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Tutorial 3 - Linux Interrupt Handling -

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1 Tutorial 3 - Linux Interrupt Handling -
Bogdan Simion

2 Today’s tutorial Getting started with Linux programming
Interrupt need and interrupt types Hardware support for interrupts Interrupt handling process Upper and bottom halves Concurrency considerations Implementing an interrupt handler

3 Getting started Linux Kernel Development, by Robert Love
High-level, good starting point Understanding the Linux Kernel, by D.Bovet and M.Cesati More advanced, lots of details Linux Device Drivers, A.Rubini and J.Corbet Cross-reference Linux sources – with hyperlinks! Really useful to understand code and data structures

4 Interrupts An event external to the currently executing process that causes a change in the normal flow of instruction execution; usually generated by hardware devices external to the CPU Asynchronous w.r.t current process External & internal devices need CPU service CPU must detect devices that require attention!

5 Alternatives Polling: CPU checks each device periodically
Too much overhead - CPU time wasted polling Efficient if events arrive fast, or if not urgent (slow polling at large intervals) Interrupts: Each device gets an “interrupt line” Device signals CPU when it needs attention, CPU handles request when it comes in No overhead / wasted cycles Good for events that are urgent, and/or infrequent

6 Interrupt types Hardware: An event/electronic signal from external device that needs CPU attention Mouse moved, keyboard pressed Printer ready, modem, etc Software: exceptions (traps) in the processor: divide by zero exception, page faults, etc. special software interrupt instructions (e.g., request disk reads/writes to disk controller)

7 Hardware support for interrupts
Devices are connected to a shared message bus to the APIC Limited number of IRQ lines After every instruction (user-mode), CPU checks for hardware interrupt signals and, if present, calls an interrupt handler (kernel routine) Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller

8 Load Interrupt Handler
Interrupt handling Program instruction Interrupt pending YES Switch to kernel mode NO Save current PC Interrupt detected => Switch to kernel mode => Push PC onto stack => Load PC of interrupt handler from IVT (Interrupt Vector Table) The IVT is the list of handler addresses, and it’s mapped into kernel memory space so we can retrieve the interrupt handler fast. Load Interrupt Handler Execute IH Restore PC Program instruction

9 Interrupt Descriptor Table
x86 implementation of IVT for fast interrupt handling Reserved chunk of RAM, used by the CPU to quickly branch to a specific interrupt handler Mapped to kernel space at 0x0000-0x03ff (256 4-byte pointers) on 8086 Later CPUs: flexible locations and different size First 32 entries (0x00-0x1F) - reserved for mapping handlers for CPU-specific exceptions (faults) Next entries – interrupt routines (e.g., keyboard) An Interrupt Vector Table (IVT) is a list of handler addresses that the CPU has to determine which interrupt handler to dispatch for each interrupt code. On x86 architectures, we have something called the IDT – provides special instr and data structures managed by the CPU itself so the interrupt handling can be as fast as possible. 32 and up -> Keyboard, video, IDE, etc

10 Interrupt handlers Fast/Hard/First-Level Interrupt Handler (FLIH)
Quickly service an interrupt, minimal exec time Schedule SLIHs if needed Slow/Soft/Second-Level Interrupt Handler (SLIH) Long-lived interrupt processing tasks Lower priority - sit in a task runqueue Executed by a pool of kernel threads, when no FLIHs Linux: FLIHs = upper halves (UH) SLIHs = bottom halves (BH) Windows Deferred Procedure Calls (DPCs) FLIHs implement a minimum platform-specific interrupt handling – goal is to quickly service the interrupt, and schedule the execution of a SLI for further long-lived interrupt handling. SLIHs – take longer to execute, lower priority, executed whenever CPU is not executing a fast interrupt handler For instance, when a network interface reports the arrival of a new packet, the handler just retrieves the data and pushes it up to the protocol layer; actual processing of the packet is performed in a bottom half.

