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authorLinus Torvalds <torvalds@linux-foundation.org>2014-06-12 18:48:15 -0700
committerLinus Torvalds <torvalds@linux-foundation.org>2014-06-12 18:48:15 -0700
commitc29deef32e3699e40da3e9e82267610de04e6b54 (patch)
tree820ab21fe399225f7341499e461ee793a180d414 /Documentation
parentf9da455b93f6ba076935b4ef4589f61e529ae046 (diff)
parentbd01ec1a13f9a327950c8e3080096446c7804753 (diff)
Merge branch 'locking-core-for-linus' of git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/tip/tip
Pull more locking changes from Ingo Molnar: "This is the second round of locking tree updates for v3.16, offering large system scalability improvements: - optimistic spinning for rwsems, from Davidlohr Bueso. - 'qrwlocks' core code and x86 enablement, from Waiman Long and PeterZ" * 'locking-core-for-linus' of git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/tip/tip: x86, locking/rwlocks: Enable qrwlocks on x86 locking/rwlocks: Introduce 'qrwlocks' - fair, queued rwlocks locking/mutexes: Documentation update/rewrite locking/rwsem: Fix checkpatch.pl warnings locking/rwsem: Fix warnings for CONFIG_RWSEM_GENERIC_SPINLOCK locking/rwsem: Support optimistic spinning
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation')
-rw-r--r--Documentation/mutex-design.txt252
1 files changed, 135 insertions, 117 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/mutex-design.txt b/Documentation/mutex-design.txt
index 1dfe62c3641d..ee231ed09ec6 100644
--- a/Documentation/mutex-design.txt
+++ b/Documentation/mutex-design.txt
@@ -1,139 +1,157 @@
Generic Mutex Subsystem
started by Ingo Molnar <mingo@redhat.com>
+updated by Davidlohr Bueso <davidlohr@hp.com>
- "Why on earth do we need a new mutex subsystem, and what's wrong
- with semaphores?"
+What are mutexes?
+-----------------
-firstly, there's nothing wrong with semaphores. But if the simpler
-mutex semantics are sufficient for your code, then there are a couple
-of advantages of mutexes:
+In the Linux kernel, mutexes refer to a particular locking primitive
+that enforces serialization on shared memory systems, and not only to
+the generic term referring to 'mutual exclusion' found in academia
+or similar theoretical text books. Mutexes are sleeping locks which
+behave similarly to binary semaphores, and were introduced in 2006[1]
+as an alternative to these. This new data structure provided a number
+of advantages, including simpler interfaces, and at that time smaller
+code (see Disadvantages).
- - 'struct mutex' is smaller on most architectures: E.g. on x86,
- 'struct semaphore' is 20 bytes, 'struct mutex' is 16 bytes.
- A smaller structure size means less RAM footprint, and better
- CPU-cache utilization.
+[1] http://lwn.net/Articles/164802/
- - tighter code. On x86 i get the following .text sizes when
- switching all mutex-alike semaphores in the kernel to the mutex
- subsystem:
+Implementation
+--------------
- text data bss dec hex filename
- 3280380 868188 396860 4545428 455b94 vmlinux-semaphore
- 3255329 865296 396732 4517357 44eded vmlinux-mutex
+Mutexes are represented by 'struct mutex', defined in include/linux/mutex.h
+and implemented in kernel/locking/mutex.c. These locks use a three
+state atomic counter (->count) to represent the different possible
+transitions that can occur during the lifetime of a lock:
- that's 25051 bytes of code saved, or a 0.76% win - off the hottest
- codepaths of the kernel. (The .data savings are 2892 bytes, or 0.33%)
- Smaller code means better icache footprint, which is one of the
- major optimization goals in the Linux kernel currently.
+ 1: unlocked
+ 0: locked, no waiters
+ negative: locked, with potential waiters
- - the mutex subsystem is slightly faster and has better scalability for
- contended workloads. On an 8-way x86 system, running a mutex-based
- kernel and testing creat+unlink+close (of separate, per-task files)
- in /tmp with 16 parallel tasks, the average number of ops/sec is:
+In its most basic form it also includes a wait-queue and a spinlock
+that serializes access to it. CONFIG_SMP systems can also include
+a pointer to the lock task owner (->owner) as well as a spinner MCS
+lock (->osq), both described below in (ii).
- Semaphores: Mutexes:
+When acquiring a mutex, there are three possible paths that can be
+taken, depending on the state of the lock:
- $ ./test-mutex V 16 10 $ ./test-mutex V 16 10
- 8 CPUs, running 16 tasks. 8 CPUs, running 16 tasks.
