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+Freezing of tasks
+ (C) 2007 Rafael J. Wysocki <rjw@sisk.pl>, GPL
+I. What is the freezing of tasks?
+The freezing of tasks is a mechanism by which user space processes and some
+kernel threads are controlled during hibernation or system-wide suspend (on some
+II. How does it work?
+There are three per-task flags used for that, PF_NOFREEZE, PF_FROZEN
+and PF_FREEZER_SKIP (the last one is auxiliary). The tasks that have
+PF_NOFREEZE unset (all user space processes and some kernel threads) are
+regarded as 'freezable' and treated in a special way before the system enters a
+suspend state as well as before a hibernation image is created (in what follows
+we only consider hibernation, but the description also applies to suspend).
+Namely, as the first step of the hibernation procedure the function
+freeze_processes() (defined in kernel/power/process.c) is called. A system-wide
+variable system_freezing_cnt (as opposed to a per-task flag) is used to indicate
+whether the system is to undergo a freezing operation. And freeze_processes()
+sets this variable. After this, it executes try_to_freeze_tasks() that sends a
+fake signal to all user space processes, and wakes up all the kernel threads.
+All freezable tasks must react to that by calling try_to_freeze(), which
+results in a call to __refrigerator() (defined in kernel/freezer.c), which sets
+the task's PF_FROZEN flag, changes its state to TASK_UNINTERRUPTIBLE and makes
+it loop until PF_FROZEN is cleared for it. Then, we say that the task is
+'frozen' and therefore the set of functions handling this mechanism is referred
+to as 'the freezer' (these functions are defined in kernel/power/process.c,
+kernel/freezer.c & include/linux/freezer.h). User space processes are generally
+frozen before kernel threads.
+__refrigerator() must not be called directly. Instead, use the
+try_to_freeze() function (defined in include/linux/freezer.h), that checks
+if the task is to be frozen and makes the task enter __refrigerator().
+For user space processes try_to_freeze() is called automatically from the
+signal-handling code, but the freezable kernel threads need to call it
+explicitly in suitable places or use the wait_event_freezable() or
+wait_event_freezable_timeout() macros (defined in include/linux/freezer.h)
+that combine interruptible sleep with checking if the task is to be frozen and
+calling try_to_freeze(). The main loop of a freezable kernel thread may look
+like the following one:
+ set_freezable();
+ do {
+ hub_events();
+ wait_event_freezable(khubd_wait,
+ !list_empty(&hub_event_list) ||
+ kthread_should_stop());
+ } while (!kthread_should_stop() || !list_empty(&hub_event_list));
+(from drivers/usb/core/hub.c::hub_thread()).
+If a freezable kernel thread fails to call try_to_freeze() after the freezer has
+initiated a freezing operation, the freezing of tasks will fail and the entire
+hibernation operation will be cancelled. For this reason, freezable kernel
+threads must call try_to_freeze() somewhere or use one of the
+wait_event_freezable() and wait_event_freezable_timeout() macros.
+After the system memory state has been restored from a hibernation image and
+devices have been reinitialized, the function thaw_processes() is called in
+order to clear the PF_FROZEN flag for each frozen task. Then, the tasks that
+have been frozen leave __refrigerator() and continue running.
+Rationale behind the functions dealing with freezing and thawing of tasks:
+ - freezes only userspace tasks
+ - freezes all tasks (including kernel threads) because we can't freeze
+ kernel threads without freezing userspace tasks
+ - thaws only kernel threads; this is particularly useful if we need to do
+ anything special in between thawing of kernel threads and thawing of
+ userspace tasks, or if we want to postpone the thawing of userspace tasks
+ - thaws all tasks (including kernel threads) because we can't thaw userspace
+ tasks without thawing kernel threads
+III. Which kernel threads are freezable?
+Kernel threads are not freezable by default. However, a kernel thread may clear
+PF_NOFREEZE for itself by calling set_freezable() (the resetting of PF_NOFREEZE
+directly is not allowed). From this point it is regarded as freezable
+and must call try_to_freeze() in a suitable place.
+IV. Why do we do that?
+Generally speaking, there is a couple of reasons to use the freezing of tasks:
+1. The principal reason is to prevent filesystems from being damaged after
+hibernation. At the moment we have no simple means of checkpointing
+filesystems, so if there are any modifications made to filesystem data and/or
+metadata on disks, we cannot bring them back to the state from before the
+modifications. At the same time each hibernation image contains some
+filesystem-related information that must be consistent with the state of the
+on-disk data and metadata after the system memory state has been restored from
+the image (otherwise the filesystems will be damaged in a nasty way, usually
+making them almost impossible to repair). We therefore freeze tasks that might
+cause the on-disk filesystems' data and metadata to be modified after the
+hibernation image has been created and before the system is finally powered off.
+The majority of these are user space processes, but if any of the kernel threads
+may cause something like this to happen, they have to be freezable.
+2. Next, to create the hibernation image we need to free a sufficient amount of
+memory (approximately 50% of available RAM) and we need to do that before
+devices are deactivated, because we generally need them for swapping out. Then,
+after the memory for the image has been freed, we don't want tasks to allocate
+additional memory and we prevent them from doing that by freezing them earlier.
+[Of course, this also means that device drivers should not allocate substantial
+amounts of memory from their .suspend() callbacks before hibernation, but this
+is a separate issue.]
