[PATCH v2 0/5] selinux:Significant reduce of preempt_disable holds

Stephen Smalley sds at tycho.nsa.gov
Tue Jan 30 13:37:38 UTC 2018

On Fri, 2018-01-26 at 15:32 +0100, peter.enderborg at sony.com wrote:
> Holding the preempt_disable is very bad for low latency tasks
> as audio and therefore we need to break out the rule-set dependent
> part from this disable. By using a RCU instead of rwlock we
> have an efficient locking and less preemption interference.

NB: rcu_read_lock() may disable preemption as well if
CONFIG_PREEMPT_COUNT=y.  I assume you aren't concerned with that

> Selinux uses a lot of read_locks. This patch replaces the rwlock
> with RCY that does not hold preempt_disable.
> Intel Xeon W3520 2.67 Ghz running FC27 with 4.15.0-rc9git
> (+measurement)
> I get preempt_disable in worst case for 1.2ms in
> security_compute_av().
> With the patch I get 960us as the longest security_compute_av()
> without preempt disabeld. It very much noise in the measurement
> but it is not likely a degrade.
> And the preempt_disable times is also very dependent on the selinux
> rule-set.
> In security_get_user_sids() we have two nested for-loops and the
> inner part calls sittab_context_to_sid() that calls
> sidtab_search_context() that has a for loop() over a while() where
> the loops is dependent on the rules.
> On the test system the average lookup time is 60us and does
> not change with the RCU usage.
> To use RCU the structure of policydb has to be accesses through a
> pointer.
> We need 4 patches to get there.
>   [PATCH v2 1/5] selinux:Remove direct references to policydb.
>   We remove direct references and pass it through function arguments.
>   [PATCH v2 2/5] selinux: Move policydb to pointer structure
>   Move the policydb to dynamic allocated structure.
>   [PATCH v2 3/5] selinux: Move sidtab to pointer structure
>   Same as for policydb but for sidtab. They are closly related
>   and should be switched at the same time.
>   [PATCH v2 4/5] selinux: Use pointer to switch policydb and sidtab
>   Now we can switch rules by switching pointers.
>   [PATCH v2 5/5] selinux: Switch locking to RCU.
>   We are now ready to use RCU.
> History: V1 rwsem
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