[PATCH v3] arm64: Introduce IRQ stack

AKASHI Takahiro takahiro.akashi at linaro.org
Sun Oct 4 23:37:11 PDT 2015

On 10/04/2015 11:32 PM, Jungseok Lee wrote:
> On Oct 3, 2015, at 1:23 AM, James Morse wrote:
>> Hi,
> Hi James,
>> On 22/09/15 13:11, Jungseok Lee wrote:
>>> Currently, kernel context and interrupts are handled using a single
>>> kernel stack navigated by sp_el1. This forces a system to use 16KB
>>> stack, not 8KB one. This restriction makes low memory platforms suffer
>>> from memory pressure accompanied by performance degradation.
>>> This patch addresses the issue as introducing a separate percpu IRQ
>>> stack to handle both hard and soft interrupts with two ground rules:
>>>   - Utilize sp_el0 in EL1 context, which is not used currently
>>>   - Do not complicate current_thread_info calculation
>>> It is a core concept to directly retrieve struct thread_info from
>>> sp_el0. This approach helps to prevent text section size from being
>>> increased largely as removing masking operation using THREAD_SIZE
>>> in tons of places.
>> One observed change in behaviour:
>> Any stack-unwinding now stops at el1_irq(), which is the bottom of the irq
>> stack. This shows up with perf (using incantation [0]), and with any calls
>> to dump_stack() (which actually stops the frame before el1_irq()).
>> I don't know if this will break something, (perf still seems to work) - but
>> it makes the panic() output less useful, as all the 'other' cpus print:
> Agreed. A process stack should be walked to deliver useful information.
> There are two approaches I've tried as experimental.
> 1) Link IRQ stack to a process one via frame pointer
> As saving x29 and elr_el1 into IRQ stack and then updating x29, IRQ stack
> could be linked to a process one. It is similar to your patch except some
> points. However, it might complicate "stack tracer on ftrace" issue.

Well, as far as object_is_on_stack() works correctly, stack tracer will not
follow an interrupt stack even if unwind_frame() might traverse from
an interrupt stack to a process stack. See check_stack().

Under this assumption, I'm going to simplify my "stack tracer" bugfix
by removing interrupt-related nasty hacks that I described in RFC.

-Takahiro AKASHI

> 2) Walk a process stack followed by IRQ one
> This idea, which is straightforward, comes from x86 implementation [1]. The
> approach might be orthogonal to "stack tracer on ftrace" issue. In this case,
> unfortunately, a top bit comparison of stack pointer cannot be adopted due to
> a necessity of a final snapshot of a process stack pointer, which is struct
> irq_stack::thread_sp in v2 patch.
> Which one is your favorite? or any ideas?
> BTW, I have another question. Is it reasonable to introduce THREAD_SIZE as a
> kernel configuration option like page size for the sake of convenience because
> a combination of ARM64 and a small ram is not unusual in real practice? Needless
> to say, a patch, reducing the size, can be managed as out of mainline tree one.
> [1] arch/x86/kernel/dumpstack_64.c
> Best Regards
> Jungseok Lee

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