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From: Christian Couder <christian.couder@gmail.com>
To: Matheus Tavares <matheus.bernardino@usp.br>
Cc: Junio C Hamano <gitster@pobox.com>, git <git@vger.kernel.org>,
	Jeff Hostetler <git@jeffhostetler.com>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v3 5/5] parallel-checkout: add design documentation
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 11:36:28 +0200	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <CAP8UFD1K6aB-py4O5uSKOwyCMg21+6mVo0qMMRVhEwf2KF2M2g@mail.gmail.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <415d4114aadbdba30567a73e8d70f3d5795bfb4e.1618790794.git.matheus.bernardino@usp.br>

On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 2:15 AM Matheus Tavares
<matheus.bernardino@usp.br> wrote:
>
> Co-authored-by: Jeff Hostetler <jeffhost@microsoft.com>
> Signed-off-by: Matheus Tavares <matheus.bernardino@usp.br>
> ---
>  Documentation/Makefile                        |   1 +
>  Documentation/technical/parallel-checkout.txt | 271 ++++++++++++++++++
>  2 files changed, 272 insertions(+)
>  create mode 100644 Documentation/technical/parallel-checkout.txt
>
> diff --git a/Documentation/Makefile b/Documentation/Makefile
> index 81d1bf7a04..af236927c9 100644
> --- a/Documentation/Makefile
> +++ b/Documentation/Makefile
> @@ -90,6 +90,7 @@ TECH_DOCS += technical/multi-pack-index
>  TECH_DOCS += technical/pack-format
>  TECH_DOCS += technical/pack-heuristics
>  TECH_DOCS += technical/pack-protocol
> +TECH_DOCS += technical/parallel-checkout
>  TECH_DOCS += technical/partial-clone
>  TECH_DOCS += technical/protocol-capabilities
>  TECH_DOCS += technical/protocol-common
> diff --git a/Documentation/technical/parallel-checkout.txt b/Documentation/technical/parallel-checkout.txt
> new file mode 100644
> index 0000000000..fddb0ed4fd
> --- /dev/null
> +++ b/Documentation/technical/parallel-checkout.txt
> @@ -0,0 +1,271 @@
> +Parallel Checkout Design Notes
> +==============================
> +
> +The "Parallel Checkout" feature attempts to use multiple processes to
> +parallelize the work of uncompressing the blobs, applying in-core
> +filters, and writing the resulting contents to the working tree during a
> +checkout operation. It can be used by all checkout-related commands,
> +such as `clone`, `checkout`, `reset`, `sparse-checkout`, and others.
> +
> +These commands share the following basic structure:
> +
> +* Step 1: Read the current index file into memory.
> +
> +* Step 2: Modify the in-memory index based upon the command, and
> +  temporarily mark all cache entries that need to be updated.
> +
> +* Step 3: Populate the working tree to match the new candidate index.
> +  This includes iterating over all of the to-be-updated cache entries
> +  and delete, create, or overwrite the associated files in the working
> +  tree.
> +
> +* Step 4: Write the new index to disk.
> +
> +Step 3 is the focus of the "parallel checkout" effort described here.
> +It dominates the execution time for most of the above command types.

Maybe: s/command types/checkout-related commands/

> +Sequential Implementation
> +-------------------------
> +
> +For the purposes of discussion here, the current sequential
> +implementation of Step 3 is divided in 3 parts, each one implemented in
> +its own function:
> +
> +* Step 3a: `unpack-trees.c:check_updates()` contains a series of
> +  sequential loops iterating over the `cache_entry`'s array. The main
> +  loop in this function calls the Step 3b function for each of the
> +  to-be-updated entries.
> +
> +* Step 3b: `entry.c:checkout_entry()` examines the existing working tree
> +  for file conflicts, collisions, and unsaved changes. It removes files
> +  and creates leading directories as necessary. It calls the Step 3c
> +  function for each entry to be written.
> +
> +* Step 3c: `entry.c:write_entry()` loads the blob into memory, smudges
> +  it if necessary, creates the file in the working tree, writes the
> +  smudged contents, calls `fstat()` or `lstat()`, and updates the
> +  associated `cache_entry` struct with the stat information gathered.
> +
> +It wouldn't be safe to perform Step 3b in parallel, as there could be
> +race conditions between file creations and removals. Instead, the
> +parallel checkout framework lets the sequential code handle Step 3b,
> +and use parallel workers to replace the sequential

