="42"
+,number="1"
+,pages="60-76"
+}
+
+@Conference{Arcangeli03
+,Author="Andrea Arcangeli and Mingming Cao and Paul E. McKenney and
+Dipankar Sarma"
+,Title="Using Read-Copy Update Techniques for {System V IPC} in the
+{Linux} 2.5 Kernel"
+,Booktitle="Proceedings of the 2003 USENIX Annual Technical Conference
+(FREENIX Track)"
+,Publisher="USENIX Association"
+,year="2003"
+,month="June"
+,pages="297-310"
+}
+
+@article{McKenney03a
+,author="Paul E. McKenney"
+,title="Using {RCU} in the {Linux} 2.5 Kernel"
+,Year="2003"
+,Month="October"
+,journal="Linux Journal"
+,volume="1"
+,number="114"
+,pages="18-26"
+}
+
+@article{McKenney04a
+,author="Paul E. McKenney and Dipankar Sarma and Maneesh Soni"
+,title="Scaling dcache with {RCU}"
+,Year="2004"
+,Month="January"
+,journal="Linux Journal"
+,volume="1"
+,number="118"
+,pages="38-46"
+}
+
+@Conference{McKenney04b
+,Author="Paul E. McKenney"
+,Title="{RCU} vs. Locking Performance on Different {CPUs}"
+,Booktitle="{linux.conf.au}"
+,Month="January"
+,Year="2004"
+,Address="Adelaide, Australia"
+,note="Available:
+\url{http://www.linux.org.au/conf/2004/abstracts.html#90}
+\url{http://www.rdrop.com/users/paulmck/rclock/lockperf.2004.01.17a.pdf}
+[Viewed June 23, 2004]"
+}
+
+@phdthesis{PaulEdwardMcKenneyPhD
+,author="Paul E. McKenney"
+,title="Exploiting Deferred Destruction:
+An Analysis of Read-Copy-Update Techniques
+in Operating System Kernels"
+,school="OGI School of Science and Engineering at
+Oregon Health and Sciences University"
+,year="2004"
+}
+
+@Conference{Sarma04c
+,Author="Dipankar Sarma and Paul E. McKenney"
+,Title="Making RCU Safe for Deep Sub-Millisecond Response Realtime Applications"
+,Booktitle="Proceedings of the 2004 USENIX Annual Technical Conference
+(FREENIX Track)"
+,Publisher="USENIX Association"
+,year="2004"
+,month="June"
+,pages="182-191"
+}
diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/UP.txt b/Documentation/RCU/UP.txt
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..551a803d82a8
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/UP.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,64 @@
+RCU on Uniprocessor Systems
+
+
+A common misconception is that, on UP systems, the call_rcu() primitive
+may immediately invoke its function, and that the synchronize_kernel
+primitive may return immediately. The basis of this misconception
+is that since there is only one CPU, it should not be necessary to
+wait for anything else to get done, since there are no other CPUs for
+anything else to be happening on. Although this approach will sort of
+work a surprising amount of the time, it is a very bad idea in general.
+This document presents two examples that demonstrate exactly how bad an
+idea this is.
+
+
+Example 1: softirq Suicide
+
+Suppose that an RCU-based algorithm scans a linked list containing
+elements A, B, and C in process context, and can delete elements from
+this same list in softirq context. Suppose that the process-context scan
+is referencing element B when it is interrupted by softirq processing,
+which deletes element B, and then invokes call_rcu() to free element B
+after a grace period.
+
+Now, if call_rcu() were to directly invoke its arguments, then upon return
+from softirq, the list scan would find itself referencing a newly freed
+element B. This situation can greatly decrease the life expectancy of
+your kernel.
+
+
+Example 2: Function-Call Fatality
+
+Of course, one could avert the suicide described in the preceding example
+by having call_rcu() directly invoke its arguments only if it was called
+from process context. However, this can fail in a similar manner.
+
+Suppose that an RCU-based algorithm again scans a linked list containing
+elements A, B, and C in process contexts, but that it invokes a function
+on each element as it is scanned. Suppose further that this function
+deletes element B from the list, then passes it to call_rcu() for deferred
+freeing. This may be a bit unconventional, but it is perfectly legal
+RCU usage, since call_rcu() must wait for a grace period to elapse.
+Therefore, in this case, allowing call_rcu() to immediately invoke
+its arguments would cause it to fail to make the fundamental guarantee
+underlying RCU, namely that call_rcu() defers invoking its arguments until
+all RCU read-side critical sections currently executing have completed.