- checking VFS performance. checking VFS performance.
- avg loops/sec: 34713 avg loops/sec: 84153
- CPU utilization: 63% CPU utilization: 22%
+(i) fastpath: tries to atomically acquire the lock by decrementing the
+ counter. If it was already taken by another task it goes to the next
+ possible path. This logic is architecture specific. On x86-64, the
+ locking fastpath is 2 instructions:
- i.e. in this workload, the mutex based kernel was 2.4 times faster
- than the semaphore based kernel, _and_ it also had 2.8 times less CPU
- utilization. (In terms of 'ops per CPU cycle', the semaphore kernel
- performed 551 ops/sec per 1% of CPU time used, while the mutex kernel
- performed 3825 ops/sec per 1% of CPU time used - it was 6.9 times
- more efficient.)
-
- the scalability difference is visible even on a 2-way P4 HT box:
-
- Semaphores: Mutexes:
-
- $ ./test-mutex V 16 10 $ ./test-mutex V 16 10
- 4 CPUs, running 16 tasks. 8 CPUs, running 16 tasks.
- checking VFS performance. checking VFS performance.
- avg loops/sec: 127659 avg loops/sec: 181082
- CPU utilization: 100% CPU utilization: 34%
-
- (the straight performance advantage of mutexes is 41%, the per-cycle
- efficiency of mutexes is 4.1 times better.)
-
- - there are no fastpath tradeoffs, the mutex fastpath is just as tight
- as the semaphore fastpath. On x86, the locking fastpath is 2
- instructions:
-
- c0377ccb <mutex_lock>:
- c0377ccb: f0 ff 08 lock decl (%eax)
- c0377cce: 78 0e js c0377cde <.text..lock.mutex>
- c0377cd0: c3 ret
+ 0000000000000e10 <mutex_lock>:
+ e21: f0 ff 0b lock decl (%rbx)
+ e24: 79 08 jns e2e <mutex_lock+0x1e>
the unlocking fastpath is equally tight:
- c0377cd1 <mutex_unlock>:
- c0377cd1: f0 ff 00 lock incl (%eax)
- c0377cd4: 7e 0f jle c0377ce5 <.text..lock.mutex+0x7>
- c0377cd6: c3 ret
-
- - 'struct mutex' semantics are well-defined and are enforced if
- CONFIG_DEBUG_MUTEXES is turned on. Semaphores on the other hand have
- virtually no debugging code or instrumentation. The mutex subsystem
- checks and enforces the following rules:
-
- * - only one task can hold the mutex at a time
- * - only the owner can unlock the mutex
- * - multiple unlocks are not permitted
- * - recursive locking is not permitted
- * - a mutex object must be initialized via the API
- * - a mutex object must not be initialized via memset or copying
- * - task may not exit with mutex held
- * - memory areas where held locks reside must not be freed
- * - held mutexes must not be reinitialized
- * - mutexes may not be used in hardware or software interrupt
- * contexts such as tasklets and timers
-
- furthermore, there are also convenience features in the debugging
- code:
-
- * - uses symbolic names of mutexes, whenever they are printed in debug output
- * - point-of-acquire tracking, symbolic lookup of function names
- * - list of all locks held in the system, printout of them
- * - owner tracking
- * - detects self-recursing locks and prints out all relevant info
- * - detects multi-task circular deadlocks and prints out all affected
- * locks and tasks (and only those tasks)
+ 0000000000000bc0 <mutex_unlock>:
+ bc8: f0 ff 07 lock incl (%rdi)
+ bcb: 7f 0a jg bd7 <mutex_unlock+0x17>
+
+
+(ii) midpath: aka optimistic spinning, tries to spin for acquisition
+ while the lock owner is running and there are no other tasks ready
+ to run that have higher priority (need_resched). The rationale is
+ that if the lock owner is running, it is likely to release the lock
+ soon. The mutex spinners are queued up using MCS lock so that only
+ one spinner can compete for the mutex.
+
+ The MCS lock (proposed by Mellor-Crummey and Scott) is a simple spinlock
+ with the desirable properties of being fair and with each cpu trying
+ to acquire the lock spinning on a local variable. It avoids expensive
+ cacheline bouncing that common test-and-set spinlock implementations
+ incur. An MCS-like lock is specially tailored for optimistic spinning
+ for sleeping lock implementation. An important feature of the customized
+ MCS lock is that it has the extra property that spinners are able to exit
+ the MCS spinlock queue when they need to reschedule. This further helps
+ avoid situations where MCS spinners that need to reschedule would continue
+ waiting to spin on mutex owner, only to go directly to slowpath upon
+ obtaining the MCS lock.
