[PATCH 0/2] powerpc/kvm: Enable running guests on RT Linux

Purcareata Bogdan b43198 at freescale.com
Sat Mar 28 04:07:57 AEDT 2015

On 27.02.2015 03:05, Scott Wood wrote:
> On Thu, 2015-02-26 at 14:31 +0100, Sebastian Andrzej Siewior wrote:
>> On 02/26/2015 02:02 PM, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
>>> On 24/02/2015 00:27, Scott Wood wrote:
>>>> This isn't a host PIC driver.  It's guest PIC emulation, some of which
>>>> is indeed not suitable for a rawlock (in particular, openpic_update_irq
>>>> which loops on the number of vcpus, with a loop body that calls
>>>> IRQ_check() which loops over all pending IRQs).
>>> The question is what behavior is wanted of code that isn't quite
>>> RT-ready.  What is preferred, bugs or bad latency?
>>> If the answer is bad latency (which can be avoided simply by not running
>>> KVM on a RT kernel in production), patch 1 can be applied.  If the
>> can be applied *but* makes no difference if applied or not.
>>> answer is bugs, patch 1 is not upstream material.
>>> I myself prefer to have bad latency; if something takes a spinlock in
>>> atomic context, that spinlock should be raw.  If it hurts (latency),
>>> don't do it (use the affected code).
>> The problem, that is fixed by this s/spin_lock/raw_spin_lock/, exists
>> only in -RT. There is no change upstream. In general we fix such things
>> in -RT first and forward the patches upstream if possible. This convert
>> thingy would be possible.
>> Bug fixing comes before latency no matter if RT or not. Converting
>> every lock into a rawlock is not always the answer.
>> Last thing I read from Scott is that he is not entirely sure if this is
>> the right approach or not and patch #1 was not acked-by him either.
>> So for now I wait for Scott's feedback and maybe a backtrace :)
> Obviously leaving it in a buggy state is not what we want -- but I lean
> towards a short term "fix" of putting "depends on !PREEMPT_RT" on the
> in-kernel MPIC emulation (which is itself just an optimization -- you
> can still use KVM without it).  This way people don't enable it with RT
> without being aware of the issue, and there's more of an incentive to
> fix it properly.
> I'll let Bogdan supply the backtrace.

So about the backtrace. Wasn't really sure how to "catch" this, so what 
I did was to start a 24 VCPUs guest on a 24 CPU board, and in the guest 
run 24 netperf flows with an external back to back board of the same 
kind. I assumed this would provide the sufficient VCPUs and external 
interrupt to expose an alleged culprit.

With regards to measuring the latency, I thought of using ftrace, 
specifically the preemptirqsoff latency histogram. Unfortunately, I 
wasn't able to capture any major differences between running a guest 
with in-kernel MPIC emulation (with the openpic raw_spinlock_conversion 
applied) vs. no in-kernel MPIC emulation. Function profiling 
(trace_stat) shows that in the second case there's a far greater time 
spent in kvm_handle_exit (100x), but overall, the maximum latencies for 
preemptirqsoff don't look that much different.

Here are the max numbers (preemptirqsoff) for the 24 CPUs, on the host 
RT Linux, sorted in descending order, expressed in microseconds:

3975			5105
2079			3972
1303			3557
1106			1725
447			907
423			853
362			723
343			182
260			121
133			116
131			116
118			115
116			114
114			114
114			114
114			99
113			99
103			98
98			98
95			97
87			96
83			83
83			82
80			81

I'm not sure if this captures openpic behavior or just scheduler behavior.

Anyways, I'm pro adding the openpic raw_spinlock conversion along with 
disabling the in-kernel MPIC emulation for upstream. But just wanted to 
catch up with this last request from a while ago.

Do you think it would be better to just submit the new patch or should I 
do some further testing? Do you have any suggestions regarding what else 
I should look at / how to test?

Thank you,
Bogdan P.

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