+
+Quick Quiz: why is it -not- legal to invoke synchronize_kernel() in
+this case?
+
+
+Summary
+
+Permitting call_rcu() to immediately invoke its arguments or permitting
+synchronize_kernel() to immediately return breaks RCU, even on a UP system.
+So do not do it! Even on a UP system, the RCU infrastructure -must-
+respect grace periods.
+
+
+Answer to Quick Quiz
+
+The calling function is scanning an RCU-protected linked list, and
+is therefore within an RCU read-side critical section. Therefore,
+the called function has been invoked within an RCU read-side critical
+section, and is not permitted to block.
diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/arrayRCU.txt b/Documentation/RCU/arrayRCU.txt
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..453ebe6953ee
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/arrayRCU.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,141 @@
+Using RCU to Protect Read-Mostly Arrays
+
+
+Although RCU is more commonly used to protect linked lists, it can
+also be used to protect arrays. Three situations are as follows:
+
+1. Hash Tables
+
+2. Static Arrays
+
+3. Resizeable Arrays
+
+Each of these situations are discussed below.
+
+
+Situation 1: Hash Tables
+
+Hash tables are often implemented as an array, where each array entry
+has a linked-list hash chain. Each hash chain can be protected by RCU
+as described in the listRCU.txt document. This approach also applies
+to other array-of-list situations, such as radix trees.
+
+
+Situation 2: Static Arrays
+
+Static arrays, where the data (rather than a pointer to the data) is
+located in each array element, and where the array is never resized,
+have not been used with RCU. Rik van Riel recommends using seqlock in
+this situation, which would also have minimal read-side overhead as long
+as updates are rare.
+
+Quick Quiz: Why is it so important that updates be rare when
+ using seqlock?
+
+
+Situation 3: Resizeable Arrays
+
+Use of RCU for resizeable arrays is demonstrated by the grow_ary()
+function used by the System V IPC code. The array is used to map from
+semaphore, message-queue, and shared-memory IDs to the data structure
+that represents the corresponding IPC construct. The grow_ary()
+function does not acquire any locks; instead its caller must hold the
+ids->sem semaphore.
+
+The grow_ary() function, shown below, does some limit checks, allocates a
+new ipc_id_ary, copies the old to the new portion of the new, initializes
+the remainder of the new, updates the ids->entries pointer to point to
+the new array, and invokes ipc_rcu_putref() to free up the old array.
+Note that rcu_assign_pointer() is used to update the ids->entries pointer,
+which includes any memory barriers required on whatever architecture
+you are running on.
+
+ static int grow_ary(struct ipc_ids* ids, int newsize)
+ {
+ struct ipc_id_ary* new;
+ struct ipc_id_ary* old;
+ int i;
+ int size = ids->entries->size;
+
+ if(newsize > IPCMNI)
+ newsize = IPCMNI;
+ if(newsize <= size)
+ return newsize;
+
+ new = ipc_rcu_alloc(sizeof(struct kern_ipc_perm *)*newsize +
+ sizeof(struct ipc_id_ary));
+ if(new == NULL)
+ return size;
+ new->size = newsize;
+ memcpy(new->p, ids->entries->p,
+ sizeof(struct kern_ipc_perm *)*size +
+ sizeof(struct ipc_id_ary));
+ for(i=size;i<newsize;i++) {
+ new->p[i] = NULL;
+ }
+ old = ids->entries;
+
+ /*
+ * Use rcu_assign_pointer() to make sure the memcpyed
+ * contents of the new array are visible before the new
+ * array becomes visible.
+ */
+ rcu_assign_pointer(ids->entries, new);
+
+ ipc_rcu_putref(old);
+ return newsize;
+ }
+
+The ipc_rcu_putref() function decrements the array's reference count
+and then, if the reference count has dropped to zero, uses call_rcu()
+to free the array after a grace period has elapsed.
+
+The array is traversed by the ipc_lock() function. This function
+indexes into the array under the protection of rcu_read_lock(),
+using rcu_dereference() to pick up the pointer to the array so
+that it may later safely be dereferenced -- memory barriers are
+required on the Alpha CPU. Since the size of the array is stored
+with the array itself, there can be no array-size mismatches, so
+a simple check suffices. The pointer to the structure corresponding
+to the desired IPC object is placed in "out", with NULL indicating
+a non-existent entry. After acquiring "out->lock", the "out->deleted"
+flag indicates whether the IPC object is in the process of being
+deleted, and, if not, the pointer is returned.