+
+
+(iii) slowpath: last resort, if the lock is still unable to be acquired,
+ the task is added to the wait-queue and sleeps until woken up by the
+ unlock path. Under normal circumstances it blocks as TASK_UNINTERRUPTIBLE.
+
+While formally kernel mutexes are sleepable locks, it is path (ii) that
+makes them more practically a hybrid type. By simply not interrupting a
+task and busy-waiting for a few cycles instead of immediately sleeping,
+the performance of this lock has been seen to significantly improve a
+number of workloads. Note that this technique is also used for rw-semaphores.
+
+Semantics
+---------
+
+The mutex subsystem checks and enforces the following rules:
+
+ - Only one task can hold the mutex at a time.
+ - Only the owner can unlock the mutex.
+ - Multiple unlocks are not permitted.
+ - Recursive locking/unlocking is not permitted.
+ - A mutex must only be initialized via the API (see below).
+ - A task may not exit with a mutex held.
+ - Memory areas where held locks reside must not be freed.
+ - Held mutexes must not be reinitialized.
+ - Mutexes may not be used in hardware or software interrupt
+ contexts such as tasklets and timers.
+
+These semantics are fully enforced when CONFIG DEBUG_MUTEXES is enabled.
+In addition, the mutex debugging code also implements a number of other
+features that make lock debugging easier and faster:
+
+ - Uses symbolic names of mutexes, whenever they are printed
+ in debug output.
+ - Point-of-acquire tracking, symbolic lookup of function names,
+ list of all locks held in the system, printout of them.
+ - Owner tracking.
+ - Detects self-recursing locks and prints out all relevant info.
+ - Detects multi-task circular deadlocks and prints out all affected
+ locks and tasks (and only those tasks).
+
+
+Interfaces
+----------
+Statically define the mutex:
+ DEFINE_MUTEX(name);
+
+Dynamically initialize the mutex:
+ mutex_init(mutex);
+
+Acquire the mutex, uninterruptible:
+ void mutex_lock(struct mutex *lock);
+ void mutex_lock_nested(struct mutex *lock, unsigned int subclass);
+ int mutex_trylock(struct mutex *lock);
+
+Acquire the mutex, interruptible:
+ int mutex_lock_interruptible_nested(struct mutex *lock,
+ unsigned int subclass);
+ int mutex_lock_interruptible(struct mutex *lock);
+
+Acquire the mutex, interruptible, if dec to 0:
+ int atomic_dec_and_mutex_lock(atomic_t *cnt, struct mutex *lock);
+
+Unlock the mutex:
+ void mutex_unlock(struct mutex *lock);
+
+Test if the mutex is taken:
+ int mutex_is_locked(struct mutex *lock);
Disadvantages
-------------
-The stricter mutex API means you cannot use mutexes the same way you
-can use semaphores: e.g. they cannot be used from an interrupt context,
-nor can they be unlocked from a different context that which acquired
-it. [ I'm not aware of any other (e.g. performance) disadvantages from
-using mutexes at the moment, please let me know if you find any. ]
-
-Implementation of mutexes
--------------------------
-
-'struct mutex' is the new mutex type, defined in include/linux/mutex.h and
-implemented in kernel/locking/mutex.c. It is a counter-based mutex with a
-spinlock and a wait-list. The counter has 3 states: 1 for "unlocked", 0 for
-"locked" and negative numbers (usually -1) for "locked, potential waiters
-queued".
-
-the APIs of 'struct mutex' have been streamlined:
-
- DEFINE_MUTEX(name);
+Unlike its original design and purpose, 'struct mutex' is larger than
+most locks in the kernel. E.g: on x86-64 it is 40 bytes, almost twice
+as large as 'struct semaphore' (24 bytes) and 8 bytes shy of the
+'struct rw_semaphore' variant. Larger structure sizes mean more CPU
+cache and memory footprint.
- mutex_init(mutex);
+When to use mutexes
+-------------------
- void mutex_lock(struct mutex *lock);
- int mutex_lock_interruptible(struct mutex *lock);
- int mutex_trylock(struct mutex *lock);
- void mutex_unlock(struct mutex *lock);
- int mutex_is_locked(struct mutex *lock);
- void mutex_lock_nested(struct mutex *lock, unsigned int subclass);
- int mutex_lock_interruptible_nested(struct mutex *lock,
- unsigned int subclass);
- int atomic_dec_and_mutex_lock(atomic_t *cnt, struct mutex *lock);
+Unless the strict semantics of mutexes are unsuitable and/or the critical
+region prevents the lock from being shared, always prefer them to any other
+locking primitive.

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