Re: [PATCH] udev enhancements to use kernel event queue

From: Patrick Mochel (
Date: Thu Jun 12 2003 - 16:47:30 EST

*Sigh* You're asking for trouble, aren't you?

For the new spectators in the crowd, Steven, Greg and I have been on a
private email thread about this. This is the original email that he sent,
with all comments made to him completely disregarded..

> I have been looking at the udev idea that Greg KH has developed.
> Userland device enumeration definately is the way to go, however, there
> are some problems with using /sbin/hotplug to transmit device
> enumeration events:
> 1) performance of fork/exec with lots of devices is very poor

Please define:

- 'lots'

- 'poor'

The performance of /sbin/hotplug doesn't matter. It's a blip on the radar.
If you have lots of devices (e.g. 1000 SCSI disks) the time it takes to
fork + exec /sbin/hotplug is nothing compared to what it would take to
spin up and probe each of the disks. If you don't have a lot of devices,
then you're going to be spending a lot less time running /sbin/hotplug. So
little that it's not going to make a difference, I'm willing to wager.

If you have accurate time measurements, then I would be interested in
seeing them. Though, I request that you test the following:

- The default /sbin/hotplug for Redhat 9 systems
- The default /sbin/hotplug for Montavista systems.
- Greg's mini-hotplug
- Your sdeq

Please test against an identical kernel, with and without your patch.
Please also post links to (or attach) the /sbin/hotplug binaries and
scripts that you tested with. And, please post the complete 'tree -d'
output of sysfs on the system(s) you tested on.

> 2) lots of processes can be forked with no policy to control how many
> are forked at once potentially leading to OOM

Have you seen this happen? Sure, it's theoretically possible, but I highly
doubt it will ever happen on a real system. Typically, if you have an
astronomical number of devices, then you'll have an incredible amount of
memory, too. Please post a bug report when you see this.

> 3) /sbin/hotplug events can occur out of order, eg: remove event occurs,
> /sbin/hotplug sleeps waiting for something, insert event occurs and
> completes immediately. Then the remove event completes, after the
> insert, resulting in out-of-order completion and a broken /dev. I have
> seen this several times with udev.

This is true, and I'll let Greg handle this one.

> 4) early device enumeration (character devices, etc) are missed because
> /sbin/hotplug is not available during early device init.

initramfs, as well as one of many cold-plugging solutions out there should
suffice for this. If they don't, we would welcome and appreciate your
effort in helping overcome these deficiencies by evolving the current
system rather than attempting a hostile takeover.

> To solve these problems, I've developed a driver and some minor
> modifications to the lib/kobject.c to queue these events and allow a
> user space program to read the events at its leisure. The driver
> supports poll/select for effecient use of the processor.

Listen, it's not going to fly. Greg is hotplug czar, and I won't take the
patches if he doesn't like them.

Secondly, you're just not going to replace hotplug. At least not now.
/sbin/hotplug works today and has no serious, provable issues, besides
events coming in out of order. Incredibly long boot times, OOM situations
just have not happened. And, we've agreed that we're not going to
implement an overdesigned solution to fix problems that aren't there yet.
Show us REAL bugs and we'll work on making what we have better.

Thirdly, /sbin/hotplug is an ASCII interface, providing flexibility in the
userspace agent implementations. Your character device (which is not
appreciated) forces the userspace tools to use select(2), poll(2), or
ioctl(2). No simple read(2)/write(2). Binary interfaces == Bad(tm). If you
have doubts, please read the threads concerning binary vs. ASCII
interfaces over the last two years before replying.

I'm not even going to go as far as comment on the code, since conceptually
its FITH.

Finally, I think you need a serious attitude readjustment. You've exceeded
all expectations in the level of jackass that you've acheived. You
completley disregarded Greg's comments in a private thread started from
the SAME EXACT email. You were pompous and arrogant to the person whose
code you're trying to replace. Then, you have the nerve to start over on
this list. Did you think we wouldn't notice? If anything, you've
guaranteed that I will never take your emails seriously again.

I really wish the device driver people at Montavista would pool their
collective partial clues and figure WTF the rest of the world is doing.
Do you guys listen? Do you read email? Hello? McFly?

I'm frankly sick of you people wasting our time with these half-assed,
hare-brained hacks that you expect us to love and integrate. You never try
to evolve the current system; it's always a case of rewriting something
that at least works with a completely new interface. You don't listen to
our input, and you disappear after a few emails. Then, you try it all
again a few months later.

It's frustrating because you're obviously talented and have the
time+energy to help, but you never seem to attempt to align yourselves
with us or the rest of the kernel.

Please, either a) re-read the email threads, the papers, the magazine
articles, and/or the text file documentation and attempt to work with us;
or b) stop trying to get us to listen.


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