[PATCH 00/05] robust per_cpu allocation for modules

Nick Piggin nickpiggin at yahoo.com.au
Sun Apr 16 12:47:09 EST 2006

Steven Rostedt wrote:
> On Sat, 15 Apr 2006, Nick Piggin wrote:
>>Steven Rostedt wrote:
>>> would now create a variable called per_cpu_offset__myint in
>>>the .data.percpu_offset section.  This variable will point to the (if
>>>defined in the kernel) __per_cpu_offset[] array.  If this was a module
>>>variable, it would point to the module per_cpu_offset[] array which is
>>>created when the modules is loaded.
>>If I'm following you correctly, this adds another dependent load
>>to a per-CPU data access, and from memory that isn't node-affine.
>>If so, I think people with SMP and NUMA kernels would care more
>>about performance and scalability than the few k of memory this
> It's not just about saving memory, but also to make it more robust. But
> that's another story.

But making it slower isn't going to be popular.

Why is your module using so much per-cpu memory, anyway?

> Since both the offset array, and the variables are mainly read only (only
> written on boot up), added the fact that the added variables are in their
> own section.  Couldn't something be done to help pre load this in a local
> cache, or something similar?

It it would still add to the dependent loads on the critical path, so
it now prevents the compiler/programmer/oooe engine from speculatively
loading the __per_cpu_offset.

And it does increase cache footprint of per-cpu accesses, which are
supposed to be really light and substitute for [NR_CPUS] arrays.

I don't think it would have been hard for the original author to make
it robust... just not both fast and robust. PERCPU_ENOUGH_ROOM seems
like an ugly hack at first glance, but I'm fairly sure it was a result
of design choices.

SUSE Labs, Novell Inc.
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