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Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH v1 12/12] libxl: add device backend listener in order to launch backends

On 04/11/13 18:20, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Roger Pau Monné writes ("Re: [PATCH v1 12/12] libxl: add device backend 
> listener in order to launch backends"):
>> So if I got it right, this new libxl__nested_ao_create will return a new
>> ao (with a new gc), that I could use in conjunction with the
>> long-running ao that I use in the main xs_watch loop, right?
> Yes.  It would give you a new psuedo-ao, which you can use for
> per-event memory allocation.  It's a psuedo-ao in the sense that you
> mustn't call libxl__ao_abort or libxl__ao_complete on it, but it would
> have the right type and in particular you could stuff it in
> sub-operations' ao fields, call STATE_AO_GC on it and so on.  I could
> make it possible to call libxl__ao_inprogress and have that reflected
> to the underlyhing real ao.
>> That sounds like a good solution to my problem, I wouldn't mind if you
>> write that :)
> OK, watch this space.
>> I'm wondering if there are also other memory problems, even when using
>> this approach, for example I register a xswatch callback, and the
>> callback gets called with a watch_path and an event_path arguments, does
>> the internal libxl event handler machinery reuse those (or allocate and
>> free them after each loop)?
> The event machinery gets those from a different gc which is
> per-system-event, so that's not a problem.  (Otherwise waiting for a a
> particular thing in xenstore would involve memory growing endlessly
> with calls to read from xenstore, ec.)
>>>> +    case LIBXL__DEVICE_KIND_VBD:
>>>> +    case LIBXL__DEVICE_KIND_VIF:
>>>> +        if (dev->backend_kind == LIBXL__DEVICE_KIND_VBD) 
>>>> dguest->num_vbds--;
>>>> +        if (dev->backend_kind == LIBXL__DEVICE_KIND_VIF) 
>>>> dguest->num_vifs--;
>>> Is it really safe to decrement these already ?  What if something else
>>> comes along in the meantime and makes num_devs 0 (below) and removes
>>> everything while this operation is still running and liable to be
>>> reentered on completion ?
>> That's the point of decrementing it here, so that we get to 0 (if this
>> is the last device), and remove the libxl__ddomain_guest and
>> libxl__ddomain_device. Then, when the remove AO finishes, the AO
>> callback will take care of removing the associated libxl__device.
>> I thought backend_watch_callback could not be called concurrently, but
>> maybe that's not true? (and if that's the case ignore everything above
>> because it's completely wrong)
> While you are _actually in this function_, you hold the Big Lock.  So
> nothing else can come along find the wrong value of num_*.
> But what you actually do is call initiate_device_remove and then
> return - ie, you return to the event loop.  That gives up the lock,
> obviously.  So while the device removal is proceeding, other events
> can occur.
> If backend_watch_callback happens then, I think you may find that it
> seems num_*==0 and decides to tear down the state for that domain.

The cleanup for the domain already happened, after we decrement num_* we
return to the main backend_watch_callback (all holding the Big Lock),
and libxl proceeds with the removal of the libxl__ddomain_guest if
sum(num_*) == 0.

What happens in backend_watch_callback (with the Big Lock hold) is

- Decrement num_*
- Check if sum(num_*) == 0 -> cleanup all data for the domain

If another device is added to the domain after the domain has been
removed from the list (because sum(num_*) == 0), a new
libxl__ddomain_guest will be created, just like when a device for a new
domain is added.

> That would at the very least involve messing about in xenstore with
> the device which is still being removed.

Tearing down the domain just involves removing it's associated data
structures, nothing is written to xenstore.

> Then, later, the device removal will complete and device_complete will
> be called.

device_complete doesn't make use of either libxl__ddomain_device or
libxl__ddomain_guest, during normal program flow device_complete will be
called with both of the above data structures already freed.

> I think you need to do the decrement in device_complete, and that
> means you need a kind of "perhaps tidy up domain" function which you
> can call from both there and backend_watch_callback.  And you probably
> need to provide some more useful pointers to device_complete.

It's quite possible that I'm completely wrong, but I don't see a race
with the current program flow.

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