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digitalmars.D - GC + malloc/free = deadlock

reply Benjamin Thaut <code benjamin-thaut.de> writes:
I wrote a small "bad example" program for a presentation. It calls 
malloc/free very frequently and I wanted to profile the impact of this 
compared to a pool allocator solution. Unfortunately I had to notice 
that the program only runs for a fraction of a second before 
deadlocking. As it seems the following situation accurs:

1) Thread 1 calls malloc(), and locks the internal malloc mutex
2) Thread 2 triggers garbage collection and stops thread 1
3) Thread 2 is done collecting garbage and calls all destructors. One of 
these calls free(), as the malloc mutex is still locked by Thread 1 and 
Thread 1 will never release the mutex, as it is stoped, Thread 2 deadlocks.

Now this is not limited to malloc / free, it can happen with any kind of 
locking that is done within a destructor.

Currently I can only think of two ways to fix this:

1) Don't use free inside a destructor (goodbye manual memory management)
2) A callback triggered by the GC before it starts stopping any threads, 
and after it is done destructing all objects to manually lock / unlock 
necessary synchronization primitives to prevent this kind of 
deadlocking. The default implementation of this callback should lock / 
unlock the malloc mutex.

-- 
Kind Regards
Benjamin Thaut
Apr 22 2012
next sibling parent reply David <d dav1d.de> writes:
Am 23.04.2012 08:41, schrieb Benjamin Thaut:
 I wrote a small "bad example" program for a presentation. It calls
 malloc/free very frequently and I wanted to profile the impact of this
 compared to a pool allocator solution. Unfortunately I had to notice
 that the program only runs for a fraction of a second before
 deadlocking. As it seems the following situation accurs:

 1) Thread 1 calls malloc(), and locks the internal malloc mutex
 2) Thread 2 triggers garbage collection and stops thread 1
 3) Thread 2 is done collecting garbage and calls all destructors. One of
 these calls free(), as the malloc mutex is still locked by Thread 1 and
 Thread 1 will never release the mutex, as it is stoped, Thread 2 deadlocks.

 Now this is not limited to malloc / free, it can happen with any kind of
 locking that is done within a destructor.

 Currently I can only think of two ways to fix this:

 1) Don't use free inside a destructor (goodbye manual memory management)
 2) A callback triggered by the GC before it starts stopping any threads,
 and after it is done destructing all objects to manually lock / unlock
 necessary synchronization primitives to prevent this kind of
 deadlocking. The default implementation of this callback should lock /
 unlock the malloc mutex.

glDelete*-Call in a Dtor, I had this for a few commits in glamour (a OpenGL wrapper) and it kept raining Segfaults. The bigger problem was, that was only caused by the GC, I didn't tell him to collect garbage from another Thread, it happend when it jumped in, and called dtors. The way I have fixed it was with "scope" and an additional .remove method. Maybe this is the way you can solve your problem.
Apr 22 2012
parent Benjamin Thaut <code benjamin-thaut.de> writes:
Am 23.04.2012 08:52, schrieb David:
 Am 23.04.2012 08:41, schrieb Benjamin Thaut:
 I wrote a small "bad example" program for a presentation. It calls
 malloc/free very frequently and I wanted to profile the impact of this
 compared to a pool allocator solution. Unfortunately I had to notice
 that the program only runs for a fraction of a second before
 deadlocking. As it seems the following situation accurs:

 1) Thread 1 calls malloc(), and locks the internal malloc mutex
 2) Thread 2 triggers garbage collection and stops thread 1
 3) Thread 2 is done collecting garbage and calls all destructors. One of
 these calls free(), as the malloc mutex is still locked by Thread 1 and
 Thread 1 will never release the mutex, as it is stoped, Thread 2
 deadlocks.

 Now this is not limited to malloc / free, it can happen with any kind of
 locking that is done within a destructor.

 Currently I can only think of two ways to fix this:

 1) Don't use free inside a destructor (goodbye manual memory management)
 2) A callback triggered by the GC before it starts stopping any threads,
 and after it is done destructing all objects to manually lock / unlock
 necessary synchronization primitives to prevent this kind of
 deadlocking. The default implementation of this callback should lock /
 unlock the malloc mutex.

glDelete*-Call in a Dtor, I had this for a few commits in glamour (a OpenGL wrapper) and it kept raining Segfaults. The bigger problem was, that was only caused by the GC, I didn't tell him to collect garbage from another Thread, it happend when it jumped in, and called dtors. The way I have fixed it was with "scope" and an additional .remove method. Maybe this is the way you can solve your problem.

Well the issue with OpenGL is that you can only make OpenGL calls from the thread that actually owns the OpenGL context, so this is not quite the same. Because I'm perfectly allowed to call free from a different thread then where I called malloc. Also this is not only my problem, std.container.Array uses malloc & free so it can happen there too.
Apr 23 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Mon, 23 Apr 2012 02:41:21 -0400, Benjamin Thaut  
<code benjamin-thaut.de> wrote:

 I wrote a small "bad example" program for a presentation. It calls  
 malloc/free very frequently and I wanted to profile the impact of this  
 compared to a pool allocator solution. Unfortunately I had to notice  
 that the program only runs for a fraction of a second before  
 deadlocking. As it seems the following situation accurs:

 1) Thread 1 calls malloc(), and locks the internal malloc mutex
 2) Thread 2 triggers garbage collection and stops thread 1
 3) Thread 2 is done collecting garbage and calls all destructors. One of  
 these calls free(), as the malloc mutex is still locked by Thread 1 and  
 Thread 1 will never release the mutex, as it is stoped, Thread 2  
 deadlocks.