+
+ struct kern_ipc_perm* ipc_lock(struct ipc_ids* ids, int id)
+ {
+ struct kern_ipc_perm* out;
+ int lid = id % SEQ_MULTIPLIER;
+ struct ipc_id_ary* entries;
+
+ rcu_read_lock();
+ entries = rcu_dereference(ids->entries);
+ if(lid >= entries->size) {
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+ return NULL;
+ }
+ out = entries->p[lid];
+ if(out == NULL) {
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+ return NULL;
+ }
+ spin_lock(&out->lock);
+
+ /* ipc_rmid() may have already freed the ID while ipc_lock
+ * was spinning: here verify that the structure is still valid
+ */
+ if (out->deleted) {
+ spin_unlock(&out->lock);
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+ return NULL;
+ }
+ return out;
+ }
+
+
+Answer to Quick Quiz:
+
+ The reason that it is important that updates be rare when
+ using seqlock is that frequent updates can livelock readers.
+ One way to avoid this problem is to assign a seqlock for
+ each array entry rather than to the entire array.
diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/checklist.txt b/Documentation/RCU/checklist.txt
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..b3a568abe6b1
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/checklist.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,157 @@
+Review Checklist for RCU Patches
+
+
+This document contains a checklist for producing and reviewing patches
+that make use of RCU. Violating any of the rules listed below will
+result in the same sorts of problems that leaving out a locking primitive
+would cause. This list is based on experiences reviewing such patches
+over a rather long period of time, but improvements are always welcome!
+
+0. Is RCU being applied to a read-mostly situation? If the data
+ structure is updated more than about 10% of the time, then
+ you should strongly consider some other approach, unless
+ detailed performance measurements show that RCU is nonetheless
+ the right tool for the job.
+
+ The other exception would be where performance is not an issue,
+ and RCU provides a simpler implementation. An example of this
+ situation is the dynamic NMI code in the Linux 2.6 kernel,
+ at least on architectures where NMIs are rare.
+
+1. Does the update code have proper mutual exclusion?
+
+ RCU does allow -readers- to run (almost) naked, but -writers- must
+ still use some sort of mutual exclusion, such as:
+
+ a. locking,
+ b. atomic operations, or
+ c. restricting updates to a single task.
+
+ If you choose #b, be prepared to describe how you have handled
+ memory barriers on weakly ordered machines (pretty much all of
+ them -- even x86 allows reads to be reordered), and be prepared
+ to explain why this added complexity is worthwhile. If you
+ choose #c, be prepared to explain how this single task does not
+ become a major bottleneck on big multiprocessor machines.
+
+2. Do the RCU read-side critical sections make proper use of
+ rcu_read_lock() and friends? These primitives are needed
+ to suppress preemption (or bottom halves, in the case of
+ rcu_read_lock_bh()) in the read-side critical sections,
+ and are also an excellent aid to readability.
+
+3. Does the update code tolerate concurrent accesses?
+
+ The whole point of RCU is to permit readers to run without
+ any locks or atomic operations. This means that readers will
+ be running while updates are in progress. There are a number
+ of ways to handle this concurrency, depending on the situation:
+
+ a. Make updates appear atomic to readers. For example,
+ pointer updates to properly aligned fields will appear
+ atomic, as will individual atomic primitives. Operations
+ performed under a lock and sequences of multiple atomic
+ primitives will -not- appear to be atomic.
+
+ This is almost always the best approach.
+
+ b. Carefully order the updates and the reads so that
+ readers see valid data at all phases of the update.
+ This is often more difficult than it sounds, especially
+ given modern CPUs' tendency to reorder memory references.
+ One must usually liberally sprinkle memory barriers
+ (smp_wmb(), smp_rmb(), smp_mb()) through the code,
+ making it difficult to understand and to test.
+
+ It is usually better to group the changing data into
+ a separate structure, so that the change may be made
+ to appear atomic by updating a pointer to reference
+ a new structure containing updated values.
+
+4. Weakly ordered CPUs pose special challenges. Almost all CPUs
+ are weakly ordered -- even i386 CPUs allow reads to be reordered.