s/use/uses/

> +`entry.c:write_entry()` calls from Step 3c.
> +
> +Rejected Multi-Threaded Solution
> +--------------------------------
> +
> +The most "straightforward" implementation would be to spread the set of
> +to-be-updated cache entries across multiple threads. But due to the
> +thread-unsafe functions in the ODB code, we would have to use locks to
> +coordinate the parallel operation. An early prototype of this solution
> +showed that the multi-threaded checkout would bring performance
> +improvements over the sequential code, but there was still too much lock
> +contention. A `perf` profiling indicated that around 20% of the runtime
> +during a local Linux clone (on an SSD) was spent in locking functions.
> +For this reason this approach was rejected in favor of using multiple
> +child processes, which led to a better performance.
> +
> +Multi-Process Solution
> +----------------------
> +
> +Parallel checkout alters the aforementioned Step 3 to use multiple
> +`checkout--worker` background processes to distribute the work. The
> +long-running worker processes are controlled by the foreground Git
> +command using the existing run-command API.
> +
> +Overview
> +~~~~~~~~
> +
> +Step 3b is only slightly altered; for each entry to be checked out, the
> +main process performs the following steps:
> +
> +* M1: Check whether there is any untracked or unclean file in the
> +  working tree which would be overwritten by this entry, and decide
> +  whether to proceed (removing the file(s)) or not.
> +
> +* M2: Create the leading directories.
> +
> +* M3: Load the conversion attributes for the entry's path.
> +
> +* M4: Check, based on the entry's type and conversion attributes,
> +  whether the entry is eligible for parallel checkout (more on this
> +  later). If it is eligible, enqueue the entry and the loaded
> +  attributes to later write the entry in parallel. If not, write the
> +  entry right away, using the default sequential code.
> +
> +Note: we save the conversion attributes associated with each entry
> +because the workers don't have access to the main process' index state,
> +so they can't load the attributes by themselves (and the attributes are
> +needed to properly smudge the entry). Additionally, this has a positive
> +impact on performance as (1) we don't need to load the attributes twice
> +and (2) the attributes machinery is optimized to handle paths in
> +sequential order.
> +
> +After all entries have passed through the above steps, the main process
> +checks if the number of enqueued entries is sufficient to spread among
> +the workers. If not, it just writes them sequentially. Otherwise, it
> +spawns the workers and distributes the queued entries uniformly in
> +continuous chunks. This aims to minimize the chances of two workers
> +writing to the same directory simultaneously, which could increase lock
> +contention in the kernel.
> +
> +Then, for each assigned item, each worker:
> +
> +* W1: Checks if there is any non-directory file in the leading part of
> +  the entry's path or if there already exists a file at the entry' path.
> +  If so, mark the entry with `PC_ITEM_COLLIDED` and skip it (more on
> +  this later).
> +
> +* W2: Creates the file (with O_CREAT and O_EXCL).
> +
> +* W3: Loads the blob into memory (inflating and delta reconstructing
> +  it).
> +
> +* W4: Applies any required in-process filter, like end-of-line
> +  conversion and re-encoding.
> +
> +* W5: Writes the result to the file descriptor opened at W2.
> +
> +* W6: Calls `fstat()` or lstat()` on the just-written path, and sends
> +  the result back to the main process, together with the end status of
> +  the operation and the item's identification number.
> +
> +Note that, when possible, steps W3 to W5 are delegated to the streaming
> +machinery, removing the need to keep the entire blob in memory.
> +
> +If the worker fails to read the blob or to write it to the working tree,
> +it removes the created file to avoid leaving empty files behind. This is
> +the *only* time a worker is allowed to remove a file.
> +
> +As mentioned earlier, it is the responsibility of the main process to
> +remove any file that blocks the checkout operation (or abort if the
> +removal(s) would cause data loss and the user didn't ask to `--force`).
> +This is crucial to avoid race conditions and also to properly detect
> +path collisions at Step W1.
> +
> +After the workers finish writing the items and sending back the required
> +information, the main process handles the results in two steps:
> +
> +- First, it updates the in-memory index with the `lstat()` information
> +  sent by the workers. (This must be done first as this information
> +  might me required in the following step.)
> +
> +- Then it writes the items which collided on disk (i.e. items marked
> +  with `PC_ITEM_COLLIDED`). More on this below.
> +
> +Path Collisions
> +---------------
> +
> +Path collisions happen when two different paths correspond to the same
> +entry in the file system. E.g. the paths 'a' and 'A' would collide in a
> +case-insensitive file system.
> +
> +The sequential checkout deals with collisions in the same way that it
> +deals with files that were already present in the working tree before
> +checkout. Basically, it checks if the path that it wants to write
> +already exists on disk, makes sure the existing file doesn't have
> +unsaved data, and then overwrites it. (To be more pedantic: it deletes
> +the existing file and creates the new one.) So, if there are multiple
> +colliding files to be checked out, the sequential code will write each
> +one of them but only the last will actually survive on disk.
> +
> +Parallel checkout aims to reproduce the same behavior. However, we
> +cannot let the workers racily write to the same file on disk. Instead,
> +the workers detect when the entry that they want to check out would
> +collide with an existing file, and mark it with `PC_ITEM_COLLIDED`.
> +Later, the main process can sequentially feed these entries back to
> +`checkout_entry()` without the risk of race conditions. On clone, this
> +also has the effect of marking the colliding entries to later emit a
> +warning for the user, like the classic sequential checkout does.
> +
> +The workers are able to detect both collisions among the entries being
> +concurrently written and collisions among parallel-eligible and
> +ineligible entries.

