Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH RFC V6 0/11] Paravirtualized ticketlocks

From: Jeremy Fitzhardinge
Date: Mon Apr 16 2012 - 12:42:31 EST

On 04/16/2012 09:36 AM, Ian Campbell wrote:
> On Mon, 2012-04-16 at 16:44 +0100, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk wrote:
>> On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 09:37:45AM +0530, Srivatsa Vaddagiri wrote:
>>> * Thomas Gleixner <tglx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> [2012-03-31 00:07:58]:
>>>> I know that Peter is going to go berserk on me, but if we are running
>>>> a paravirt guest then it's simple to provide a mechanism which allows
>>>> the host (aka hypervisor) to check that in the guest just by looking
>>>> at some global state.
>>>> So if a guest exits due to an external event it's easy to inspect the
>>>> state of that guest and avoid to schedule away when it was interrupted
>>>> in a spinlock held section. That guest/host shared state needs to be
>>>> modified to indicate the guest to invoke an exit when the last nested
>>>> lock has been released.
>>> I had attempted something like that long back:
>>> The issue is with ticketlocks though. VCPUs could go into a spin w/o
>>> a lock being held by anybody. Say VCPUs 1-99 try to grab a lock in
>>> that order (on a host with one cpu). VCPU1 wins (after VCPU0 releases it)
>>> and releases the lock. VCPU1 is next eligible to take the lock. If
>>> that is not scheduled early enough by host, then remaining vcpus would keep
>>> spinning (even though lock is technically not held by anybody) w/o making
>>> forward progress.
>>> In that situation, what we really need is for the guest to hint to host
>>> scheduler to schedule VCPU1 early (via yield_to or something similar).
>>> The current pv-spinlock patches however does not track which vcpu is
>>> spinning at what head of the ticketlock. I suppose we can consider
>>> that optimization in future and see how much benefit it provides (over
>>> plain yield/sleep the way its done now).
>> Right. I think Jeremy played around with this some time?
> 5/11 "xen/pvticketlock: Xen implementation for PV ticket locks" tracks
> which vcpus are waiting for a lock in "cpumask_t waiting_cpus" and
> tracks which lock each is waiting for in per-cpu "lock_waiting". This is
> used in xen_unlock_kick to kick the right CPU. There's a loop over only
> the waiting cpus to figure out who to kick.

Yes, and AFAIK the KVM pv-ticketlock patches do the same thing. If a
(V)CPU is asleep, then sending it a kick is pretty much equivalent to a
yield to (not precisely, but it should get scheduled soon enough, and it
won't be competing with a pile of VCPUs with no useful work to do).

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at