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authorFathi Boudra <fathi.boudra@linaro.org>2013-04-28 09:33:08 +0300
committerFathi Boudra <fathi.boudra@linaro.org>2013-04-28 09:33:08 +0300
commit3b4bd47f8f4ed3aaf7c81c9b5d2d37ad79fadf4a (patch)
treeb9996006addfd7ae70a39672b76843b49aebc189 /Documentation/RCU/rcuref.txt
downloadlinux-linaro-highbank-3b4bd47f8f4ed3aaf7c81c9b5d2d37ad79fadf4a.tar.gz
Imported Upstream version 3.9.0HEADupstream/3.9.0upstreammaster
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+Reference-count design for elements of lists/arrays protected by RCU.
+
+Reference counting on elements of lists which are protected by traditional
+reader/writer spinlocks or semaphores are straightforward:
+
+1. 2.
+add() search_and_reference()
+{ {
+ alloc_object read_lock(&list_lock);
+ ... search_for_element
+ atomic_set(&el->rc, 1); atomic_inc(&el->rc);
+ write_lock(&list_lock); ...
+ add_element read_unlock(&list_lock);
+ ... ...
+ write_unlock(&list_lock); }
+}
+
+3. 4.
+release_referenced() delete()
+{ {
+ ... write_lock(&list_lock);
+ atomic_dec(&el->rc, relfunc) ...
+ ... remove_element
+} write_unlock(&list_lock);
+ ...
+ if (atomic_dec_and_test(&el->rc))
+ kfree(el);
+ ...
+ }
+
+If this list/array is made lock free using RCU as in changing the
+write_lock() in add() and delete() to spin_lock() and changing read_lock()
+in search_and_reference() to rcu_read_lock(), the atomic_inc() in
+search_and_reference() could potentially hold reference to an element which
+has already been deleted from the list/array. Use atomic_inc_not_zero()
+in this scenario as follows:
+
+1. 2.
+add() search_and_reference()
+{ {
+ alloc_object rcu_read_lock();
+ ... search_for_element
+ atomic_set(&el->rc, 1); if (!atomic_inc_not_zero(&el->rc)) {
+ spin_lock(&list_lock); rcu_read_unlock();
+ return FAIL;
+ add_element }
+ ... ...
+ spin_unlock(&list_lock); rcu_read_unlock();
+} }
+3. 4.
+release_referenced() delete()
+{ {
+ ... spin_lock(&list_lock);
+ if (atomic_dec_and_test(&el->rc)) ...
+ call_rcu(&el->head, el_free); remove_element
+ ... spin_unlock(&list_lock);
+} ...
+ if (atomic_dec_and_test(&el->rc))
+ call_rcu(&el->head, el_free);
+ ...
+ }
+
+Sometimes, a reference to the element needs to be obtained in the
+update (write) stream. In such cases, atomic_inc_not_zero() might be
+overkill, since we hold the update-side spinlock. One might instead
+use atomic_inc() in such cases.
+
+It is not always convenient to deal with "FAIL" in the
+search_and_reference() code path. In such cases, the
+atomic_dec_and_test() may be moved from delete() to el_free()
+as follows:
+
+1. 2.
+add() search_and_reference()
+{ {
+ alloc_object rcu_read_lock();
+ ... search_for_element
+ atomic_set(&el->rc, 1); atomic_inc(&el->rc);
+ spin_lock(&list_lock); ...
+
+ add_element rcu_read_unlock();
+ ... }
+ spin_unlock(&list_lock); 4.
+} delete()
+3. {
+release_referenced() spin_lock(&list_lock);
+{ ...
+ ... remove_element
+ if (atomic_dec_and_test(&el->rc)) spin_unlock(&list_lock);
+ kfree(el); ...
+ ... call_rcu(&el->head, el_free);
+} ...
+5. }
+void el_free(struct rcu_head *rhp)
+{
+ release_referenced();
+}
+
+The key point is that the initial reference added by add() is not removed
+until after a grace period has elapsed following removal. This means that
+search_and_reference() cannot find this element, which means that the value
+of el->rc cannot increase. Thus, once it reaches zero, there are no
+readers that can or ever will be able to reference the element. The
+element can therefore safely be freed. This in turn guarantees that if
+any reader finds the element, that reader may safely acquire a reference
+without checking the value of the reference counter.
+
+In cases where delete() can sleep, synchronize_rcu() can be called from
+delete(), so that el_free() can be subsumed into delete as follows:
+
+4.
+delete()
+{
+ spin_lock(&list_lock);
+ ...
+ remove_element
+ spin_unlock(&list_lock);
+ ...
+ synchronize_rcu();
+ if (atomic_dec_and_test(&el->rc))
+ kfree(el);
+ ...
+}