[PATCH] dma-fence: basic lockdep annotations

Daniel Vetter daniel.vetter at ffwll.ch
Fri Jun 12 07:06:23 UTC 2020

Design is similar to the lockdep annotations for workers, but with
some twists:

- We use a read-lock for the execution/worker/completion side, so that
  this explicit annotation can be more liberally sprinkled around.
  With read locks lockdep isn't going to complain if the read-side
  isn't nested the same way under all circumstances, so ABBA deadlocks
  are ok. Which they are, since this is an annotation only.

- We're using non-recursive lockdep read lock mode, since in recursive
  read lock mode lockdep does not catch read side hazards. And we
  _very_ much want read side hazards to be caught. For full details of
  this limitation see

  commit e91498589746065e3ae95d9a00b068e525eec34f
  Author: Peter Zijlstra <peterz at infradead.org>
  Date:   Wed Aug 23 13:13:11 2017 +0200

      locking/lockdep/selftests: Add mixed read-write ABBA tests

- To allow nesting of the read-side explicit annotations we explicitly
  keep track of the nesting. lock_is_held() allows us to do that.

- The wait-side annotation is a write lock, and entirely done within
  dma_fence_wait() for everyone by default.

- To be able to freely annotate helper functions I want to make it ok
  to call dma_fence_begin/end_signalling from soft/hardirq context.
  First attempt was using the hardirq locking context for the write
  side in lockdep, but this forces all normal spinlocks nested within
  dma_fence_begin/end_signalling to be spinlocks. That bollocks.

  The approach now is to simple check in_atomic(), and for these cases
  entirely rely on the might_sleep() check in dma_fence_wait(). That
  will catch any wrong nesting against spinlocks from soft/hardirq

The idea here is that every code path that's critical for eventually
signalling a dma_fence should be annotated with
dma_fence_begin/end_signalling. The annotation ideally starts right
after a dma_fence is published (added to a dma_resv, exposed as a
sync_file fd, attached to a drm_syncobj fd, or anything else that
makes the dma_fence visible to other kernel threads), up to and
including the dma_fence_wait(). Examples are irq handlers, the
scheduler rt threads, the tail of execbuf (after the corresponding
fences are visible), any workers that end up signalling dma_fences and
really anything else. Not annotated should be code paths that only
complete fences opportunistically as the gpu progresses, like e.g.
shrinker/eviction code.

The main class of deadlocks this is supposed to catch are:

Thread A:



Thread B:


Thread B is blocked on A signalling the fence, but A never gets around
to that because it cannot acquire the lock A.

Note that dma_fence_wait() is allowed to be nested within
dma_fence_begin/end_signalling sections. To allow this to happen the
read lock needs to be upgraded to a write lock, which means that any
other lock is acquired between the dma_fence_begin_signalling() call and
the call to dma_fence_wait(), and still held, this will result in an
immediate lockdep complaint. The only other option would be to not
annotate such calls, defeating the point. Therefore these annotations
cannot be sprinkled over the code entirely mindless to avoid false

Originally I hope that the cross-release lockdep extensions would
alleviate the need for explicit annotations:


But there's a few reasons why that's not an option:

- It's not happening in upstream, since it got reverted due to too
  many false positives:

	commit e966eaeeb623f09975ef362c2866fae6f86844f9
	Author: Ingo Molnar <mingo at kernel.org>
	Date:   Tue Dec 12 12:31:16 2017 +0100

	    locking/lockdep: Remove the cross-release locking checks

	    while it found a number of old bugs initially, was also causing too many
	    false positives that caused people to disable lockdep - which is arguably
	    a worse overall outcome.

- cross-release uses the complete() call to annotate the end of
  critical sections, for dma_fence that would be dma_fence_signal().
  But we do not want all dma_fence_signal() calls to be treated as
  critical, since many are opportunistic cleanup of gpu requests. If
  these get stuck there's still the main completion interrupt and
  workers who can unblock everyone. Automatically annotating all
  dma_fence_signal() calls would hence cause false positives.

- cross-release had some educated guesses for when a critical section
  starts, like fresh syscall or fresh work callback. This would again
  cause false positives without explicit annotations, since for
  dma_fence the critical sections only starts when we publish a fence.

- Furthermore there can be cases where a thread never does a
  dma_fence_signal, but is still critical for reaching completion of
  fences. One example would be a scheduler kthread which picks up jobs
  and pushes them into hardware, where the interrupt handler or
  another completion thread calls dma_fence_signal(). But if the
  scheduler thread hangs, then all the fences hang, hence we need to
  manually annotate it. cross-release aimed to solve this by chaining
  cross-release dependencies, but the dependency from scheduler thread
  to the completion interrupt handler goes through hw where
  cross-release code can't observe it.

In short, without manual annotations and careful review of the start
and end of critical sections, cross-relese dependency tracking doesn't
work. We need explicit annotations.

v2: handle soft/hardirq ctx better against write side and dont forget
EXPORT_SYMBOL, drivers can't use this otherwise.

v3: Kerneldoc.

v4: Some spelling fixes from Mika

v5: Amend commit message to explain in detail why cross-release isn't
the solution.

v6: Pull out misplaced .rst hunk.

