Re: [Lse-tech] Re: RFC: patch to allow lock-free traversal of lists with insertion

From: Linus Torvalds (
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 12:25:22 EST

In article <20011010185848.D726@athlon.random>,
Andrea Arcangeli <> wrote:
>However the more I think about it the more I suspect we'd better use
>rmb() in all readers in the common code

Absolutely. It's not that expensive an operation on sane hardware. And
it's definitely conceptually the only right thing to do - we're saying
that we're doing a read that depends on a previous read having seen
previous memory. Ergo, "rmb()".

Of course, right now Linux only exports a subset of the potential memory
barriers, and maybe we should export a fuller set - allowing CPU's that
have stricter ordering to possibly make it a no-op. But thinking about
even something like x86, I don't see where Intel would guarantee that
two reads (data-dependent or not) would have some implicit memory

Re-ordering reads with data dependencies is hard, but it happens quite
naturally in a CPU that does address speculation. I don't know of
anybody who does that, but I bet _somebody_ will. Maybe even the P4?

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 15 2001 - 21:00:33 EST