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From: Vlastimil Babka <>
To: Mel Gorman <>,
	Thomas Gleixner <>
Cc: Andrew Morton <>,
	Ingo Molnar <>, Hugh Dickins <>,
	Linux-MM <>,
	Linux-RT-Users <>,
	LKML <>,
	Peter Zijlstra <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 2/2] mm/vmstat: Protect per cpu variables with preempt disable on RT
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2021 15:42:25 +0200	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On 8/4/21 11:54 AM, Mel Gorman wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 04, 2021 at 01:54:47AM +0200, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
>>  <tglx> so in vmstat.c there is this magic comment:
>>  <tglx>  * For use when we know that interrupts are disabled
>>  <tglx>  * or when we know that preemption is disabled and that
>>  <tglx>  * particular counter cannot be updated from interrupt context.
>>  <tglx> how can I know which counters need what?
>>  <mm_expert> I don't think there's a list, one would have to check on counter to counter basis :/ 
>>  <tglx> and of course there is nothing which validates that, right?
>>  <mm_expert> exactly
> While I'm not "mm_expert", I agree with his/her statements.

Phew, since you do, I can now disclose it was me.

> Each counter
> would need to be audited and two question are asked
>  o If this counter is inaccurate, does anything break?
>  o If this counter is inaccurate, does it both increment and decrement
>    allowing the possibility it goes negative?
> The decision on that is looking at the counter and seeing if any
> functional decision is made based on its value. So two examples;
> 	NR_VMSCAN_IMMEDIATE is a node-based counter that only every
> 	increments and is reported to userspace. No kernel code makes
> 	any decision based on its value. Therefore it's likely safe to
> 	move to numa_stat_item instead.
> 	Action: move it
> 	WORKINGSET_ACTIVATE_FILE is a node-based counter that is used to
> 	determine if a mem cgroup is potentially congested by looking at
> 	the ratio of cgroup to node refault rates as well as deciding if
> 	LRU file pages should be deactivate.  If that value drifts, the
> 	ratios are miscalculated and could lead to functional oddities
> 	and therefore must be accurate.
> 	Action: leave it alone
> I guess it could be further split into state that must be accurate from
> IRQ and non-IRQ contexts but that probably would be very fragile and
> offer limited value.
>> Brilliant stuff which prevents you to do any validation on this. Over
>> the years there have been several issues where callers had to be fixed
>> by analysing bug reports instead of having a proper instrumentation in
>> that code which would have told the developer that he got it wrong.
> I'm not sure it could be validated at build-time but I'm just back from
> holiday and may be lacking imagination.

The idea was not build-time, but runtime (hidden behind lockdep, VM_DEBUG or
whatnot), i.e.:

<sched_expert> what that code needs is switch(item) { case foo1: case foo2:
lockdep_assert_irqs_disabled(); break; case bar1: case bar2:
lockdep_assert_preempt_disabled(); lockdep_assert_no_in_irq(); break; } or
something along those lines

>> Of course on RT kernels the preempt_disable_rt() will serialize
>> everything correctly, but as we have learned over the years just
>> slapping _if_rt() or if_not_rt() variants of things around is most of
>> the time papering over the underlying problem of badly defined
>> protection scopes. Let's not proliferate that. As I said in the above
>> IRC conversation:
>>  <tglx> I fundamentally hate this preempt_disable_rt() muck
> The issue is that even if this was properly audited and the inaccurate
> and accurate counters were in the proper enums using the correct APIs, it
> would still be necessary to protect the accurate counters from updates from
> IRQ context. Hence, as I write this, I don't think preempt_[dis|en]able_rt
> would go away and that is why I didn't continue with the series to break
> out "accurate" stats

  reply	other threads:[~2021-08-04 13:42 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 11+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-07-23 10:00 [PATCH 0/2] Protect vmstats on PREEMPT_RT Mel Gorman
2021-07-23 10:00 ` [PATCH 1/2] preempt: Provide preempt_*_(no)rt variants Mel Gorman
2021-07-23 10:00 ` [PATCH 2/2] mm/vmstat: Protect per cpu variables with preempt disable on RT Mel Gorman
2021-08-03 23:54   ` Thomas Gleixner
2021-08-04  9:54     ` Mel Gorman
2021-08-04 13:42       ` Vlastimil Babka [this message]
2021-08-04 14:23         ` Mel Gorman
2021-08-05 12:56           ` Thomas Gleixner
2021-08-05 14:04             ` Mel Gorman
2021-08-05 15:42               ` Thomas Gleixner
2021-08-05 18:47               ` Daniel Vacek

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