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RT-mutex subsystem with PI support
RT-mutexes with priority inheritance are used to support PI-futexes,
which enable pthread_mutex_t priority inheritance attributes
(PTHREAD_PRIO_INHERIT). [See Documentation/pi-futex.txt for more details
about PI-futexes.]
This technology was developed in the -rt tree and streamlined for
pthread_mutex support.
Basic principles:
RT-mutexes extend the semantics of simple mutexes by the priority
inheritance protocol.
A low priority owner of a rt-mutex inherits the priority of a higher
priority waiter until the rt-mutex is released. If the temporarily
boosted owner blocks on a rt-mutex itself it propagates the priority
boosting to the owner of the other rt_mutex it gets blocked on. The
priority boosting is immediately removed once the rt_mutex has been
This approach allows us to shorten the block of high-prio tasks on
mutexes which protect shared resources. Priority inheritance is not a
magic bullet for poorly designed applications, but it allows
well-designed applications to use userspace locks in critical parts of
an high priority thread, without losing determinism.
The enqueueing of the waiters into the rtmutex waiter tree is done in
priority order. For same priorities FIFO order is chosen. For each
rtmutex, only the top priority waiter is enqueued into the owner's
priority waiters tree. This tree too queues in priority order. Whenever
the top priority waiter of a task changes (for example it timed out or
got a signal), the priority of the owner task is readjusted. The
priority enqueueing is handled by "pi_waiters".
RT-mutexes are optimized for fastpath operations and have no internal
locking overhead when locking an uncontended mutex or unlocking a mutex
without waiters. The optimized fastpath operations require cmpxchg
support. [If that is not available then the rt-mutex internal spinlock
is used]
The state of the rt-mutex is tracked via the owner field of the rt-mutex
lock->owner holds the task_struct pointer of the owner. Bit 0 is used to
keep track of the "lock has waiters" state:
============ ======= ================================================
owner bit0 Notes
============ ======= ================================================
NULL 0 lock is free (fast acquire possible)
NULL 1 lock is free and has waiters and the top waiter
is going to take the lock [1]_
taskpointer 0 lock is held (fast release possible)
taskpointer 1 lock is held and has waiters [2]_
============ ======= ================================================
The fast atomic compare exchange based acquire and release is only
possible when bit 0 of lock->owner is 0.
.. [1] It also can be a transitional state when grabbing the lock
with ->wait_lock is held. To prevent any fast path cmpxchg to the lock,
we need to set the bit0 before looking at the lock, and the owner may
be NULL in this small time, hence this can be a transitional state.
.. [2] There is a small time when bit 0 is set but there are no
waiters. This can happen when grabbing the lock in the slow path.
To prevent a cmpxchg of the owner releasing the lock, we need to
set this bit before looking at the lock.
BTW, there is still technically a "Pending Owner", it's just not called
that anymore. The pending owner happens to be the top_waiter of a lock
that has no owner and has been woken up to grab the lock.