Re: [Linux-ia64] reader-writer livelock problem

From: Linus Torvalds (
Date: Fri Nov 08 2002 - 12:57:13 EST

In article <>,
Jeremy Fitzhardinge <> wrote:
>Even without interrupts that would be a bug. It isn't ever safe to
>attempt to retake a read lock if you already hold it, because you may
>deadlock with a pending writer. Fair multi-reader locks aren't
>recursive locks.

.. but I don't think we have any real users who use them for recursion,
so the only "recursion" right now is through interrupts that use this

(At least that was true a long time time ago, maybe we've added truly
recursive users since)

>> Actually, giving this som emore thought, I really suspect that the
>> simplest solution is to alloc a separate "fair_read_lock()", and paths
>> that need to care about fairness (and know they don't have the irq
>> issue)
>> can use that, slowly porting users over one by one...
>Do you mean have a separate lock type, or have two different read_lock
>operations on the current type?

That depends on whether it is even sanely implementable to share the
same lock. It may not be.

>From a migration standpoint it would be easiest (by far) to be able to
share the lock type and to mix operations (ie an interrupt - or
recursive user - could just use the non-fair version, while others could
use the fair version on the same lock). However, I have this nagging
suspicion that it might be a total nightmare to implement efficiently in

I've not looked at it. Any ideas?

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Nov 15 2002 - 22:00:16 EST