Reviewed-by: Thomas Hellström <thomas.hellstrom at intel.com>
Reviewed-by: Maarten Lankhorst <maarten.lankhorst at linux.intel.com>
Cc: Mika Kuoppala <mika.kuoppala at intel.com>
Cc: Thomas Hellstrom <thomas.hellstrom at intel.com>
Cc: linux-media at vger.kernel.org
Cc: linaro-mm-sig at lists.linaro.org
Cc: linux-rdma at vger.kernel.org
Cc: amd-gfx at lists.freedesktop.org
Cc: intel-gfx at lists.freedesktop.org
Cc: Chris Wilson <chris at chris-wilson.co.uk>
Cc: Maarten Lankhorst <maarten.lankhorst at linux.intel.com>
Cc: Christian König <christian.koenig at amd.com>
Signed-off-by: Daniel Vetter <daniel.vetter at intel.com>
 Documentation/driver-api/dma-buf.rst |   6 +
 drivers/dma-buf/dma-fence.c          | 161 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 include/linux/dma-fence.h            |  12 ++
 3 files changed, 179 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/driver-api/dma-buf.rst b/Documentation/driver-api/dma-buf.rst
index 7fb7b661febd..05d856131140 100644
--- a/Documentation/driver-api/dma-buf.rst
+++ b/Documentation/driver-api/dma-buf.rst
@@ -133,6 +133,12 @@ DMA Fences
 .. kernel-doc:: drivers/dma-buf/dma-fence.c
    :doc: DMA fences overview
+DMA Fence Signalling Annotations
+.. kernel-doc:: drivers/dma-buf/dma-fence.c
+   :doc: fence signalling annotation
 DMA Fences Functions Reference
diff --git a/drivers/dma-buf/dma-fence.c b/drivers/dma-buf/dma-fence.c
index 656e9ac2d028..0005bc002529 100644
--- a/drivers/dma-buf/dma-fence.c
+++ b/drivers/dma-buf/dma-fence.c
@@ -110,6 +110,160 @@ u64 dma_fence_context_alloc(unsigned num)
+ * DOC: fence signalling annotation
+ *
+ * Proving correctness of all the kernel code around &dma_fence through code
+ * review and testing is tricky for a few reasons:
+ *
+ * * It is a cross-driver contract, and therefore all drivers must follow the
+ *   same rules for lock nesting order, calling contexts for various functions
+ *   and anything else significant for in-kernel interfaces. But it is also
+ *   impossible to test all drivers in a single machine, hence brute-force N vs.
+ *   N testing of all combinations is impossible. Even just limiting to the
+ *   possible combinations is infeasible.
+ *
+ * * There is an enormous amount of driver code involved. For render drivers
+ *   there's the tail of command submission, after fences are published,
+ *   scheduler code, interrupt and workers to process job completion,
+ *   and timeout, gpu reset and gpu hang recovery code. Plus for integration
+ *   with core mm with have &mmu_notifier, respectively &mmu_interval_notifier,
+ *   and &shrinker. For modesetting drivers there's the commit tail functions
+ *   between when fences for an atomic modeset are published, and when the
+ *   corresponding vblank completes, including any interrupt processing and
+ *   related workers. Auditing all that code, across all drivers, is not
+ *   feasible.
+ *
+ * * Due to how many other subsystems are involved and the locking hierarchies
+ *   this pulls in there is extremely thin wiggle-room for driver-specific
+ *   differences. &dma_fence interacts with almost all of the core memory
+ *   handling through page fault handlers via &dma_resv, dma_resv_lock() and
+ *   dma_resv_unlock(). On the other side it also interacts through all
+ *   allocation sites through &mmu_notifier and &shrinker.
+ *
+ * Furthermore lockdep does not handle cross-release dependencies, which means
+ * any deadlocks between dma_fence_wait() and dma_fence_signal() can't be caught
+ * at runtime with some quick testing. The simplest example is one thread
+ * waiting on a &dma_fence while holding a lock::
+ *
+ *     lock(A);
+ *     dma_fence_wait(B);
+ *     unlock(A);
+ *
+ * while the other thread is stuck trying to acquire the same lock, which
+ * prevents it from signalling the fence the previous thread is stuck waiting
+ * on::
+ *
+ *     lock(A);
+ *     unlock(A);
+ *     dma_fence_signal(B);
+ *
+ * By manually annotating all code relevant to signalling a &dma_fence we can
+ * teach lockdep about these dependencies, which also helps with the validation
+ * headache since now lockdep can check all the rules for us::
+ *
+ *    cookie = dma_fence_begin_signalling();
+ *    lock(A);
+ *    unlock(A);
+ *    dma_fence_signal(B);
+ *    dma_fence_end_signalling(cookie);
+ *
+ * For using dma_fence_begin_signalling() and dma_fence_end_signalling() to
+ * annotate critical sections the following rules need to be observed:
+ *
+ * * All code necessary to complete a &dma_fence must be annotated, from the
