[PATCH] ARM: perf: remove erroneous check on active_events

Russell King - ARM Linux linux at arm.linux.org.uk
Thu Apr 28 11:41:08 EDT 2011

On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 10:57:16AM +0100, Mark Rutland wrote:
> diff --git a/arch/arm/kernel/perf_event.c b/arch/arm/kernel/perf_event.c
> index fd6403c..29a0cf8 100644
> --- a/arch/arm/kernel/perf_event.c
> +++ b/arch/arm/kernel/perf_event.c
> @@ -560,11 +560,6 @@ static int armpmu_event_init(struct perf_event *event)
>  	event->destroy = hw_perf_event_destroy;
>  	if (!atomic_inc_not_zero(&active_events)) {
> -		if (atomic_read(&active_events) > armpmu->num_events) {
> -			atomic_dec(&active_events);

Yuck.  This is a good example of atomic_* abuse.  The above does nothing
to deal with the situation where two threads are running thusly:

CPU0					CPU1
return -ENOSPC
					return -ENOSPC

when one of those two should have succeeded.  I do wish people would
get out of the habbit of using atomic variables - they seem to be ripe
for this kind of abuse.

The only time that atomic variables are atomic is for each individual
_operation_ on the type, not across several operations, and certainly
not atomic_read() or atomic_set().

What it really wants to be is a spinlock or mutex so that it can do
something like this:

	int err = 0;

	if (++active_events > armpmu->num_events) {
		err = -ENOSPC;

	if (err)
		return err;

which gives well defined semantics, and ensures that when two CPUs are
racing, one will at least succeed.

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