[PATCH 0/3] cpu: idle state framework for offline CPUs.

Dipankar Sarma dipankar at in.ibm.com
Tue Aug 18 00:40:58 EST 2009

On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 01:28:15PM +0530, Dipankar Sarma wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 09:15:57AM +0200, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> > On Mon, 2009-08-17 at 11:54 +0530, Dipankar Sarma wrote:
> > > For most parts, we do. The guest kernel doesn't manage the offline
> > > CPU state. That is typically done by the hypervisor. However, offline
> > > operation as defined now always result in a VM resize in some hypervisor
> > > systems (like pseries) - it would be convenient to have a non-resize
> > > offline operation which lets the guest cede the cpu to hypervisor
> > > with the hint that the VM shouldn't be resized and the guest needs the guarantee
> > > to get the cpu back any time. The hypervisor can do whatever it wants
> > > with the ceded CPU including putting it in a low power state, but
> > > not change the physical cpu shares of the VM. The pseries hypervisor,
> > > for example, clearly distinguishes between the two - "rtas-stop-self" call
> > > to resize VM vs. H_CEDE hypercall with a hint. What I am suggesting
> > > is that we allow this with an extension to existing interfaces because it 
> > > makes sense to allow sort of "hibernation" of the cpus without changing any
> > > configuration of the VMs.
> > 
> > >From my POV the thing you call cede is the only sane thing to do for a
> > guest. Let the hypervisor management interface deal with resizing guests
> > if and when that's needed.
> That is more or less how it currently works - atleast for pseries hypervisor. 
> The current "offline" operation with "rtas-stop-self" call I mentioned
> earlier is initiated by the hypervisor management interfaces/tool in
> pseries system. This wakes up a guest system tool that echoes "1"
> to the offline file resulting in the configuration change.

Should have said - echoes "0" to the online file. 

You don't necessarily need this in the guest Linux as long as there is
a way for hypervisor tools to internally move Linux tasks/interrupts
from a vcpu - async event handled by the kernel, for example.
But I think it is too late for that - the interface has long been

> The OS involvement is necessary to evacuate tasks/interrupts
> from the released CPU. We don't really want to initiate this from guests.
> > Thing is, you don't want a guest to be able to influence the amount of
> > cpu shares attributed to it. You want that in explicit control of
> > whomever manages the hypervisor.
> Agreed. But given a fixed cpu share by the hypervisor management tools,
> we would like to be able to cede cpus to hypervisor leaving the hypervisor
> configuration intact. This, we don't have at the moment and want to just
> extend the current interface for this.
> Thanks
> Dipankar
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