+ RCU code must take all of the following measures to prevent
+ memory-corruption problems:
+
+ a. Readers must maintain proper ordering of their memory
+ accesses. The rcu_dereference() primitive ensures that
+ the CPU picks up the pointer before it picks up the data
+ that the pointer points to. This really is necessary
+ on Alpha CPUs. If you don't believe me, see:
+
+ http://www.openvms.compaq.com/wizard/wiz_2637.html
+
+ The rcu_dereference() primitive is also an excellent
+ documentation aid, letting the person reading the code
+ know exactly which pointers are protected by RCU.
+
+ The rcu_dereference() primitive is used by the various
+ "_rcu()" list-traversal primitives, such as the
+ list_for_each_entry_rcu().
+
+ b. If the list macros are being used, the list_del_rcu(),
+ list_add_tail_rcu(), and list_del_rcu() primitives must
+ be used in order to prevent weakly ordered machines from
+ misordering structure initialization and pointer planting.
+ Similarly, if the hlist macros are being used, the
+ hlist_del_rcu() and hlist_add_head_rcu() primitives
+ are required.
+
+ c. Updates must ensure that initialization of a given
+ structure happens before pointers to that structure are
+ publicized. Use the rcu_assign_pointer() primitive
+ when publicizing a pointer to a structure that can
+ be traversed by an RCU read-side critical section.
+
+ [The rcu_assign_pointer() primitive is in process.]
+
+5. If call_rcu(), or a related primitive such as call_rcu_bh(),
+ is used, the callback function must be written to be called
+ from softirq context. In particular, it cannot block.
+
+6. Since synchronize_kernel() blocks, it cannot be called from
+ any sort of irq context.
+
+7. If the updater uses call_rcu(), then the corresponding readers
+ must use rcu_read_lock() and rcu_read_unlock(). If the updater
+ uses call_rcu_bh(), then the corresponding readers must use
+ rcu_read_lock_bh() and rcu_read_unlock_bh(). Mixing things up
+ will result in confusion and broken kernels.
+
+ One exception to this rule: rcu_read_lock() and rcu_read_unlock()
+ may be substituted for rcu_read_lock_bh() and rcu_read_unlock_bh()
+ in cases where local bottom halves are already known to be
+ disabled, for example, in irq or softirq context. Commenting
+ such cases is a must, of course! And the jury is still out on
+ whether the increased speed is worth it.
+
+8. Although synchronize_kernel() is a bit slower than is call_rcu(),
+ it usually results in simpler code. So, unless update performance
+ is important or the updaters cannot block, synchronize_kernel()
+ should be used in preference to call_rcu().
+
+9. All RCU list-traversal primitives, which include
+ list_for_each_rcu(), list_for_each_entry_rcu(),
+ list_for_each_continue_rcu(), and list_for_each_safe_rcu(),
+ must be within an RCU read-side critical section. RCU
+ read-side critical sections are delimited by rcu_read_lock()
+ and rcu_read_unlock(), or by similar primitives such as
+ rcu_read_lock_bh() and rcu_read_unlock_bh().
+
+ Use of the _rcu() list-traversal primitives outside of an
+ RCU read-side critical section causes no harm other than
+ a slight performance degradation on Alpha CPUs and some
+ confusion on the part of people trying to read the code.
+
+ Another way of thinking of this is "If you are holding the
+ lock that prevents the data structure from changing, why do
+ you also need RCU-based protection?" That said, there may
+ well be situations where use of the _rcu() list-traversal
+ primitives while the update-side lock is held results in
+ simpler and more maintainable code. The jury is still out
+ on this question.
+
+10. Conversely, if you are in an RCU read-side critical section,
+ you -must- use the "_rcu()" variants of the list macros.
+ Failing to do so will break Alpha and confuse people reading
+ your code.
diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/listRCU.txt b/Documentation/RCU/listRCU.txt
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..bda6ead69bd0
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/listRCU.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,307 @@
+Using RCU to Protect Read-Mostly Linked Lists
+
+
+One of the best applications of RCU is to protect read-mostly linked lists
+("struct list_head" in list.h). One big advantage of this approach
+is that all of the required memory barriers are included for you in
+the list macros. This document describes several applications of RCU,
+with the best fits first.
+
+
+Example 1: Read-Side Action Taken Outside of Lock, No In-Place Updates
+
+The best applications are cases where, if reader-writer locking were
+used, the read-side lock would be dropped before taking any action
+based on the results of the search. The most celebrated example is
+the routing table. Because the routing table is tracking the state of
+equipment outside of the computer, it will at times contain stale data.
