[test_check() between the fork and the wait/sleep prevents the
failure from occurring. Even a small access to the memory at
that stage prevents the failure. Details follow.]

On 2017-Mar-14, at 11:07 AM, Mark Millard <mar...@dsl-only.net> wrote:

> [This is just a correction to the subject-line text to say arm64
> instead of amd64.]
> 
> On 2017-Mar-14, at 12:58 AM, Mark Millard <mar...@dsl-only.net> wrote:
> 
> [Another correction I'm afraid --about alternative program variations
> this time.]
> 
> On 2017-Mar-13, at 11:52 PM, Mark Millard <mar...@dsl-only.net> wrote:
> 
>> I'm still at a loss about how to figure out what stages are messed
>> up. (Memory coherency? Some memory not swapped out? Bad data swapped
>> out? Wrong data swapped in?)
>> 
>> But at least I've found a much smaller/simpler example to demonstrate
>> some problem with in my Pine64+_ 2GB context.
>> 
>> The Pine64+ 2GB is the only amd64 context that I have access to.
> 
> Someday I'll learn to type arm64 the first time instead of amd64.
> 
>> The following program fails its check for data
>> having its expected byte pattern in dynamically
>> allocated memory after a fork/swap-out/swap-in
>> sequence.
>> 
>> I'll note that the program sleeps for 60s after
>> forking to give time to do something else to
>> cause the parent and child processes to swap
>> out (RES=0 as seen in top).
> 
> The following about the extra test_check() was
> wrong.
> 
>> Note the source code line:
>> 
>> // test_check(); // Adding this line prevents failure.
>> 
>> It seem that accessing the region contents before forking
>> and swapping avoids the problem. But there is a problem
>> if the region was only written-to before the fork/swap.

There is a place that if a test_check call is put then the
problem does not happen at any stage: I tried putting a
call between the fork and the later wait/sleep code:

int main(void) {
    test_setup();
    test_check(); // Before fork() [passes]

    pid_t pid = fork();
    int wait_status = 0;;

    // test_check(); // After fork(); before wait/sleep. 
                     // If used it prevents failure later!

    if (0<pid) { wait(&wait_status); }

    if (-1!=wait_status && 0<=pid) {
        if (0==pid) {
            sleep(60);

            // During this manually force this process to
            // swap out. I use something like:

            // stress -m 1 --vm-bytes 1800M

            // in another shell and ^C'ing it after top
            // shows the swapped status desired. 1800M
            // just happened to work on the Pine64+ 2GB
            // that I was using. I watch with top -PCwaopid .
        }

        test_check(); // After wait/sleep [fails for small-enough region_sizes]
    }
}

My guess is that the forced access attempt when the line is
uncommented causes local some sort of status/caching update
for that memory and with that in place swap-out gets the
right information swapped out and then later that information
is swapped back in.

But an interesting point is that the failing case fails in both
the parent process of the fork and the child process, both seeing
an all-zero pattern for the dynamically allocated region.

Even for using:

void partial_test_check(void) {
    if (1u!=gbl_region.array[1])    raise(SIGABRT);
    if (1u!=(*dyn_region).array[1]) raise(SIGABRT);
}

instead of test_check as what to call between the fork
and the wait/sleep the following no longer gets the
problem at any stage:

extern void partial_test_check(void); // Tests some of the memory byte pattern  
                                      // but not all of it.

int main(void) {
    test_setup();
    test_check(); // Before fork() [passes]

    pid_t pid = fork();
    int wait_status = 0;;

    // test_check(); // After fork(); before wait/sleep. 
                     // If used it prevents failure later!

    partial_test_check(); // Does a small access do such?

    if (0<pid) { wait(&wait_status); }

    if (-1!=wait_status && 0<=pid) {
        if (0==pid) {
            sleep(60);

            // During this manually force this process to
            // swap out. I use something like:

            // stress -m 1 --vm-bytes 1800M

            // in another shell and ^C'ing it after top
            // shows the swapped status desired. 1800M
            // just happened to work on the Pine64+ 2GB
            // that I was using. I watch with top -PCwaopid .
        }

        test_check(); // After wait/sleep [fails for small-enough region_sizes]
    }
}

This suggests to me that the small access is forcing one or more things to
be initialized for memory access that fork is not establishing of itself.
It appears that if established correctly then the swap-out/swap-in
sequence would work okay without needing the manual access to the memory.


So far via this test I've not seen any evidence of problems with the global
region but only the dynamically allocated region.

However, the symptoms that started this investigation in a much more
complicated context had an area of global memory from a .so that ended
up being zero.

I think that things should be fixed for this simpler context first and
that further investigation of the sh/su related should wait to see what
things are like after this test case works.


Side note:

The "extern"s are from a stage where I was investigating
having a .so involved but it turned out no shared library
had to be involved for what I ran into during this.

===
Mark Millard
markmi at dsl-only.net

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