I am not sure I understand the above correctly. Does this mean that if
there are 2 parallel-ineligible entries that collide the workers will
detect that? How is that possible if the parallel-ineligible entries
are not processed by the workers?

Or maybe s/among/between/ would make things clearer. For example:

"The workers are able to detect both collisions among entries being
concurrently written and collisions between a parallel-eligible entry and
one or more ineligible entries."

> The general idea for collision detection is quite
> +straightforward: for each parallel-eligible entry, the main process must
> +remove all files that prevent this entry from being written (before
> +enqueueing it). This includes any non-directory file in the leading path
> +of the entry. Later, when a worker gets assigned the entry, it looks
> +again for the non-directories files and for an already existing file at
> +the entry's path. If any of these checks finds something, the worker
> +knows that there was a path collision.
> +
> +Because parallel checkout can distinguish path collisions from the case
> +where the file was already present in the working tree before checkout,
> +we could alternatively choose to skip the checkout of colliding entries.
> +However, each entry that doesn't get written would have NULL `lstat()`
> +fields on the index. This could cause performance penalties for
> +subsequent commands that need to refresh the index, as they would have
> +to go to the file system to see if the entry is dirty. Thus, if we have
> +N entries in a colliding group and we decide to write and `lstat()` only
> +one of them, every subsequent `git-status` will have to read, convert,
> +and hash the written file N - 1 times. By checking out all colliding
> +entries (like the sequential code does), we only pay the overhead once,
> +during checkout.
> +
> +Eligible Entries for Parallel Checkout
> +--------------------------------------
> +
> +As previously mentioned, not all entries passed to `checkout_entry()`
> +will be considered eligible for parallel checkout. More specifically, we
> +exclude:
> +
> +- Symbolic links; to avoid race conditions that, in combination with
> +  path collisions, could cause workers to write files at the wrong
> +  place. For example, if we were to concurrently check out a symlink
> +  'a' -> 'b' and a regular file 'A/f' in a case-insensitive file system,
> +  we could potentially end up writing the file 'A/f' at 'a/f', due to a
> +  race condition.
> +
> +- Regular files that require external filters (either "one shot" filters
> +  or long-running process filters). These filters are black-boxes to Git
> +  and may have their own internal locking or non-concurrent assumptions.
> +  So it might not be safe to run multiple instances in parallel.
> ++
> +Besides, long-running filters may use the delayed checkout feature to
> +postpone the return of some filtered blobs. The delayed checkout queue
> +and the parallel checkout queue are not compatible and should remain
> +separated.

