[Stackless] Problem building release27-maint in 64-bit linux.

Alexey Borzenkov snaury at gmail.com
Wed Aug 17 01:36:12 CEST 2011

On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 7:39 PM, Anselm Kruis
<a.kruis at science-computing.de> wrote:
> If I understand the commit comment correctly, there were crashes on OS-X.
> But what about Linux? I'm not aware of problems on Linux amd64. Can we make
> the longer REGS_TO_SAVE list a conditional define? Something like:
> +#define REGS_TO_SAVE "rdx", "rbx", "r12", "r13", "r14", "r15", "r9", "r8",
> "rdi", "rsi", "rcx", "rbp"
> #else
> +#define REGS_TO_SAVE "rdx", "rbx", "r12", "r13", "r14", "r15", "r9", "r8",
> "rdi", "rsi", "rcx"
> #endif

Hmm. Why do you need to save so many registers, especially when all of
them except rbp, rbx, r12-r15 are not expected to be saved across
calls anyway?

While I haven't been working with stackless, I have recently been
working a lot on greenlet, where I fixed a lot of weird crashes, and
here's what I found:

1. crashes can happen unless global variables used at "double return"
points are not marked volatile. This is because gcc optimizer might
cache the global value and the next time the same code path is entered
after the switch would use the cached, and not the updated, value. In
case of greenlet this was ts_current and ts_target. In case of
stackless at least _cst might need to be marked as volatile. If anyone
is interested you can read my discussion here:

2. crashes can happen if there's any C-stack switch during garbage
collection. The reason for this is that Python is creating gc lists on
the stack, and if during tp_clear there are C-stack switches (as in,
to kill an alive greenlet/tasklet), then those variables might get
clobbered. If during the switch there are deallocations, and list head
is updated, it would lead to random stack corruptions. Now these
conditions are extremely rare, but they can happen and can lead to
weird crashes. If anyone is interested you can read how I found this
issue here: https://bitbucket.org/ambroff/greenlet/issue/24/debian-64-errors-with-pydebug

I don't know enough about stackless internals, so maybe these are
already addressed or don't apply at all. But if they apply, you might
want to fix it in Stackless as well.

Best regards,

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