[dpdk-dev] [PATCH 0/3] timer: fix rte_timer_manage and improve unit tests

Thomas Monjalon thomas.monjalon at 6wind.com
Sun Jul 26 16:11:40 CEST 2015

2015-07-23 18:42, rsanford2 at gmail.com:
> From: Robert Sanford <rsanford at akamai.com>
> This patchset fixes a bug in timer stress test 2, adds a new stress test
> to expose a race condition bug in API rte_timer_manage(), and then fixes
> the rte_timer_manage() bug.
> --
> Patch 1, app/test timer stress test 2: Sometimes this test fails and
> seg-faults because the slave lcores get out of phase with the master.
> The master uses a single int, 'ready', to synchronize multiple slave
> lcores through multiple phases of the test.
> To resolve, we construct simple synchronization primitives that use one
> atomic-int state variable per slave. The master tells the slaves when to
> start, and then waits for all of them to finish. Each slave waits for
> the master to tell it to start, and then tells the master when it has
> finished.
> --
> Description of rte_timer_manage() race condition bug: Through code
> inspection, we noticed a potential problem in rte_timer_manage() that
> leads to corruption of per-lcore pending-lists (implemented as
> skip-lists). The race condition occurs when rte_timer_manage() expires
> multiple timers on lcore A, while lcore B simultaneously invokes
> rte_timer_reset() for one of the expiring timers (other than the first
> one).
> Lcore A splits its pending-list, creating a local list of expired timers
> linked through their sl_next[0] pointers, and sets the first expired
> timer to the RUNNING state, all during one list-lock round trip. Lcore A
> then unlocks the list-lock to run the first callback, and that is when
> lcore B can misinterpret the subsequent expired timers' true states.
> Lcore B sees an expired timer still in the PENDING state, locks A's
> list-lock, and reinserts the timer into A's pending-list. We are trying
> to use the same pointer to belong to both lists!
> One solution is to remove timers from the pending-list and set them to
> the RUNNING state in one atomic step, i.e., we should perform these two
> actions within one ownership of the list-lock.
> --
> Patch 2, new timer-manage race-condition test: We wrote a test to
> confirm our suspicion that we could crash rte_timer_manage() (RTM) under
> the right circumstances. We repeatedly set several timers to expire at
> roughly the same time on the master core. The master lcore just delays
> and runs RTM about ten times per second. The slave lcores all watch the
> first timer (timer-0) to see when RTM is running on the master, i.e.,
> timer-0's state is not PENDING. At this point, each slave attempts to
> reset a subset of the timers to a later expiration time. The goal here
> is to have the slaves moving most of the timers to a different place in
> the master's pending-list, while the master is working with the same
> next-pointers and running callback functions. This eventually results in
> the master traversing a corrupted linked-list. In our observations, it
> results in an infinite loop.
> --
> Patch 3, eliminate race condition in rte_timer_manage(): After splitting
> the pending-list at the current time point, we try to set all expired
> timers to the RUNNING state, and put back into the pending-list any
> timers that we fail to set to the RUNNING state, all during one
> list-lock round trip. It is then safe to run the callback functions
> for all expired timers that remain on our local list, without the lock.

Please, could you re-send this serie after having added the description of
each patch in the commit messages?
It seems you fix 2 bugs in the first patch. It may be clearer to split it
in 2 patches with separate explanations.


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