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Re: [Xen-devel] Xen PVM: Strange lockups when running PostgreSQL load

On 19.10.2012 11:24, Jan Beulich wrote:
>>>> On 19.10.12 at 10:33, Stefan Bader <stefan.bader@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On 19.10.2012 10:06, Jan Beulich wrote:
>>>>>> On 18.10.12 at 22:52, Stefan Bader <stefan.bader@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>> Actually I begin to suspect that it could be possible that I just
>>>> overlooked
>>>> the most obvious thing. Provoking question: are we sure we are on the
>>>> same page about the purpose of the spin_lock_flags variant of the pv
>>>> lock ops interface?
>>>> I begin to suspect that it really is not for giving a chance to
>>>> re-enable interrupts. Just what it should be used for I am not clear.
>>>> Anyway it seems all other places more or less ignore the flags and map
>>>> themselves back to an ignorant version of spinlock. Also I believe that
>>>> the only high level function that would end up in passing any flags,
>>>> would be the spin_lock_irqsave one. And I am pretty sure that this one
>>>> will expect interrupts to stay disabled.
>>> No - the only requirement here is that from the point on where the lock
>>> is owned interrupt must remain disabled. Re-enabling intermediately is
>>> quite okay (and used to be done by the native kernel prior to the
>>> conversion to ticket locks iirc).
>> Though it seems rather dangerous then. Don't remember the old code, but imo
>>  it always opens up a (even microscopic) window to unexpected
>> interruptions.
> There just can't be unexpected interruptions. Whenever interrupts are
> enabled, it is expected that they can occur.

Probably one thing that makes things a bit more complicated is that in the PVM
case interrupts maps to vcpu->evtchn_upcall_mask.

>>>> So I tried below approach and that seems to be surviving the previously
>>>>  breaking testcase for much longer than anything I tried before.
>>> If that indeed fixes your problem, then (minus eventual problems with the
>>> scope of the interrupts-enabled window) this rather points at a bug in
>>> the users of the spinlock interfaces.
>> I would be pragmatic here, none of the other current implementations seem
>> to re-enable interrupts and so this only affects xen pv.
> I don't think you really checked - the first arch I looked at (s390, as being
> the most obvious one to look at when it comes to virtualization) quite
> prominently re-enableds interrupts in arch_spin_lock_wait_flags().

No, I assumed that you saying native kernel did prior to ticket lock conversion,
that this involves more historic search. And yes s390 is doing virtualization
quite a bit back into history. Just not paravirtualization.
And when I look at arch_spin_lock_wait_flags() enabling/disabling is done close
by (at least I am not leaving off into some hypercall fog).

>> And how much really is gained from enabling it compared to the risk of
>> being affected by something that nobody else will be?
> The main difference between the native and virtualized cases is that the
> period of time you spend waiting for the lock to become available is pretty
> much unbounded (even more so without ticket locks), and keeping interrupts
> disabled for such an extended period of time is just going to ask for other
> problems.

So not sure I followed all of the right paths here, but I think xen_poll_irq
ends up doing a hypercall via syscall. Syscall seems to mask of some bits of the
flags (maybe irq) but certainly that will not translate automatically into the
upcall mask.
Then, again hopefully the right place, in the mini-os part, the
hypervisor_callback there is some annotation about leaving the events masked off
until having checked for being already interrupted. Could be the same mask that
is checked here that the guest has cleared to enable interrupts... Would that be

> And note that this isn't the case just for Xen PV - all virtualization 
> scenarios suffer from that.
> Jan
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