[lttng-dev] liburcu: LTO breaking rcu_dereference on arm64 and possibly other architectures ?

Mathieu Desnoyers mathieu.desnoyers at efficios.com
Fri Apr 16 10:52:16 EDT 2021

Hi Paul, Will, Peter,

I noticed in this discussion https://lkml.org/lkml/2021/4/16/118 that LTO
is able to break rcu_dereference. This seems to be taken care of by
arch/arm64/include/asm/rwonce.h on arm64 in the Linux kernel tree.

In the liburcu user-space library, we have this comment near rcu_dereference() in

 * The compiler memory barrier in CMM_LOAD_SHARED() ensures that value-speculative
 * optimizations (e.g. VSS: Value Speculation Scheduling) does not perform the
 * data read before the pointer read by speculating the value of the pointer.
 * Correct ordering is ensured because the pointer is read as a volatile access.
 * This acts as a global side-effect operation, which forbids reordering of
 * dependent memory operations. Note that such concern about dependency-breaking
 * optimizations will eventually be taken care of by the "memory_order_consume"
 * addition to forthcoming C++ standard.

(note: CMM_LOAD_SHARED() is the equivalent of READ_ONCE(), but was introduced in
liburcu as a public API before READ_ONCE() existed in the Linux kernel)

Peter tells me the "memory_order_consume" is not something which can be used today.
Any information on its status at C/C++ standard levels and implementation-wise ?

Pragmatically speaking, what should we change in liburcu to ensure we don't generate
broken code when LTO is enabled ? I suspect there are a few options here:

1) Fail to build if LTO is enabled,
2) Generate slower code for rcu_dereference, either on all architectures or only
   on weakly-ordered architectures,
3) Generate different code depending on whether LTO is enabled or not. AFAIU this would only
   work if every compile unit is aware that it will end up being optimized with LTO. Not sure
   how this could be done in the context of user-space.
4) [ Insert better idea here. ]

Thoughts ?



Mathieu Desnoyers
EfficiOS Inc.

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