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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/2] vhost: improve livepatch switching for heavily loaded vhost worker kthreads
On Thu, Jan 26, 2023 at 08:43:55PM -0800, Josh Poimboeuf wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2023 at 03:12:35PM -0600, Seth Forshee (DigitalOcean) wrote:
> > On Thu, Jan 26, 2023 at 06:03:16PM +0100, Petr Mladek wrote:
> > > On Fri 2023-01-20 16:12:20, Seth Forshee (DigitalOcean) wrote:
> > > > We've fairly regularaly seen liveptches which cannot transition within kpatch's
> > > > timeout period due to busy vhost worker kthreads.
> > >
> > > I have missed this detail. Miroslav told me that we have solved
> > > something similar some time ago, see
> > >
> >
> > Interesting thread. I had thought about something along the lines of the
> > original patch, but there are some ideas in there that I hadn't
> > considered.
> Here's another idea, have we considered this? Have livepatch set
> TIF_NEED_RESCHED on all kthreads to force them into schedule(), and then
> have the scheduler call klp_try_switch_task() if TIF_PATCH_PENDING is
> set.
> Not sure how scheduler folks would feel about that ;-)

So, let me try and page all that back in.... :-)

KLP needs to unwind the stack to see if any of the patched functions are
active, if not, flip task to new set.

Unwinding the stack of a task can be done when:

- task is inactive (stable reg and stack) -- provided it stays inactive
while unwinding etc..

- task is current (guarantees stack doesn't dip below where we started
due to being busy on top etc..)

Can NOT be done from interrupt context, because can hit in the middle of
setting up stack frames etc..

The issue at hand is that some tasks run for a long time without passing
through an explicit check.

The thread above tried sticking something in cond_resched() which is a
problem for PREEMPT=y since cond_resched() is a no-op.

Preempt notifiers were raised, and those would actually be nice, except
you can only install a notifier on current and you need some memory
allocated per task, which makes it less than ideal. Plus ...

... putting something in finish_task_switch() wouldn't be the end of the
world I suppose, but then you still need to force schedule the task --
imagine it being the only runnable task on the CPU, there's nothing
going to make it actually switch.

Which then leads me to suggest something daft like this.. does that

diff --git a/kernel/livepatch/transition.c b/kernel/livepatch/transition.c
index f1b25ec581e0..06746095a724 100644
--- a/kernel/livepatch/transition.c
+++ b/kernel/livepatch/transition.c
@@ -9,6 +9,7 @@

#include <linux/cpu.h>
#include <linux/stacktrace.h>
+#include <linux/stop_machine.h>
#include "core.h"
#include "patch.h"
#include "transition.h"
@@ -334,6 +335,16 @@ static bool klp_try_switch_task(struct task_struct *task)
return !ret;

+static int __stop_try_switch(void *arg)
+ return klp_try_switch_task(arg) ? 0 : -EBUSY;
+static bool klp_try_switch_task_harder(struct task_struct *task)
+ return !stop_one_cpu(task_cpu(task), __stop_try_switch, task);
* Sends a fake signal to all non-kthread tasks with TIF_PATCH_PENDING set.
* Kthreads with TIF_PATCH_PENDING set are woken up.
 \ /
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