+Therefore, once the route has been computed, there is no need to hold
+the routing table static during transmission of the packet. After all,
+you can hold the routing table static all you want, but that won't keep
+the external Internet from changing, and it is the state of the external
+Internet that really matters. In addition, routing entries are typically
+added or deleted, rather than being modified in place.
+
+A straightforward example of this use of RCU may be found in the
+system-call auditing support. For example, a reader-writer locked
+implementation of audit_filter_task() might be as follows:
+
+ static enum audit_state audit_filter_task(struct task_struct *tsk)
+ {
+ struct audit_entry *e;
+ enum audit_state state;
+
+ read_lock(&auditsc_lock);
+ list_for_each_entry(e, &audit_tsklist, list) {
+ if (audit_filter_rules(tsk, &e->rule, NULL, &state)) {
+ read_unlock(&auditsc_lock);
+ return state;
+ }
+ }
+ read_unlock(&auditsc_lock);
+ return AUDIT_BUILD_CONTEXT;
+ }
+
+Here the list is searched under the lock, but the lock is dropped before
+the corresponding value is returned. By the time that this value is acted
+on, the list may well have been modified. This makes sense, since if
+you are turning auditing off, it is OK to audit a few extra system calls.
+
+This means that RCU can be easily applied to the read side, as follows:
+
+ static enum audit_state audit_filter_task(struct task_struct *tsk)
+ {
+ struct audit_entry *e;
+ enum audit_state state;
+
+ rcu_read_lock();
+ list_for_each_entry_rcu(e, &audit_tsklist, list) {
+ if (audit_filter_rules(tsk, &e->rule, NULL, &state)) {
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+ return state;
+ }
+ }
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+ return AUDIT_BUILD_CONTEXT;
+ }
+
+The read_lock() and read_unlock() calls have become rcu_read_lock()
+and rcu_read_unlock(), respectively, and the list_for_each_entry() has
+become list_for_each_entry_rcu(). The _rcu() list-traversal primitives
+insert the read-side memory barriers that are required on DEC Alpha CPUs.
+
+The changes to the update side are also straightforward. A reader-writer
+lock might be used as follows for deletion and insertion:
+
+ static inline int audit_del_rule(struct audit_rule *rule,
+ struct list_head *list)
+ {
+ struct audit_entry *e;
+
+ write_lock(&auditsc_lock);
+ list_for_each_entry(e, list, list) {
+ if (!audit_compare_rule(rule, &e->rule)) {
+ list_del(&e->list);
+ write_unlock(&auditsc_lock);
+ return 0;
+ }
+ }
+ write_unlock(&auditsc_lock);
+ return -EFAULT; /* No matching rule */
+ }
+
+ static inline int audit_add_rule(struct audit_entry *entry,
+ struct list_head *list)
+ {
+ write_lock(&auditsc_lock);
+ if (entry->rule.flags & AUDIT_PREPEND) {
+ entry->rule.flags &= ~AUDIT_PREPEND;
+ list_add(&entry->list, list);
+ } else {
+ list_add_tail(&entry->list, list);
+ }
+ write_unlock(&auditsc_lock);
+ return 0;
+ }
+
+Following are the RCU equivalents for these two functions:
+
+ static inline int audit_del_rule(struct audit_rule *rule,
+ struct list_head *list)
+ {
+ struct audit_entry *e;
+
+ /* Do not use the _rcu iterator here, since this is the only
+ * deletion routine. */
+ list_for_each_entry(e, list, list) {
+ if (!audit_compare_rule(rule, &e->rule)) {
+ list_del_rcu(&e->list);
+ call_rcu(&e->rcu, audit_free_rule, e);
+ return 0;
+ }
+ }
+ return -EFAULT; /* No matching rule */
+ }
+
+ static inline int audit_add_rule(struct audit_entry *entry,
+ struct list_head *list)
+ {
+ if (entry->rule.flags & AUDIT_PREPEND) {
+ entry->rule.flags &= ~AUDIT_PREPEND;
+ list_add_rcu(&entry->list, list);
+ } else {
+ list_add_tail_rcu(&entry->list, list);
+ }
+ return 0;
+ }
+
+Normally, the write_lock() and write_unlock() would be replaced by
+a spin_lock() and a spin_unlock(), but in this case, all callers hold
+audit_netlink_sem, so no additional locking is required. The auditsc_lock
+can therefore be eliminated, since use of RCU eliminates the need for
+writers to exclude readers.