+ *   point where a fence is accessible to other threads, to the point where
+ *   dma_fence_signal() is called. Un-annotated code can contain deadlock issues,
+ *   and due to the very strict rules and many corner cases it is infeasible to
+ *   catch these just with review or normal stress testing.
+ *
+ * * &struct dma_resv deserves a special note, since the readers are only
+ *   protected by rcu. This means the signalling critical section starts as soon
+ *   as the new fences are installed, even before dma_resv_unlock() is called.
+ *
+ * * The only exception are fast paths and opportunistic signalling code, which
+ *   calls dma_fence_signal() purely as an optimization, but is not required to
+ *   guarantee completion of a &dma_fence. The usual example is a wait IOCTL
+ *   which calls dma_fence_signal(), while the mandatory completion path goes
+ *   through a hardware interrupt and possible job completion worker.
+ *
+ * * To aid composability of code, the annotations can be freely nested, as long
+ *   as the overall locking hierarchy is consistent. The annotations also work
+ *   both in interrupt and process context. Due to implementation details this
+ *   requires that callers pass an opaque cookie from
+ *   dma_fence_begin_signalling() to dma_fence_end_signalling().
+ *
+ * * Validation against the cross driver contract is implemented by priming
+ *   lockdep with the relevant hierarchy at boot-up. This means even just
+ *   testing with a single device is enough to validate a driver, at least as
+ *   far as deadlocks with dma_fence_wait() against dma_fence_signal() are
+ *   concerned.
+ */
+struct lockdep_map	dma_fence_lockdep_map = {
+	.name = "dma_fence_map"
+ * dma_fence_begin_signalling - begin a critical DMA fence signalling section
+ *
+ * Drivers should use this to annotate the beginning of any code section
+ * required to eventually complete &dma_fence by calling dma_fence_signal().
+ *
+ * The end of these critical sections are annotated with
+ * dma_fence_end_signalling().
+ *
+ * Returns:
+ *
+ * Opaque cookie needed by the implementation, which needs to be passed to
+ * dma_fence_end_signalling().
+ */
+bool dma_fence_begin_signalling(void)
+	/* explicitly nesting ... */
+	if (lock_is_held_type(&dma_fence_lockdep_map, 1))
+		return true;
+	/* rely on might_sleep check for soft/hardirq locks */
+	if (in_atomic())
+		return true;
+	/* ... and non-recursive readlock */
+	lock_acquire(&dma_fence_lockdep_map, 0, 0, 1, 1, NULL, _RET_IP_);
+	return false;
+ * dma_fence_end_signalling - end a critical DMA fence signalling section
+ *
+ * Closes a critical section annotation opened by dma_fence_begin_signalling().
+ */
+void dma_fence_end_signalling(bool cookie)
+	if (cookie)
+		return;
+	lock_release(&dma_fence_lockdep_map, _RET_IP_);
+void __dma_fence_might_wait(void)
+	bool tmp;
+	tmp = lock_is_held_type(&dma_fence_lockdep_map, 1);
+	if (tmp)
+		lock_release(&dma_fence_lockdep_map, _THIS_IP_);
+	lock_map_acquire(&dma_fence_lockdep_map);
+	lock_map_release(&dma_fence_lockdep_map);
+	if (tmp)
+		lock_acquire(&dma_fence_lockdep_map, 0, 0, 1, 1, NULL, _THIS_IP_);
  * dma_fence_signal_locked - signal completion of a fence
  * @fence: the fence to signal
@@ -170,14 +324,19 @@ int dma_fence_signal(struct dma_fence *fence)
 	unsigned long flags;
 	int ret;
+	bool tmp;
 	if (!fence)
 		return -EINVAL;
+	tmp = dma_fence_begin_signalling();
 	spin_lock_irqsave(fence->lock, flags);
 	ret = dma_fence_signal_locked(fence);
 	spin_unlock_irqrestore(fence->lock, flags);
+	dma_fence_end_signalling(tmp);
 	return ret;
@@ -210,6 +369,8 @@ dma_fence_wait_timeout(struct dma_fence *fence, bool intr, signed long timeout)
+	__dma_fence_might_wait();
 	if (fence->ops->wait)
 		ret = fence->ops->wait(fence, intr, timeout);
diff --git a/include/linux/dma-fence.h b/include/linux/dma-fence.h
index 3347c54f3a87..3f288f7db2ef 100644
--- a/include/linux/dma-fence.h
+++ b/include/linux/dma-fence.h
@@ -357,6 +357,18 @@ dma_fence_get_rcu_safe(struct dma_fence __rcu **fencep)
 	} while (1);
+bool dma_fence_begin_signalling(void);
+void dma_fence_end_signalling(bool cookie);
+static inline bool dma_fence_begin_signalling(void)
+	return true;
+static inline void dma_fence_end_signalling(bool cookie) {}
+static inline void __dma_fence_might_wait(void) {}
 int dma_fence_signal(struct dma_fence *fence);
 int dma_fence_signal_locked(struct dma_fence *fence);
 signed long dma_fence_default_wait(struct dma_fence *fence,

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