[PATCH] powerpc: Fix data corruption on IPI

Timothy Pearson tpearson at raptorengineering.com
Fri Nov 17 19:26:37 AEDT 2023

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Timothy Pearson" <tpearson at raptorengineering.com>
> To: "npiggin" <npiggin at gmail.com>
> Cc: "linuxppc-dev" <linuxppc-dev at lists.ozlabs.org>
> Sent: Friday, November 17, 2023 2:20:29 AM
> Subject: Re: [PATCH] powerpc: Fix data corruption on IPI

> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "npiggin" <npiggin at gmail.com>
>> To: "Timothy Pearson" <tpearson at raptorengineering.com>, "Michael Ellerman"
>> <mpe at ellerman.id.au>
>> Cc: "linuxppc-dev" <linuxppc-dev at lists.ozlabs.org>
>> Sent: Friday, November 17, 2023 2:01:12 AM
>> Subject: Re: [PATCH] powerpc: Fix data corruption on IPI
>> On Fri Nov 17, 2023 at 5:39 PM AEST, Timothy Pearson wrote:
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> > From: "Michael Ellerman" <mpe at ellerman.id.au>
>>> > To: "Timothy Pearson" <tpearson at raptorengineering.com>, "linuxppc-dev"
>>> > <linuxppc-dev at lists.ozlabs.org>
>>> > Cc: "Jens Axboe" <axboe at kernel.dk>
>>> > Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2023 6:14:37 AM
>>> > Subject: Re: [PATCH] powerpc: Fix data corruption on IPI
>>> > Hi Timothy,
>>> > 
>>> > Thanks for debugging this, but I'm unclear why this is helping because
>>> > we should already have a full barrier (hwsync) on both the sending and
>>> > receiving side.
>>> > 
>>> > More below.
>>> I've spent another few days poking at this, and think I might finally have
>>> something more solid in terms of what exactly is happening, but would like some
>>> feedback on the concept / how best to fix the potential problem.
>>> As background, there are several worker threads both in userspace and in kernel
>>> mode.  Crucially, the main MariaDB data processing thread (the one that handles
>>> tasks like flushing dirty pages to disk) always runs on the same core as the
>>> io_uring kernel thread that picks up I/O worker creation requests and handles
>>> them via create_worker_cb().
>>> Changes in the ~5.12 era switched away from a delayed worker setup.  io_uring
>>> currently sets up the new process with create_io_thread(), and immediately uses
>>> an IPI to forcibly schedule the new process.  Because of the way the two
>>> threads interact, the new process ends up grabbing the CPU from the running
>>> MariaDB user thread; I've never seen it schedule on a different core.  If the
>>> timing is right in this process, things get trampled on in userspace and the
>>> database server either crashes or throws a corruption fault.
>>> Through extensive debugging, I've narrowed this down to invalid state in the VSX
>>> registers on return to the MariaDB user thread from the new kernel thread.  For
>>> some reason, it seems we don't restore FP state on return from the PF_IO_WORKER
>>> thread, and something in the kernel was busy writing new data to them.
>>> A direct example I was able to observe is as follows:
>>> xxspltd vs0,vs0,0      <-- vs0 now zeroed out
>>> xori    r9,r9,1        <-- Presumably we switch to the new kernel thread here
>>> due to the IPI
>>> slwi    r9,r9,7        <-- On userspace thread resume, vs0 now contains the
>>> value 0x820040000000000082004000
>>> xxswapd vs8,vs0        <-- vs8 now has the wrong value
>>> stxvd2x vs8,r3,r12     <-- userspace is now getting stepped on
>>> stw     r9,116(r3)
>>> stxvd2x vs8,r3,r0
>>> ...
>> Nice find, that looks pretty conclusive.
>>> This is a very difficult race to hit, but MariaDB naturally does repetitive
>>> operations with VSX registers so it does eventually fail.  I ended up with a
>>> tight loop around glibc operations that use VSX to trigger the failure reliably
>>> enough to even understand what was going on.
>>> As I am not as familiar with this part of the Linux kernel as with most other
>>> areas, what is the expected save/restore path for the FP/VSX registers around
>>> an IPI and associated forced thread switch?  If restore_math() is in the return
>>> path, note that MSR_FP is set in regs->msr.
>> Context switching these FP/vec registers should be pretty robust in
>> general because it's not just io-uring that uses them. io-uring could
>> be using some uncommon kernel code that uses the registers incorrectly
>> though I guess.
>>> Second question: should we even be using the VSX registers at all in kernel
>>> space?  Is this a side effect of io_uring interacting so closely with userspace
>>> threads, or something else entirely?
>>> If I can get pointed somewhat in the right direction I'm ready to develop the
>>> rest of the fix for this issue...just trying to avoid another several days of
>>> slogging through the source to see what it's supposed to be doing in the first
>>> place. :)
>> Kernel can use FP/VEC/VSX registers but it has to enable and disable
>> explicitly. Such kernel code also should not be preemptible.
>> enable|disable_kernel_fp|altivec|vsx().
>> Maybe try run the test with ppc_strict_facility_enable boot option to
>> start with.
>> If no luck with that, maybe put WARN_ON(preemptible()); checks also in
>> the disable_kernel_* functions.
>> You could also add an enable/disable counter for each, and make sure it
>> is balanced on context switch or kernel->userspace exit.
>> Thanks,
>> Nick
> Will do, thanks for the hints!
> I had a debug idea just as I sent the earlier message, and was able to confirm
> the kernel is purposefully restoring the bad data in at least one spot in the
> thread's history, though curiously *not* right before everything goes off the
> rails.  I also dumped the entire kernel binary and confirmed it isn't touching
> the vs* registers, so overall this is leaning more toward a bad value being
> restored than kernel code inadvertently making use of the vector registers.
> An I missing anything other than do_restore_fp() that could touch the vs*
> registers around an interrupt-driven task switch?

One other piece of this puzzle -- I'm running this via qemu in kvm mode.  I noticed there is some code that touches FP state in the kvm tree, any way we could be having a problem lower down the stack (i.e. at hypervisor level) that would manifest this way in the guest?

I can try to test on bare metal tomorrow to rule that out one way or the other.

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