About Kernel Documentation Linux Kernel Contact Linux Resources Linux Blog

Documentation / RCU / NMI-RCU.txt




Custom Search

Based on kernel version 3.15.4. Page generated on 2014-07-07 09:04 EST.

1	Using RCU to Protect Dynamic NMI Handlers
2	
3	
4	Although RCU is usually used to protect read-mostly data structures,
5	it is possible to use RCU to provide dynamic non-maskable interrupt
6	handlers, as well as dynamic irq handlers.  This document describes
7	how to do this, drawing loosely from Zwane Mwaikambo's NMI-timer
8	work in "arch/x86/oprofile/nmi_timer_int.c" and in
9	"arch/x86/kernel/traps.c".
10	
11	The relevant pieces of code are listed below, each followed by a
12	brief explanation.
13	
14		static int dummy_nmi_callback(struct pt_regs *regs, int cpu)
15		{
16			return 0;
17		}
18	
19	The dummy_nmi_callback() function is a "dummy" NMI handler that does
20	nothing, but returns zero, thus saying that it did nothing, allowing
21	the NMI handler to take the default machine-specific action.
22	
23		static nmi_callback_t nmi_callback = dummy_nmi_callback;
24	
25	This nmi_callback variable is a global function pointer to the current
26	NMI handler.
27	
28		void do_nmi(struct pt_regs * regs, long error_code)
29		{
30			int cpu;
31	
32			nmi_enter();
33	
34			cpu = smp_processor_id();
35			++nmi_count(cpu);
36	
37			if (!rcu_dereference_sched(nmi_callback)(regs, cpu))
38				default_do_nmi(regs);
39	
40			nmi_exit();
41		}
42	
43	The do_nmi() function processes each NMI.  It first disables preemption
44	in the same way that a hardware irq would, then increments the per-CPU
45	count of NMIs.  It then invokes the NMI handler stored in the nmi_callback
46	function pointer.  If this handler returns zero, do_nmi() invokes the
47	default_do_nmi() function to handle a machine-specific NMI.  Finally,
48	preemption is restored.
49	
50	In theory, rcu_dereference_sched() is not needed, since this code runs
51	only on i386, which in theory does not need rcu_dereference_sched()
52	anyway.  However, in practice it is a good documentation aid, particularly
53	for anyone attempting to do something similar on Alpha or on systems
54	with aggressive optimizing compilers.
55	
56	Quick Quiz:  Why might the rcu_dereference_sched() be necessary on Alpha,
57		     given that the code referenced by the pointer is read-only?
58	
59	
60	Back to the discussion of NMI and RCU...
61	
62		void set_nmi_callback(nmi_callback_t callback)
63		{
64			rcu_assign_pointer(nmi_callback, callback);
65		}
66	
67	The set_nmi_callback() function registers an NMI handler.  Note that any
68	data that is to be used by the callback must be initialized up -before-
69	the call to set_nmi_callback().  On architectures that do not order
70	writes, the rcu_assign_pointer() ensures that the NMI handler sees the
71	initialized values.
72	
73		void unset_nmi_callback(void)
74		{
75			rcu_assign_pointer(nmi_callback, dummy_nmi_callback);
76		}
77	
78	This function unregisters an NMI handler, restoring the original
79	dummy_nmi_handler().  However, there may well be an NMI handler
80	currently executing on some other CPU.  We therefore cannot free
81	up any data structures used by the old NMI handler until execution
82	of it completes on all other CPUs.
83	
84	One way to accomplish this is via synchronize_sched(), perhaps as
85	follows:
86	
87		unset_nmi_callback();
88		synchronize_sched();
89		kfree(my_nmi_data);
90	
91	This works because synchronize_sched() blocks until all CPUs complete
92	any preemption-disabled segments of code that they were executing.
93	Since NMI handlers disable preemption, synchronize_sched() is guaranteed
94	not to return until all ongoing NMI handlers exit.  It is therefore safe
95	to free up the handler's data as soon as synchronize_sched() returns.
96	
97	Important note: for this to work, the architecture in question must
98	invoke nmi_enter() and nmi_exit() on NMI entry and exit, respectively.
99	
100	
101	Answer to Quick Quiz
102	
103		Why might the rcu_dereference_sched() be necessary on Alpha, given
104		that the code referenced by the pointer is read-only?
105	
106		Answer: The caller to set_nmi_callback() might well have
107			initialized some data that is to be used by the new NMI
108			handler.  In this case, the rcu_dereference_sched() would
109			be needed, because otherwise a CPU that received an NMI
110			just after the new handler was set might see the pointer
111			to the new NMI handler, but the old pre-initialized
112			version of the handler's data.
113	
114			This same sad story can happen on other CPUs when using
115			a compiler with aggressive pointer-value speculation
116			optimizations.
117	
118			More important, the rcu_dereference_sched() makes it
119			clear to someone reading the code that the pointer is
120			being protected by RCU-sched.
Hide Line Numbers
About Kernel Documentation Linux Kernel Contact Linux Resources Linux Blog

Information is copyright its respective author. All material is available from the Linux Kernel Source distributed under a GPL License. This page is provided as a free service by mjmwired.net.