11 Bottom halves (BH) SoftIRQs and Tasklets Workqueues
Deferred work runs in interrupt context Don’t run in process context Can’t sleep Tasklets somewhat easier to use Workqueues Run in kernel threads Schedulable Can sleep Also can’t block on a mutex.

12 Concurrency Hardware interrupts (IRQs) can arrive while a specific interrupt handler is in execution Fast interrupts must run atomically => Disable all interrupts and restore them when done As a result, fast interrupts must run fast, and defer long-lived work to bottom halves. Otherwise => interrupt storm => livelocks If FLIHs take too long, then other devices that require attention are waiting. Worse, same device might have more data to deliver to the OS before previous data is completely received. This can cause h/w failures, buffer overflows, dropped data, messages, etc. Inside the OS, this can lead to an interrupt storm: whenever there’s always an interrupt waiting whenever a fast int handler finishes its execution. This could occur either because the FLIH takes too long, or H/W has bugs. If the OS is continuously handling interrupts, it never runs any application code (livelock). So it never appears to respond to user inputs, the user sees the system as being frozen even though it’s running.

13 Interrupt enabling IE (Interrupt Enable) bit in the status register can be set or reset by the processor cli = clear interrupts sti = set interrupts Must be careful with semantics if using these directly cli disables interrupts on ALL processors If you are already handling an IRQ, cli only disables them on current CPU Basically CPU can decide to ignore the PIC’s requests and continue running, if IF (interrupt flag) is disabled in the status register Generally discouraged to use cli/sti directly.

14 Multiprocessors Linux kernel tries to divide interrupts evenly across processors to some extent Fast interrupts (SA_INTERRUPT) execute with all other interrupts disabled on the current processor Other processors can still handle interrupts, though not the same IRQ at the same time

15 Interrupt handling internals (x86)
Each interrupt goes through do_IRQ A do_IRQ acquires spinlock on the irq#, preventing other CPUs from handling this IRQ Looks up handler If no handler, schedule bottom halves (if any) and return If handler, run handle_IRQ_event to invoke the handlers

16 Implementing an interrupt handler
Use request_irq()to get interrupt handler irq (IRQ number) handler (func. pointer - interrupt handler) flags (SA_INTERRUPT, SA_SHIRQ, etc) dev_name (string used in /proc/interrupts) dev_id (used for shared interrupt lines) Fast handler - always with SA_INTERRUPT From within interrupt handler, schedule BH to run (tasklet_schedule, queue_work, etc.) Dev_name: – name of the device that registered this handler for the current interrupt “irq” (1st param)

17 Implementing an interrupt handler(2)
A driver might need to disable/enable interrupt reporting for its own IRQ line only Kernel functions: disable_irq (int irq) disable_irq_nosync (int irq) enable_irq (int irq) Enable/disable IRQ - across ALL processors Nosync – doesn’t wait for currently executing IH’s to complete => faster, but leaves driver open to race conditions Disable_irq will not only disable that IRQ but will also wait for a currently executing interrupt handler, if any, to complete. Disable_irq will return immediately -> faster, but leaves your driver open to race conditions. Enable/disable this IRQ across all processors. IRQ lines are H/W lines on which devices can send interrupt signals to the processor (the APIC actually). Some lines are fixed for certain types of devices while some can be multiplexed between various devices. The APIC controller translates the IRQ number into the Interrupt Vector for the CPU’s table. Basically based on the IRQ line that signalled it, the APIC gives an INT (e.g., INT 0eh) to the CPU. When a CPU is finished handling an interrupt, it tells the APIC it’s ok to resume sending interrupts. If conflict – Plug and Play solves it. Also, interrupts have priorities.

18 Useful readings Linux Device Drivers, 3rd edition
Chapter 10 – Interrupt Handling The Linux Kernel Module Programming guide Chapter 12 – Interrupt Handlers Understanding the Linux Kernel Chapter 4 – Interrupts and Exceptions Consult LXR – Deep understanding of Linux source code and data structures involved

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