[cgl_discussion] Question for TEMs/ISVs/OEMs regarding pthread requirements

george anzinger george at mvista.com
Sat Feb 1 00:21:51 PST 2003

Corey Minyard wrote:
> Pradeep Kathail wrote:
>> At 1/31/2003 04:57 PM -0600, Corey Minyard wrote:
>>> You cannot correctly implement it without changing userland.
>>> Sorry, it just can't be done.  With the current NPTL and NGPT 
>>> implementation, you end up with a window where the mutex is
>>> locked but the owner is unknown (in fact I'm not sure if the
>>> owner is ever known).  If another process comes along in that
>>> timeframe, it won't be able to do the priority boosting, and it's
>>> not like it can just wait for a little while for the other
>>> process to finally identify itself, that would kind of defeat the
>>> purpose of the whole thing :-).
>>> Also, I don't think it's possible to do the userland-only lock on
>>> a machine that doesn't have compare-and-swap (MIPS, ARM, and old
>>> x86s don't have it, for instance).
>> MIPS supports load/ store-conditional that can be used to implement
>>  userland MUTEX.
> I had looked at the MIPS spec, and didn't notice that.  Thanks for
> the info.  I did find the test-and-set-bit instructions, but I didn't
> see anything that would compare-and-swap a whole word of data.  I'll
> look again.
I have latly been wondering about REALLY fast kernel calls, ints off
for the whole thing, save only a couple of regs, do the deed and bail. 
Here the deed could be to emulate a compare and swap instruction.  The 
biggest cost would be the test to see if the location was legal.  Not 
nearly as fast as one would like, but it would help those machines that 
don't have the needed instructions.


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