Maybe: s/separated/separate/

> +Note: regular files that only require internal filters, like end-of-line
> +conversion and re-encoding, are eligible for parallel checkout.
> +
> +Ineligible entries are checked out by the classic sequential codepath
> +*before* spawning workers.
> +
> +Note: submodules's files are also eligible for parallel checkout (as
> +long as they don't fall into any of the excluding categories mentioned
> +above). But since each submodule is checked out in its own child
> +process, we don't mix the superproject's and the submodules' files in
> +the same parallel checkout process or queue.
> +
> +The API
> +-------
> +
> +The parallel checkout API was designed with the goal to minimize changes

s/to minimize/of minimizing/

> +to the current users of the checkout machinery. This means that they
> +don't have to call a different function for sequential or parallel
> +checkout. As already mentioned, `checkout_entry()` will automatically
> +insert the given entry in the parallel checkout queue when this feature
> +is enabled and the entry is eligible; otherwise, it will just write the
> +entry right away, using the sequential code. In general, callers of the
> +parallel checkout API should look similar to this:

  reply	other threads:[~2021-04-19  9:36 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 40+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-03-17 21:12 [PATCH 0/5] Parallel Checkout (part 2) Matheus Tavares
2021-03-17 21:12 ` [PATCH 1/5] unpack-trees: add basic support for parallel checkout Matheus Tavares
2021-03-31  4:22   ` Christian Couder
2021-04-02 14:39     ` Matheus Tavares Bernardino
2021-03-17 21:12 ` [PATCH 2/5] parallel-checkout: make it truly parallel Matheus Tavares
2021-03-31  4:32   ` Christian Couder
2021-04-02 14:42     ` Matheus Tavares Bernardino
2021-03-17 21:12 ` [PATCH 3/5] parallel-checkout: add configuration options Matheus Tavares
2021-03-31  4:33   ` Christian Couder
2021-04-02 14:45     ` Matheus Tavares Bernardino
2021-03-17 21:12 ` [PATCH 4/5] parallel-checkout: support progress displaying Matheus Tavares
2021-03-17 21:12 ` [PATCH 5/5] parallel-checkout: add design documentation Matheus Tavares
2021-03-31  5:36   ` Christian Couder
2021-03-18 20:56 ` [PATCH 0/5] Parallel Checkout (part 2) Junio C Hamano
2021-03-19  3:24   ` Matheus Tavares
2021-03-19 22:58     ` Junio C Hamano
2021-03-31  5:42 ` Christian Couder
2021-04-08 16:16 ` [PATCH v2 " Matheus Tavares
2021-04-08 16:17   ` [PATCH v2 1/5] unpack-trees: add basic support for parallel checkout Matheus Tavares
2021-04-08 16:17   ` [PATCH v2 2/5] parallel-checkout: make it truly parallel Matheus Tavares
2021-04-08 16:17   ` [PATCH v2 3/5] parallel-checkout: add configuration options Matheus Tavares
2021-04-08 16:17   ` [PATCH v2 4/5] parallel-checkout: support progress displaying Matheus Tavares
2021-04-08 16:17   ` [PATCH v2 5/5] parallel-checkout: add design documentation Matheus Tavares
2021-04-08 19:52   ` [PATCH v2 0/5] Parallel Checkout (part 2) Junio C Hamano
2021-04-16 21:43   ` Junio C Hamano
2021-04-17 19:57     ` Matheus Tavares Bernardino
2021-04-19  9:41     ` Christian Couder
2021-04-19  0:14   ` [PATCH v3 " Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19  0:14     ` [PATCH v3 1/5] unpack-trees: add basic support for parallel checkout Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19  0:14     ` [PATCH v3 2/5] parallel-checkout: make it truly parallel Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19  0:14     ` [PATCH v3 3/5] parallel-checkout: add configuration options Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19  0:14     ` [PATCH v3 4/5] parallel-checkout: support progress displaying Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19  0:14     ` [PATCH v3 5/5] parallel-checkout: add design documentation Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19  9:36       ` Christian Couder [this message]
2021-04-19 19:53     ` [PATCH v4 0/5] Parallel Checkout (part 2) Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19 19:53       ` [PATCH v4 1/5] unpack-trees: add basic support for parallel checkout Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19 19:53       ` [PATCH v4 2/5] parallel-checkout: make it truly parallel Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19 19:53       ` [PATCH v4 3/5] parallel-checkout: add configuration options Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19 19:53       ` [PATCH v4 4/5] parallel-checkout: support progress displaying Matheus Tavares
2021-04-19 19:53       ` [PATCH v4 5/5] parallel-checkout: add design documentation Matheus Tavares

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