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SubjectRe: [PATCH] rlimits: do not grab tasklist_lock for do_prlimit on current
Hi -

On 12/13/21 5:34 PM, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> Do you have any numbers? As the entire point of this change is
> performance it would be good to see how the performance changes.
> Especially as a read_lock should not be too bad as it allows sharing,
> nor do I expect reading or writing the rlimit values to be particularly
> frequent. So some insight into what kinds of userspace patterns make
> this a problem would be nice.

This was motivated by slowdowns we observed on a few machines running
tests in a cluster. AFAIK, there were a lot of small tests, many of
which mucked with process management syscalls while fork/joining other

Based on a cycles profile, it looked like ~87% of the time was spent in
the kernel, ~42% of which was just trying to get *some* spinlock
(queued_spin_lock_slowpath, not necessarily the tasklist_lock).

The big offenders (with rough percentages in cycles of the overall trace):

- do_wait 11%
- setpriority 8% (potential future patch)
- kill 8%
- do_exit 5%
- clone 3%
- prlimit64 2% (this patch)
- getrlimit 1% (this patch)

Even though do_prlimit was using a read_lock, it was still contending on
the internal queued_spin_lock.

The prlimit was only 3% of the total. This patch was more of a "oh,
this doesn't *need* the tasklist_lock for p == current" - can we fix
that? I actually don't even know often those prlimit64 calls had p ==

setpriority was a bigger one too - is the tasklist lock only needed for
the PGRP ops? (I thought so based on where the tasklist_lock is write
locked and the comment on task_pgrp()). If so, I could do that in
another patch.

> This change is a bit scary as it makes taking a lock conditional and
> increases the probability of causing a locking mistake.

I definitely see how making the code more brittle might not be worth the
small win. If this is more "damage" than "cleanup", then I can drop it.

> If you are going to make this change I would say that do_prlimit should
> become static and taking the tasklist_lock should move into prlimit64.
> Looking a little closer it looks like that update_rlimit_cpu should use
> lock_task_sighand, and once lock_task_sighand is used there is actually
> no need for the tasklist_lock at all. As holding the reference to tsk
> guarantees that tsk->signal remains valid.

Maybe do both? unconditionally grab lock_task_sighand (instead of
tasklist_lock) in prlimit64.

> So I completely agree there are cleanups that can happen in this area.
> Please make those and show numbers in how they improve things, instead
> of making the code worse with a conditional lock.

Unfortunately, I can't easily get a "before and after" on this change.
The motivating issue popped up sporadically, but getting it to happen in
a setup under *my* control is organizationally a pain. So I understand
if you wouldn't want the patch for that reason. Ideally, the changes
would make the code easier to follow and clearer about why we're locking.

If you're OK with two patches that 1) grab lock_task_sighand in
prlimit64 and 2) moving the read_lock in {set,get}priority into the PGRP
cases (assuming I was correct on that), I can send them out.

If it's too much of a risk/ugliness for not clear enough gain (in code
quality or performance), I'm fine with dropping it.

Thanks for looking,


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