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Based on kernel version 3.13. Page generated on 2014-01-20 22:03 EST.

1	Futex Requeue PI
2	----------------
3	
4	Requeueing of tasks from a non-PI futex to a PI futex requires
5	special handling in order to ensure the underlying rt_mutex is never
6	left without an owner if it has waiters; doing so would break the PI
7	boosting logic [see rt-mutex-desgin.txt] For the purposes of
8	brevity, this action will be referred to as "requeue_pi" throughout
9	this document.  Priority inheritance is abbreviated throughout as
10	"PI".
11	
12	Motivation
13	----------
14	
15	Without requeue_pi, the glibc implementation of
16	pthread_cond_broadcast() must resort to waking all the tasks waiting
17	on a pthread_condvar and letting them try to sort out which task
18	gets to run first in classic thundering-herd formation.  An ideal
19	implementation would wake the highest-priority waiter, and leave the
20	rest to the natural wakeup inherent in unlocking the mutex
21	associated with the condvar.
22	
23	Consider the simplified glibc calls:
24	
25	/* caller must lock mutex */
26	pthread_cond_wait(cond, mutex)
27	{
28		lock(cond->__data.__lock);
29		unlock(mutex);
30		do {
31		   unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
32		   futex_wait(cond->__data.__futex);
33		   lock(cond->__data.__lock);
34		} while(...)
35		unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
36		lock(mutex);
37	}
38	
39	pthread_cond_broadcast(cond)
40	{
41		lock(cond->__data.__lock);
42		unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
43		futex_requeue(cond->data.__futex, cond->mutex);
44	}
45	
46	Once pthread_cond_broadcast() requeues the tasks, the cond->mutex
47	has waiters. Note that pthread_cond_wait() attempts to lock the
48	mutex only after it has returned to user space.  This will leave the
49	underlying rt_mutex with waiters, and no owner, breaking the
50	previously mentioned PI-boosting algorithms.
51	
52	In order to support PI-aware pthread_condvar's, the kernel needs to
53	be able to requeue tasks to PI futexes.  This support implies that
54	upon a successful futex_wait system call, the caller would return to
55	user space already holding the PI futex.  The glibc implementation
56	would be modified as follows:
57	
58	
59	/* caller must lock mutex */
60	pthread_cond_wait_pi(cond, mutex)
61	{
62		lock(cond->__data.__lock);
63		unlock(mutex);
64		do {
65		   unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
66		   futex_wait_requeue_pi(cond->__data.__futex);
67		   lock(cond->__data.__lock);
68		} while(...)
69		unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
70	        /* the kernel acquired the the mutex for us */
71	}
72	
73	pthread_cond_broadcast_pi(cond)
74	{
75		lock(cond->__data.__lock);
76		unlock(cond->__data.__lock);
77		futex_requeue_pi(cond->data.__futex, cond->mutex);
78	}
79	
80	The actual glibc implementation will likely test for PI and make the
81	necessary changes inside the existing calls rather than creating new
82	calls for the PI cases.  Similar changes are needed for
83	pthread_cond_timedwait() and pthread_cond_signal().
84	
85	Implementation
86	--------------
87	
88	In order to ensure the rt_mutex has an owner if it has waiters, it
89	is necessary for both the requeue code, as well as the waiting code,
90	to be able to acquire the rt_mutex before returning to user space.
91	The requeue code cannot simply wake the waiter and leave it to
92	acquire the rt_mutex as it would open a race window between the
93	requeue call returning to user space and the waiter waking and
94	starting to run.  This is especially true in the uncontended case.
95	
96	The solution involves two new rt_mutex helper routines,
97	rt_mutex_start_proxy_lock() and rt_mutex_finish_proxy_lock(), which
98	allow the requeue code to acquire an uncontended rt_mutex on behalf
99	of the waiter and to enqueue the waiter on a contended rt_mutex.
100	Two new system calls provide the kernel<->user interface to
101	requeue_pi: FUTEX_WAIT_REQUEUE_PI and FUTEX_REQUEUE_CMP_PI.
102	
103	FUTEX_WAIT_REQUEUE_PI is called by the waiter (pthread_cond_wait()
104	and pthread_cond_timedwait()) to block on the initial futex and wait
105	to be requeued to a PI-aware futex.  The implementation is the
106	result of a high-speed collision between futex_wait() and
107	futex_lock_pi(), with some extra logic to check for the additional
108	wake-up scenarios.
109	
110	FUTEX_REQUEUE_CMP_PI is called by the waker
111	(pthread_cond_broadcast() and pthread_cond_signal()) to requeue and
112	possibly wake the waiting tasks. Internally, this system call is
113	still handled by futex_requeue (by passing requeue_pi=1).  Before
114	requeueing, futex_requeue() attempts to acquire the requeue target
115	PI futex on behalf of the top waiter.  If it can, this waiter is
116	woken.  futex_requeue() then proceeds to requeue the remaining
117	nr_wake+nr_requeue tasks to the PI futex, calling
118	rt_mutex_start_proxy_lock() prior to each requeue to prepare the
119	task as a waiter on the underlying rt_mutex.  It is possible that
120	the lock can be acquired at this stage as well, if so, the next
121	waiter is woken to finish the acquisition of the lock.
122	
123	FUTEX_REQUEUE_PI accepts nr_wake and nr_requeue as arguments, but
124	their sum is all that really matters.  futex_requeue() will wake or
125	requeue up to nr_wake + nr_requeue tasks.  It will wake only as many
126	tasks as it can acquire the lock for, which in the majority of cases
127	should be 0 as good programming practice dictates that the caller of
128	either pthread_cond_broadcast() or pthread_cond_signal() acquire the
129	mutex prior to making the call. FUTEX_REQUEUE_PI requires that
130	nr_wake=1.  nr_requeue should be INT_MAX for broadcast and 0 for
131	signal.
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