This shouldn't happen. The collection routine is specifically designed to avoid this. I remember when Sean put it into Tango after an IRC conversation. The correct sequence is: 1. stop the world 2. Perform mark on all data (identifying which blocks should be freed) 3. resume the world 4. Call dtors on unreferenced data and deallocate. This was to fix the exact problem you are having, albeit the malloc/free were indirect by calls to C-libs. Please file a bug. -Steve
Apr 23 2012
parent reply Benjamin Thaut <code benjamin-thaut.de> writes:
Am 23.04.2012 13:57, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 On Mon, 23 Apr 2012 02:41:21 -0400, Benjamin Thaut
 <code benjamin-thaut.de> wrote:

 I wrote a small "bad example" program for a presentation. It calls
 malloc/free very frequently and I wanted to profile the impact of this
 compared to a pool allocator solution. Unfortunately I had to notice
 that the program only runs for a fraction of a second before
 deadlocking. As it seems the following situation accurs:

 1) Thread 1 calls malloc(), and locks the internal malloc mutex
 2) Thread 2 triggers garbage collection and stops thread 1
 3) Thread 2 is done collecting garbage and calls all destructors. One
 of these calls free(), as the malloc mutex is still locked by Thread 1
 and Thread 1 will never release the mutex, as it is stoped, Thread 2
 deadlocks.

This shouldn't happen. The collection routine is specifically designed to avoid this. I remember when Sean put it into Tango after an IRC conversation. The correct sequence is: 1. stop the world 2. Perform mark on all data (identifying which blocks should be freed) 3. resume the world 4. Call dtors on unreferenced data and deallocate. This was to fix the exact problem you are having, albeit the malloc/free were indirect by calls to C-libs. Please file a bug. -Steve

If what you are saying is true, the deadlock must happen somewhere else. This was kind of a assumption because the deadlock happend after I added all the malloc / free calls. Because all the threads are stopped when this happens I can't really debug this, because the Visual Studio debugger tells me that it can not debug any thread but the one that is currently running the GC. Kind Regards Ingrater
Apr 23 2012
parent Benjamin Thaut <code benjamin-thaut.de> writes:
Am 23.04.2012 14:36, schrieb Kapps:
 On Monday, 23 April 2012 at 12:11:19 UTC, Benjamin Thaut wrote:
 If what you are saying is true, the deadlock must happen somewhere
 else. This was kind of a assumption because the deadlock happend after
 I added all the malloc / free calls. Because all the threads are
 stopped when this happens I can't really debug this, because the
 Visual Studio debugger tells me that it can not debug any thread but
 the one that is currently running the GC.

 Kind Regards
 Ingrater

Are these threads created by core.thread.Thread, or are they created through different means such as native OS calls or a C api? If the latter, you have to register them with the runtime (I think it was something like Thread.attachThis), otherwise issues like this will happen.

No all threads are created via core.thread.Thread. There are however some threads (OpenGL / OpenAL) that I do not create.
Apr 23 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent "Kapps" <opantm2+spam gmail.com> writes:
On Monday, 23 April 2012 at 12:11:19 UTC, Benjamin Thaut wrote:
 If what you are saying is true, the deadlock must happen 
 somewhere else. This was kind of a assumption because the 
 deadlock happend after I added all the malloc / free calls. 
 Because all the threads are stopped when this happens I can't 
 really debug this, because the Visual Studio debugger tells me 
 that it can not debug any thread but the one that is currently 
 running the GC.

 Kind Regards
 Ingrater

Are these threads created by core.thread.Thread, or are they created through different means such as native OS calls or a C api? If the latter, you have to register them with the runtime (I think it was something like Thread.attachThis), otherwise issues like this will happen.
Apr 23 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Mon, 23 Apr 2012 08:36:59 -0400, Kapps <opantm2+spam gmail.com> wrote:

 On Monday, 23 April 2012 at 12:11:19 UTC, Benjamin Thaut wrote:
 If what you are saying is true, the deadlock must happen somewhere  
 else. This was kind of a assumption because the deadlock happend after  
 I added all the malloc / free calls. Because all the threads are  
 stopped when this happens I can't really debug this, because the Visual  
 Studio debugger tells me that it can not debug any thread but the one  
 that is currently running the GC.

 Kind Regards
 Ingrater

Are these threads created by core.thread.Thread, or are they created through different means such as native OS calls or a C api? If the latter, you have to register them with the runtime (I think it was something like Thread.attachThis), otherwise issues like this will happen.

No. Dtor calls should all be done while all threads are running. The portion of the GC collection cycle which requires the world to be stopped should not be doing any locking/unlocking in arbitrary C libs. If it is, it's a bug. -Steve
Apr 23 2012
prev sibling parent simendsjo <simendsjo gmail.com> writes:
On Mon, 23 Apr 2012 15:44:01 +0200, Benjamin Thaut  
<code benjamin-thaut.de> wrote:

 Am 23.04.2012 14:36, schrieb Kapps:
 On Monday, 23 April 2012 at 12:11:19 UTC, Benjamin Thaut wrote:
 If what you are saying is true, the deadlock must happen somewhere
 else. This was kind of a assumption because the deadlock happend after
 I added all the malloc / free calls. Because all the threads are
 stopped when this happens I can't really debug this, because the
 Visual Studio debugger tells me that it can not debug any thread but
 the one that is currently running the GC.

 Kind Regards
 Ingrater

Are these threads created by core.thread.Thread, or are they created through different means such as native OS calls or a C api? If the latter, you have to register them with the runtime (I think it was something like Thread.attachThis), otherwise issues like this will happen.

No all threads are created via core.thread.Thread. There are however some threads (OpenGL / OpenAL) that I do not create.

I've had problems using attachThis() on threads created in C. Look at http://www.digitalmars.com/d/archives/digitalmars/D/learn/GC_collecting_too_much_.._33934.html No one has answered though..
Apr 23 2012