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Current best guess at Android suspend-blocker requirements

Current best guess at Android suspend-blocker requirements

Posted Oct 1, 2011 21:46 UTC (Sat) by neilbrown (subscriber, #359)
In reply to: Current best guess at Android suspend-blocker requirements by PaulMcKenney
Parent article: A new approach to opportunistic suspend

Hi Paul,

I trust the kernel to handle wakeup events properly and to get them to a point where user-space can see them before allowing the wakeup event to be considered complete. Up thread John says "that can be protected using pm_stay_awake/pm_relax chaining, as I did for the RTC/alarmtimer paths" and I believe that he is talking about exactly that issue and believes it can be addressed - and I trust him in this.... and I just had a look at his patches and the relevant code and find my trust in John was not misplaced (though my trust in the kernel might be ... the kernel currently doesn't do the right thing with RTC wakeups ... but that is a bug that John is fixing, it is not a problem with the design).

The locking protocol relies on the difference between shared and exclusive locks. The clients (who want suspend notification) take shared locks. The service (which will initiate suspend) takes an exclusive lock which will wait for all shared locks to release. This provides the required ordering.

New client locks are directed to a different file: suspend-next (if 'suspend' is not empty, clients must not try to lock it, but should lock suspend-next instead).

I believe this foundation can be used to address all the concerns in your fine document. I'm not completely certain on "reasonable statistics in order to enable debugging and to enable reporting to endusers" as I don't know what the "reasonable statistics are". Presumably that is just statistics about who locks "suspend_disabled" and for how long. That isn't available directly in my scheme, but the locking of suspend_disabled is a trivial part of the API - quite separate from the race-free-suspend-notification - and could easily be replaced by something that carries more detailed information.

(Of course the whole API could be replaced with something using "binder", or sockets, or SUN-RPC or maybe even smoke signals. I just like filesystem APIs so that is what I tend to use. It is the sequencing and interactions that are important).

The interactions are:
- service multicasts "I'm going to suspend now - prepare yourselves"
- clients perform any preparation, which may include saying "please don't suspend now" on a separate channel.
- clients confirm they are prepared
- services waits for all confirmations. Then checks again if anyone is blocking suspend (via wakeup_count or checking user-space requests).
- If no-one is blocking suspend - enter suspend, and resume
- service tells all client "Ok, we are awake again - go about your business"
- clients act accordingly


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Current best guess at Android suspend-blocker requirements

Posted Oct 2, 2011 8:09 UTC (Sun) by neilbrown (subscriber, #359) [Link]

It occurred to me that I didn't really answer your first question properly.

The auto-suspend daemon performs 2 checks to ensure that it is OK to suspend.
1/ The file locking handshake that I described in detail - this makes sure that user-space processes are happy with the suspend.
2/ the wakeup_count handshake. This ensures that the kernel is happy with the suspend.

The kernel has "wakeup_sources" that are similar to suspend blockers. When a wakeup_source is active, it means that suspend should not succeed.

When a wakeup_source is activated (normally in an interrupt handler), two global counters are incremented, and when it is deactivated (which should happen once the event is visible to user-space) one of them is decremented.

When the auto-suspend daemon reads from /sys/power/wakeup_count, the read blocks until the decrementing count is zero - so there are no active wakeup_sources. The other count is returned.
Subsequently - after checking with all of userspace - the daemon writes the number back to wakeup_count. If the corresponding counter has changed, the write fails. This means there has been another event and the daemon needs to check with user-space again.
If it succeeds then the kernel stores this number and the next attempt to suspend (echo mem > /sys/power/state) will only complete if there are no more wakeup events. i.e. if, right up to the moment of suspend, the event counter has the same value as the stored number that was written to /sys/power/state.

So the file-locking is only for user-space, and the wakeup event counting completely handles the kernel-event side.

Current best guess at Android suspend-blocker requirements

Posted Oct 2, 2011 22:24 UTC (Sun) by PaulMcKenney (subscriber, #9624) [Link]

Ah, understood. For whatever reason, I thought you were trying to re-implement John's patches as opposed to building a user-space API for them. Agreed, it would be quite hard to properly handle wakeup events in user space, given that the kernel needs to be involved in the wakeup/resume process!

Current best guess at Android suspend-blocker requirements

Posted Oct 2, 2011 23:43 UTC (Sun) by neilbrown (subscriber, #359) [Link]

Yes and no.

Some of John's patches were just bug-fixes. The wakeup event from the CMOS timer wasn't being counted as a wakeup event properly. Those patches I wasn't trying to re-implement - they are good.

The other patches from John did things to the scheduler so that distinguished processes could prevent suspend just by being busy. I was trying to show that these patches were not necessary because a completely race-free protocol is available in userspace.

(and finally there was a patch which tried to make /sys/power/state resistant to processes that didn't follow the wakeup_count protocol. That issue is best addressed by fixing the processes, or bind-mounting a file over /sys/power/state).

Current best guess at Android suspend-blocker requirements

Posted Oct 3, 2011 16:18 UTC (Mon) by PaulMcKenney (subscriber, #9624) [Link]

Cool! But I must defer to John and the Android guys at this point, as they would have a better idea of what works and does not in the Android environment.

My guess is that if they needed something lighter weight, this same general approach could be implemented within a device driver, though an implementation that just used existing user-space interfaces would be preferable, all else being equal. (Which it never is, but that is life!)


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