path: root/Documentation/futex-requeue-pi.txt
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authorDarren Hart <dvhltc@us.ibm.com>2009-05-07 15:40:14 -0700
committerIngo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu>2009-05-09 07:12:50 +0200
commitb30505c81a9d4adea8b70ecff512b0216929b797 (patch)
tree047c22bf294c5642eba752fd7e9803ba2aada7e7 /Documentation/futex-requeue-pi.txt
parentba9c22f2c01cf5c88beed5a6b9e07d42e10bd358 (diff)
futex: add requeue-pi documentation
Add Documentation/futex-requeue-pi.txt describing the motivation for the newly added FUTEX_*REQUEUE_PI op codes and their implementation. [ Impact: add documentation ] Signed-off-by: Darren Hart <dvhltc@us.ibm.com> Cc: Sripathi Kodi <sripathik@in.ibm.com> Cc: Peter Zijlstra <peterz@infradead.org> Cc: John Stultz <johnstul@us.ibm.com> Cc: Steven Rostedt <rostedt@goodmis.org> Cc: Dinakar Guniguntala <dino@in.ibm.com> Cc: Ulrich Drepper <drepper@redhat.com> Cc: Eric Dumazet <dada1@cosmosbay.com> Cc: Jakub Jelinek <jakub@redhat.com> LKML-Reference: <4A03634E.3080609@us.ibm.com> [ reformatted the file ] Signed-off-by: Ingo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu>
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+Futex Requeue PI
+Requeueing of tasks from a non-PI futex to a PI futex requires
+special handling in order to ensure the underlying rt_mutex is never
+left without an owner if it has waiters; doing so would break the PI
+boosting logic [see rt-mutex-desgin.txt] For the purposes of
+brevity, this action will be referred to as "requeue_pi" throughout
+this document. Priority inheritance is abbreviated throughout as
+Without requeue_pi, the glibc implementation of
+pthread_cond_broadcast() must resort to waking all the tasks waiting
+on a pthread_condvar and letting them try to sort out which task
+gets to run first in classic thundering-herd formation. An ideal
+implementation would wake the highest-priority waiter, and leave the
+rest to the natural wakeup inherent in unlocking the mutex
+associated with the condvar.
+Consider the simplified glibc calls:
+/* caller must lock mutex */
+pthread_cond_wait(cond, mutex)
+ lock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ unlock(mutex);
+ do {
+ unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ futex_wait(cond->__data.__futex);
+ lock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ } while(...)
+ unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ lock(mutex);
+ lock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ futex_requeue(cond->data.__futex, cond->mutex);
+Once pthread_cond_broadcast() requeues the tasks, the cond->mutex
+has waiters. Note that pthread_cond_wait() attempts to lock the
+mutex only after it has returned to user space. This will leave the
+underlying rt_mutex with waiters, and no owner, breaking the
+previously mentioned PI-boosting algorithms.
+In order to support PI-aware pthread_condvar's, the kernel needs to
+be able to requeue tasks to PI futexes. This support implies that
+upon a successful futex_wait system call, the caller would return to
+user space already holding the PI futex. The glibc implementation
+would be modified as follows:
+/* caller must lock mutex */
+pthread_cond_wait_pi(cond, mutex)
+ lock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ unlock(mutex);
+ do {
+ unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ futex_wait_requeue_pi(cond->__data.__futex);
+ lock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ } while(...)
+ unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ /* the kernel acquired the the mutex for us */
+ lock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
+ futex_requeue_pi(cond->data.__futex, cond->mutex);
+The actual glibc implementation will likely test for PI and make the
+necessary changes inside the existing calls rather than creating new
+calls for the PI cases. Similar changes are needed for
+pthread_cond_timedwait() and pthread_cond_signal().
+In order to ensure the rt_mutex has an owner if it has waiters, it
+is necessary for both the requeue code, as well as the waiting code,
+to be able to acquire the rt_mutex before returning to user space.
+The requeue code cannot simply wake the waiter and leave it to
+acquire the rt_mutex as it would open a race window between the
+requeue call returning to user space and the waiter waking and
+starting to run. This is especially true in the uncontended case.
+The solution involves two new rt_mutex helper routines,
+rt_mutex_start_proxy_lock() and rt_mutex_finish_proxy_lock(), which
+allow the requeue code to acquire an uncontended rt_mutex on behalf
+of the waiter and to enqueue the waiter on a contended rt_mutex.
+Two new system calls provide the kernel<->user interface to
+FUTEX_WAIT_REQUEUE_PI is called by the waiter (pthread_cond_wait()
+and pthread_cond_timedwait()) to block on the initial futex and wait
+to be requeued to a PI-aware futex. The implementation is the
+result of a high-speed collision between futex_wait() and
+futex_lock_pi(), with some extra logic to check for the additional
+wake-up scenarios.
+FUTEX_REQUEUE_CMP_PI is called by the waker
+(pthread_cond_broadcast() and pthread_cond_signal()) to requeue and
+possibly wake the waiting tasks. Internally, this system call is
+still handled by futex_requeue (by passing requeue_pi=1). Before
+requeueing, futex_requeue() attempts to acquire the requeue target
+PI futex on behalf of the top waiter. If it can, this waiter is
+woken. futex_requeue() then proceeds to requeue the remaining
+nr_wake+nr_requeue tasks to the PI futex, calling
+rt_mutex_start_proxy_lock() prior to each requeue to prepare the
+task as a waiter on the underlying rt_mutex. It is possible that
+the lock can be acquired at this stage as well, if so, the next
+waiter is woken to finish the acquisition of the lock.
+FUTEX_REQUEUE_PI accepts nr_wake and nr_requeue as arguments, but
+their sum is all that really matters. futex_requeue() will wake or
+requeue up to nr_wake + nr_requeue tasks. It will wake only as many
+tasks as it can acquire the lock for, which in the majority of cases
+should be 0 as good programming practice dictates that the caller of
+either pthread_cond_broadcast() or pthread_cond_signal() acquire the
+mutex prior to making the call. FUTEX_REQUEUE_PI requires that
+nr_wake=1. nr_requeue should be INT_MAX for broadcast and 0 for