[libvirt] [PATCH 0/7] x86: Rework KVM-defaults compat code, enable kvm_pv_unhalt by default

Waiman Long longman at redhat.com
Fri Oct 13 20:58:23 UTC 2017

On 10/13/2017 03:01 PM, Eduardo Habkost wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 04:19:38PM -0400, Waiman Long wrote:
>> On 10/10/2017 03:41 PM, Eduardo Habkost wrote:
>>> On Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 02:07:25PM -0400, Waiman Long wrote:
>>>> On 10/10/2017 11:50 AM, Eduardo Habkost wrote:
>>>>>> Yes.  Another possibility is to enable it when there is >1 NUMA node in
>>>>>> the guest.  We generally don't do this kind of magic but higher layers
>>>>>> (oVirt/OpenStack) do.
>>>>> Can't the guest make this decision, instead of the host?
>>>> By guest, do you mean the guest OS itself or the admin of the guest VM?
>>> It could be either.  But even if action is required from the
>>> guest admin to get better performance in some cases, I'd argue
>>> that the default behavior of a Linux guest shouldn't cause a
>>> performance regression if the host stops hiding a feature in
>>> CPUID.
>>>> I am thinking about maybe adding kernel boot command line option like
>>>> "unfair_pvspinlock_cpu_threshold=4" which will instruct the OS to use
>>>> unfair spinlock if the number of CPUs is 4 or less, for example. The
>>>> default value of 0 will have the same behavior as it is today. Please
>>>> let me know what you guys think about that.
>>> If that's implemented, can't Linux choose a reasonable default
>>> for unfair_pvspinlock_cpu_threshold that won't require the admin
>>> to manually configure it on most cases?
>> It is hard to have a fixed value as it depends on the CPUs being used as
>> well as the kind of workloads that are being run. Besides, using unfair
>> locks have the undesirable side effect of being subject to lock
>> starvation under certain circumstances. So we may not work it to be
>> turned on by default. Customers have to take their own risk if they want
>> that.
> Probably I am not seeing all variables involved, so pardon my
> confusion.  Would unfair_pvspinlock_cpu_threshold > num_cpus just
> disable usage of kvm_pv_unhalt, or make the guest choose a
> completely different spinlock implementation?

What I am proposing is that if num_cpus <=
unfair_pvspinlock_cpu_threshold, the unfair spinlock will be used even
if kvm_pv_unhalt is set.

> Is the current default behavior of Linux guests when
> kvm_pv_unhalt is unavailable a good default?  If using
> kvm_pv_unhalt is not always a good idea, why do Linux guests
> default to eagerly trying to use it only because the host says
> it's available?

For kernel with CONFIG_PARVIRT_SPINLOCKS, the current default is to use
pvqspinlock if kvm_pv_unhalt is enabled, but use unfair spinlock if it
is disabled. For kernel with just CONFIG_PARVIRT but no
CONFIG_PARAVIRT_SPINLOCKS, the unfair lock will be use no matter the
setting of kvm_pv_unhalt. Without those config options, the standard
qspinlock will be used.


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