On 06/27, Chris Snook wrote:
> Oleg Nesterov wrote:
> >On 06/26, Chris Snook wrote:
> >>Oleg Nesterov wrote:
> >>>on top of sys_time-speedup.patch
> >>>Ingo Molnar wrote:
> >>>>asmlinkage long sys_time(time_t __user * tloc)
> >>>>- time_t i;
> >>>>- struct timeval tv;
> >>>>+ /*
> >>>>+ * We read xtime.tv_sec atomically - it's updated
> >>>>+ * atomically by update_wall_time(), so no need to
> >>>>+ * even read-lock the xtime seqlock:
> >>>>+ */
> >>>>+ time_t i = xtime.tv_sec;
> >>>>- do_gettimeofday(&tv);
> >>>>- i = tv.tv_sec;
> >>>>+ smp_rmb(); /* sys_time() results are coherent */
> >>>Why do we need this barrier? My guess it is needed to prevent
> >>>the reading of xtime.tv_sec twice, yes? In that case a simple
> >>>barrier() should be enough.
> >>Without the smp_rmb, you can potentially have a situation where one CPU
> >>is still reading an old value from cache while another has the new value.
> >I can't understand this.
> >Fisrt, smp_rmb() can't help in this case. It can't influence the preceeding
> >LOAD if it was from cache.
> >Even if it could, another CPU can alter the value just after the reading
> >completes, and we have the same situation.
> >Could you please clarify if I am wrong?
> You're right, but so is Ingo's patch. We're not trying to enforce some
> notion of absolute time, just make it possible for userspace to guarantee
> that time cannot be *observed* to travel backwards. It's still the
> responsibility of the user to use proper synchronization in multithreaded
> apps. Without the smp_rmb() it would be possible on some architectures for
> the results of the race you describe to leak across other lock-prefixed
> instructions used to ensure monotonicity in userspace. Relativity applies
> to SMP timekeeping, not just space travelers, so if there's no way to prove
> a race occurred, it doesn't matter whether or not it occurred in some frame
> of reference.
This doesn't make sense to me, sorry. Could provide more details to explain
the race? Some ascii diagram?
I believe smp_rmb() can't make _any_ difference in this case.
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