+
+The list_del(), list_add(), and list_add_tail() primitives have been
+replaced by list_del_rcu(), list_add_rcu(), and list_add_tail_rcu().
+The _rcu() list-manipulation primitives add memory barriers that are
+needed on weakly ordered CPUs (most of them!).
+
+So, when readers can tolerate stale data and when entries are either added
+or deleted, without in-place modification, it is very easy to use RCU!
+
+
+Example 2: Handling In-Place Updates
+
+The system-call auditing code does not update auditing rules in place.
+However, if it did, reader-writer-locked code to do so might look as
+follows (presumably, the field_count is only permitted to decrease,
+otherwise, the added fields would need to be filled in):
+
+ static inline int audit_upd_rule(struct audit_rule *rule,
+ struct list_head *list,
+ __u32 newaction,
+ __u32 newfield_count)
+ {
+ struct audit_entry *e;
+ struct audit_newentry *ne;
+
+ write_lock(&auditsc_lock);
+ list_for_each_entry(e, list, list) {
+ if (!audit_compare_rule(rule, &e->rule)) {
+ e->rule.action = newaction;
+ e->rule.file_count = newfield_count;
+ write_unlock(&auditsc_lock);
+ return 0;
+ }
+ }
+ write_unlock(&auditsc_lock);
+ return -EFAULT; /* No matching rule */
+ }
+
+The RCU version creates a copy, updates the copy, then replaces the old
+entry with the newly updated entry. This sequence of actions, allowing
+concurrent reads while doing a copy to perform an update, is what gives
+RCU ("read-copy update") its name. The RCU code is as follows:
+
+ static inline int audit_upd_rule(struct audit_rule *rule,
+ struct list_head *list,
+ __u32 newaction,
+ __u32 newfield_count)
+ {
+ struct audit_entry *e;
+ struct audit_newentry *ne;
+
+ list_for_each_entry(e, list, list) {
+ if (!audit_compare_rule(rule, &e->rule)) {
+ ne = kmalloc(sizeof(*entry), GFP_ATOMIC);
+ if (ne == NULL)
+ return -ENOMEM;
+ audit_copy_rule(&ne->rule, &e->rule);
+ ne->rule.action = newaction;
+ ne->rule.file_count = newfield_count;
+ list_add_rcu(ne, e);
+ list_del(e);
+ call_rcu(&e->rcu, audit_free_rule, e);
+ return 0;
+ }
+ }
+ return -EFAULT; /* No matching rule */
+ }
+
+Again, this assumes that the caller holds audit_netlink_sem. Normally,
+the reader-writer lock would become a spinlock in this sort of code.
+
+
+Example 3: Eliminating Stale Data
+
+The auditing examples above tolerate stale data, as do most algorithms
+that are tracking external state. Because there is a delay from the
+time the external state changes before Linux becomes aware of the change,
+additional RCU-induced staleness is normally not a problem.
+
+However, there are many examples where stale data cannot be tolerated.
+One example in the Linux kernel is the System V IPC (see the ipc_lock()
+function in ipc/util.c). This code checks a "deleted" flag under a
+per-entry spinlock, and, if the "deleted" flag is set, pretends that the
+entry does not exist. For this to be helpful, the search function must
+return holding the per-entry spinlock, as ipc_lock() does in fact do.
+
+Quick Quiz: Why does the search function need to return holding the
+per-entry lock for this deleted-flag technique to be helpful?
+
+If the system-call audit module were to ever need to reject stale data,
+one way to accomplish this would be to add a "deleted" flag and a "lock"
+spinlock to the audit_entry structure, and modify audit_filter_task()
+as follows:
+
+ static enum audit_state audit_filter_task(struct task_struct *tsk)
+ {
+ struct audit_entry *e;
+ enum audit_state state;
+
+ rcu_read_lock();
+ list_for_each_entry_rcu(e, &audit_tsklist, list) {
+ if (audit_filter_rules(tsk, &e->rule, NULL, &state)) {
+ spin_lock(&e->lock);
+ if (e->deleted) {
+ spin_unlock(&e->lock);
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+ return AUDIT_BUILD_CONTEXT;
+ }
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+ return state;
+ }
+ }
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+ return AUDIT_BUILD_CONTEXT;
+ }
+
+Note that this example assumes that entries are only added and deleted.