+3. The third reason is to prevent user space processes and some kernel threads
+from interfering with the suspending and resuming of devices. A user space
+process running on a second CPU while we are suspending devices may, for
+example, be troublesome and without the freezing of tasks we would need some
+safeguards against race conditions that might occur in such a case.
+Although Linus Torvalds doesn't like the freezing of tasks, he said this in one
+of the discussions on LKML (http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/4/27/608):
+"RJW:> Why we freeze tasks at all or why we freeze kernel threads?
+Linus: In many ways, 'at all'.
+I _do_ realize the IO request queue issues, and that we cannot actually do
+s2ram with some devices in the middle of a DMA. So we want to be able to
+avoid *that*, there's no question about that. And I suspect that stopping
+user threads and then waiting for a sync is practically one of the easier
+ways to do so.
+So in practice, the 'at all' may become a 'why freeze kernel threads?' and
+freezing user threads I don't find really objectionable."
+Still, there are kernel threads that may want to be freezable. For example, if
+a kernel thread that belongs to a device driver accesses the device directly, it
+in principle needs to know when the device is suspended, so that it doesn't try
+to access it at that time. However, if the kernel thread is freezable, it will
+be frozen before the driver's .suspend() callback is executed and it will be
+thawed after the driver's .resume() callback has run, so it won't be accessing
+the device while it's suspended.
+4. Another reason for freezing tasks is to prevent user space processes from
+realizing that hibernation (or suspend) operation takes place. Ideally, user
+space processes should not notice that such a system-wide operation has occurred
+and should continue running without any problems after the restore (or resume
+from suspend). Unfortunately, in the most general case this is quite difficult
+to achieve without the freezing of tasks. Consider, for example, a process
+that depends on all CPUs being online while it's running. Since we need to
+disable nonboot CPUs during the hibernation, if this process is not frozen, it
+may notice that the number of CPUs has changed and may start to work incorrectly
+because of that.
+V. Are there any problems related to the freezing of tasks?
+Yes, there are.
+First of all, the freezing of kernel threads may be tricky if they depend one
+on another. For example, if kernel thread A waits for a completion (in the
+TASK_UNINTERRUPTIBLE state) that needs to be done by freezable kernel thread B
+and B is frozen in the meantime, then A will be blocked until B is thawed, which
+may be undesirable. That's why kernel threads are not freezable by default.
+Second, there are the following two problems related to the freezing of user
+space processes:
+1. Putting processes into an uninterruptible sleep distorts the load average.
+2. Now that we have FUSE, plus the framework for doing device drivers in
+userspace, it gets even more complicated because some userspace processes are
+now doing the sorts of things that kernel threads do
+The problem 1. seems to be fixable, although it hasn't been fixed so far. The
+other one is more serious, but it seems that we can work around it by using
+hibernation (and suspend) notifiers (in that case, though, we won't be able to
+avoid the realization by the user space processes that the hibernation is taking
+There are also problems that the freezing of tasks tends to expose, although
+they are not directly related to it. For example, if request_firmware() is
+called from a device driver's .resume() routine, it will timeout and eventually
+fail, because the user land process that should respond to the request is frozen
+at this point. So, seemingly, the failure is due to the freezing of tasks.
+Suppose, however, that the firmware file is located on a filesystem accessible
+only through another device that hasn't been resumed yet. In that case,
+request_firmware() will fail regardless of whether or not the freezing of tasks
+is used. Consequently, the problem is not really related to the freezing of
+tasks, since it generally exists anyway.
+A driver must have all firmwares it may need in RAM before suspend() is called.
+If keeping them is not practical, for example due to their size, they must be
+requested early enough using the suspend notifier API described in notifiers.txt.
+VI. Are there any precautions to be taken to prevent freezing failures?
+Yes, there are.
+First of all, grabbing the 'pm_mutex' lock to mutually exclude a piece of code
+from system-wide sleep such as suspend/hibernation is not encouraged.
+If possible, that piece of code must instead hook onto the suspend/hibernation
+notifiers to achieve mutual exclusion. Look at the CPU-Hotplug code
+(kernel/cpu.c) for an example.
+However, if that is not feasible, and grabbing 'pm_mutex' is deemed necessary,
+it is strongly discouraged to directly call mutex_[un]lock(&pm_mutex) since
+that could lead to freezing failures, because if the suspend/hibernate code
+successfully acquired the 'pm_mutex' lock, and hence that other entity failed
+to acquire the lock, then that task would get blocked in TASK_UNINTERRUPTIBLE
+state. As a consequence, the freezer would not be able to freeze that task,
+leading to freezing failure.
+However, the [un]lock_system_sleep() APIs are safe to use in this scenario,
+since they ask the freezer to skip freezing this task, since it is anyway
+"frozen enough" as it is blocked on 'pm_mutex', which will be released
+only after the entire suspend/hibernation sequence is complete.
+So, to summarize, use [un]lock_system_sleep() instead of directly using
+mutex_[un]lock(&pm_mutex). That would prevent freezing failures.
+V. Miscellaneous
+/sys/power/pm_freeze_timeout controls how long it will cost at most to freeze
+all user space processes or all freezable kernel threads, in unit of millisecond.
+The default value is 20000, with range of unsigned integer.