6.0-BETA2: taskqueue_drain for if_xl.c:2796

John Baldwin jhb at FreeBSD.org
Tue Aug 16 17:50:24 GMT 2005

On Monday 15 August 2005 02:22 am, Scott Long wrote:
> John Baldwin wrote:
> > On Thursday 11 August 2005 07:07 pm, Scott Long wrote:
> I still don't see what the point is of having a function that only
> removes pending tasks from the queue if it doesn't also drain in
> progress tasks.  Simple example:
> CPU1 calls xl_stop.  The XL_LOCK gets taken.  At the same time, CPU2
> calls taskqueue_swi, which pops the queue and calls xl_rxeof_task.  It
> tries to take the XL_LOCK but instead sleeps (or adaptively spins)
> because CPU1 already has it.  CPU1 calls taskqueue_stop, which doesn't
> do anything because the task was alrady popped off.
> Now, at some point, CPU1 **MUST** drop the XL_LOCK and let CPU2 continue
> that task to completion.  There simply is no way around that, right?  So
> why muddle the API with a function that really doesn't solve any
> problems.  The argument that being able to call taskqueue_stop with
> locks held is a convenience doesn't hold water.  You'll still need to
> drop locks in order to be sure that a mess isn't created.

Well, you need to think through this longer.  During a normal stop, we don't 
care if the task runs later if it is just going to stop anyway, which it will 
with the IFF_DRV_RUNNING checks I added (which it needs anyway even if you 
don't add a taskqueue_stop()).  See, when CPU2 eventually runs the 
xl_rxeof_task, it will drop the lock and return instantly because the 
xl_stop() function clears IFF_DRV_RUNNING in addition to calling 

Now, let's go back to the detach case where you actually need a drain.  In 
that case you call xl_stop() first.  It would be nice if that could go ahead 
and cancel the task if it's still in the queue without blocking at all.  
Calling taskqueue_stop() in xl_stop() will do that for you just fine.  If you 
don't do that, you have to wait until any other tasks ahead of you on the 
queue decide to finish before your task can run.  That's nuts!  Using 


Results in the behavior that if the task hasn't run yet, you don't block, and 
thus you only block if the task is already running and your driver can 
guarantee that that won't be forever since it can ensure the task handler 
checks for the interface being stopped after it does its own FOO_LOCK().

While we are on detach, you already have to add the IFF_DRV_RUNNING checks to 
the task handler even if you still use taskqueue_drain() in xl_stop() so that 
you don't block forever in that case (that is, the task handler has to 
realize that it's supposed to die so it will return and the draining thread 
will be resumed.)

One other thing here.  taskqueue_drain() is currently called from xl_stop(), 
which is called from xl_init_locked(), which is called from xl_intr().  Think 
"sleeping in an interrupt thread."  There be dragons. :)

This is common to almost all the ethernet drivers I've looked at in the past 
few weeks (de, dc, fxp, hme, sf, my, ste, pcn, el, and xl).

> So what does that really buy you since you still have to deal with the
> possible blocked task problem?  Better to just organize the code so that
> you can call taskqueue_dequeue with locks released and let the problem
> be dealt with in a consistent way, rather than encourage people roll
> their own dequeueing logic (best case) or become careless with
> parallelization (worse case).  I think that all that you are doing is
> finding a way to cheat around a real synchronization problem.  There are
> a lot of network drivers in the tree that are notorious for
> fundamentally poor locking design.  I'd really rather see them be fixed
> to conform to good APIs, rather than add marginal APIs that paper over
> the problems.

Errm, from all the driver's I've worked on so far, stop() is always called 
with the lock held the entire time and doesn't drop it.  The drivers are 
written this way in 4.x as well (they don't drop spl()), so using 
callout_stop() and taskqueue_stop() instead of callout_drain() and 
taskqueue_drain() in foo_stop() is a lot simpler change.  stop() is also 
called from interrupt handlers and can't really do anything that sleeps.  
Also, in general the entry points to the driver (ifnet functions, ifmedia 
functions, interrupt handlers, etc.) tend to lock the driver lock and the 
internal functions don't mess with the lock (except to drop the lock around
calls to ifp->if_input()).  That's a lot simpler than having to rewrite 
stop().  Also, letting me do a stop() that just lets the driver be in control 
of how long it has to wait in detach() when it tries to cancel its task 
rather than being subject to the whims of over tasks on the queue.

Again, we are talking about a model where we fire off an event (stop your 
callout, stop your task) and defer the blocking of acknowledgement until a 
more convenient time.  Outside of the detach() case, we don't even need to 
block waiting for the ack because there's no harm in having the event handler 
run, note that the interface is stopped, and abort.  See, where's the problem 
in your original case with CPU2 running the task if the task handler checks 
the interface to see if it's been stopped and will abort if it gets run after 
CPU1 has done foo_stop()?  For the non-detach() case we don't care when or if 
the task runs.  For the detach() case we have to make sure it doesn't try to 
use our mutex (or the text of our kernel module) before we destroy the mutex 
and return from detach().  In other words, the drain() isn't there to 
synchronize state of the device itself, but to guarantee order of operations 
for driver teardown.

John Baldwin <jhb at FreeBSD.org>  <><  http://www.FreeBSD.org/~jhb/
"Power Users Use the Power to Serve"  =  http://www.FreeBSD.org

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