path: root/Documentation/RCU
diff options
authorPaul E. McKenney <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com>2011-07-21 17:10:40 -0700
committerPaul E. McKenney <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com>2011-09-28 21:38:28 -0700
commitd7bd2d68aa2ee2738a10c8ad9346b805e4ab2e1c (patch)
tree08340b3fa571a8468084fbc718a76f87acb42b6f /Documentation/RCU
parent3721bc1d3ed9940b17791805b7ee3a4743295d12 (diff)
rcu: Document interpretation of RCU-lockdep splats
There has been quite a bit of confusion about what RCU-lockdep splats mean, so this commit adds some documentation describing how to interpret them. Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation/RCU')
1 files changed, 110 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/RCU/lockdep-splat.txt b/Documentation/RCU/lockdep-splat.txt
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..bf9061142827
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/RCU/lockdep-splat.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,110 @@
+Lockdep-RCU was added to the Linux kernel in early 2010
+(http://lwn.net/Articles/371986/). This facility checks for some common
+misuses of the RCU API, most notably using one of the rcu_dereference()
+family to access an RCU-protected pointer without the proper protection.
+When such misuse is detected, an lockdep-RCU splat is emitted.
+The usual cause of a lockdep-RCU slat is someone accessing an
+RCU-protected data structure without either (1) being in the right kind of
+RCU read-side critical section or (2) holding the right update-side lock.
+This problem can therefore be serious: it might result in random memory
+overwriting or worse. There can of course be false positives, this
+being the real world and all that.
+So let's look at an example RCU lockdep splat from 3.0-rc5, one that
+has long since been fixed:
+[ INFO: suspicious RCU usage. ]
+block/cfq-iosched.c:2776 suspicious rcu_dereference_protected() usage!
+other info that might help us debug this:
+rcu_scheduler_active = 1, debug_locks = 0
+3 locks held by scsi_scan_6/1552:
+ #0: (&shost->scan_mutex){+.+.+.}, at: [<ffffffff8145efca>]
+ #1: (&eq->sysfs_lock){+.+...}, at: [<ffffffff812a5032>]
+ #2: (&(&q->__queue_lock)->rlock){-.-...}, at: [<ffffffff812b6233>]
+stack backtrace:
+Pid: 1552, comm: scsi_scan_6 Not tainted 3.0.0-rc5 #17
+Call Trace:
+ [<ffffffff810abb9b>] lockdep_rcu_dereference+0xbb/0xc0
+ [<ffffffff812b6139>] __cfq_exit_single_io_context+0xe9/0x120
+ [<ffffffff812b626c>] cfq_exit_queue+0x7c/0x190
+ [<ffffffff812a5046>] elevator_exit+0x36/0x60
+ [<ffffffff812a802a>] blk_cleanup_queue+0x4a/0x60
+ [<ffffffff8145cc09>] scsi_free_queue+0x9/0x10
+ [<ffffffff81460944>] __scsi_remove_device+0x84/0xd0
+ [<ffffffff8145dca3>] scsi_probe_and_add_lun+0x353/0xb10
+ [<ffffffff817da069>] ? error_exit+0x29/0xb0
+ [<ffffffff817d98ed>] ? _raw_spin_unlock_irqrestore+0x3d/0x80
+ [<ffffffff8145e722>] __scsi_scan_target+0x112/0x680
+ [<ffffffff812c690d>] ? trace_hardirqs_off_thunk+0x3a/0x3c
+ [<ffffffff817da069>] ? error_exit+0x29/0xb0
+ [<ffffffff812bcc60>] ? kobject_del+0x40/0x40
+ [<ffffffff8145ed16>] scsi_scan_channel+0x86/0xb0
+ [<ffffffff8145f0b0>] scsi_scan_host_selected+0x140/0x150
+ [<ffffffff8145f149>] do_scsi_scan_host+0x89/0x90
+ [<ffffffff8145f170>] do_scan_async+0x20/0x160
+ [<ffffffff8145f150>] ? do_scsi_scan_host+0x90/0x90
+ [<ffffffff810975b6>] kthread+0xa6/0xb0
+ [<ffffffff817db154>] kernel_thread_helper+0x4/0x10
+ [<ffffffff81066430>] ? finish_task_switch+0x80/0x110
+ [<ffffffff817d9c04>] ? retint_restore_args+0xe/0xe
+ [<ffffffff81097510>] ? __init_kthread_worker+0x70/0x70
+ [<ffffffff817db150>] ? gs_change+0xb/0xb
+Line 2776 of block/cfq-iosched.c in v3.0-rc5 is as follows:
+ if (rcu_dereference(ioc->ioc_data) == cic) {
+This form says that it must be in a plain vanilla RCU read-side critical
+section, but the "other info" list above shows that this is not the
+case. Instead, we hold three locks, one of which might be RCU related.
+And maybe that lock really does protect this reference. If so, the fix
+is to inform RCU, perhaps by changing __cfq_exit_single_io_context() to
+take the struct request_queue "q" from cfq_exit_queue() as an argument,
+which would permit us to invoke rcu_dereference_protected as follows:
+ if (rcu_dereference_protected(ioc->ioc_data,
+ lockdep_is_held(&q->queue_lock)) == cic) {
+With this change, there would be no lockdep-RCU splat emitted if this
+code was invoked either from within an RCU read-side critical section
+or with the ->queue_lock held. In particular, this would have suppressed
+the above lockdep-RCU splat because ->queue_lock is held (see #2 in the
+list above).
+On the other hand, perhaps we really do need an RCU read-side critical
+section. In this case, the critical section must span the use of the
+return value from rcu_dereference(), or at least until there is some
+reference count incremented or some such. One way to handle this is to
+add rcu_read_lock() and rcu_read_unlock() as follows:
+ rcu_read_lock();
+ if (rcu_dereference(ioc->ioc_data) == cic) {
+ spin_lock(&ioc->lock);
+ rcu_assign_pointer(ioc->ioc_data, NULL);
+ spin_unlock(&ioc->lock);
+ }
+ rcu_read_unlock();
+With this change, the rcu_dereference() is always within an RCU
+read-side critical section, which again would have suppressed the
+above lockdep-RCU splat.
+But in this particular case, we don't actually deference the pointer
+returned from rcu_dereference(). Instead, that pointer is just compared
+to the cic pointer, which means that the rcu_dereference() can be replaced
+by rcu_access_pointer() as follows:
+ if (rcu_access_pointer(ioc->ioc_data) == cic) {
+Because it is legal to invoke rcu_access_pointer() without protection,
+this change would also suppress the above lockdep-RCU splat.

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