+Additional mechanism is required to deal correctly with the
+update-in-place performed by audit_upd_rule(). For one thing,
+audit_upd_rule() would need additional memory barriers to ensure
+that the list_add_rcu() was really executed before the list_del_rcu().
+
+The audit_del_rule() function would need to set the "deleted"
+flag under the spinlock as follows:
+
+ static inline int audit_del_rule(struct audit_rule *rule,
+ struct list_head *list)
+ {
+ struct audit_entry *e;
+
+ /* Do not use the _rcu iterator here, since this is the only
+ * deletion routine. */
+ list_for_each_entry(e, list, list) {
+ if (!audit_compare_rule(rule, &e->rule)) {
+ spin_lock(&e->lock);
+ list_del_rcu(&e->list);
+ e->deleted = 1;
+ spin_unlock(&e->lock);
+ call_rcu(&e->rcu, audit_free_rule, e);
+ return 0;
+ }
+ }
+ return -EFAULT; /* No matching rule */
+ }
+
+
+Summary
+
+Read-mostly list-based data structures that can tolerate stale data are
+the most amenable to use of RCU. The simplest case is where entries are
+either added or deleted from the data structure (or atomically modified
+in place), but non-atomic in-place modifications can be handled by making
+a copy, updating the copy, then replacing the original with the copy.
+If stale data cannot be tolerated, then a "deleted" flag may be used
+in conjunction with a per-entry spinlock in order to allow the search
+function to reject newly deleted data.
+
+
+Answer to Quick Quiz
+
+If the search function drops the per-entry lock before returning, then
+the caller will be processing stale data in any case. If it is really
+OK to be processing stale data, then you don't need a "deleted" flag.
+If processing stale data really is a problem, then you need to hold the
+per-entry lock across all of the code that uses the value looked up.
diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/rcu.txt b/Documentation/RCU/rcu.txt
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..7e0c2ab6f2bd
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/rcu.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,67 @@
+RCU Concepts
+
+
+The basic idea behind RCU (read-copy update) is to split destructive
+operations into two parts, one that prevents anyone from seeing the data
+item being destroyed, and one that actually carries out the destruction.
+A "grace period" must elapse between the two parts, and this grace period
+must be long enough that any readers accessing the item being deleted have
+since dropped their references. For example, an RCU-protected deletion
+from a linked list would first remove the item from the list, wait for
+a grace period to elapse, then free the element. See the listRCU.txt
+file for more information on using RCU with linked lists.
+
+
+Frequently Asked Questions
+
+o Why would anyone want to use RCU?
+
+ The advantage of RCU's two-part approach is that RCU readers need
+ not acquire any locks, perform any atomic instructions, write to
+ shared memory, or (on CPUs other than Alpha) execute any memory
+ barriers. The fact that these operations are quite expensive
+ on modern CPUs is what gives RCU its performance advantages
+ in read-mostly situations. The fact that RCU readers need not
+ acquire locks can also greatly simplify deadlock-avoidance code.
+
+o How can the updater tell when a grace period has completed
+ if the RCU readers give no indication when they are done?
+
+ Just as with spinlocks, RCU readers are not permitted to
+ block, switch to user-mode execution, or enter the idle loop.
+ Therefore, as soon as a CPU is seen passing through any of these
+ three states, we know that that CPU has exited any previous RCU
+ read-side critical sections. So, if we remove an item from a
+ linked list, and then wait until all CPUs have switched context,
+ executed in user mode, or executed in the idle loop, we can
+ safely free up that item.
+
+o If I am running on a uniprocessor kernel, which can only do one
+ thing at a time, why should I wait for a grace period?
+
+ See the UP.txt file in this directory.
+
+o How can I see where RCU is currently used in the Linux kernel?
+
+ Search for "rcu_read_lock", "call_rcu", and "synchronize_kernel".
+
+o What guidelines should I follow when writing code that uses RCU?
+
+ See the checklist.txt file in this directory.
+
+o Why the name "RCU"?
+
+ "RCU" stands for "read-copy update". The file listRCU.txt has
+ more information on where this name came from, search for
+ "read-copy update" to find it.
+
+o I hear that RCU is patented? What is with that?
+
+ Yes, it is. There are several known patents related to RCU,
+ search for the string "Patent" in RTFP.txt to find them.
+ Of these, one was allowed to lapse by the assignee, and the
+ others have been contributed to the Linux kernel under GPL.
+
+o Where can I find more information on RCU?
+
+ See the RTFP.txt file in this directory.