[ofiwg] fork support and MR cache

Barrett, Brian bbarrett at amazon.com
Thu Oct 8 11:28:37 PDT 2020

On Oct 8, 2020, at 11:14 AM, Hefty, Sean <sean.hefty at intel.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Oct 08, 2020 at 05:45:31PM +0000, Hefty, Sean wrote:
>>>>> There have been extensive discussions on github around the MR cache,
>>>>> deadlocks, libibverbs madvise tracking, and fork.  The current
>>>>> direction is to only enable the MR cache when fork is disabled.
>>>>> This was done to work-around internal libibverbs tracking.  But I
>>>>> suspect that bypassing that tracking (which is possible) can still
>>>>> lead to issues when registrations are made through the MR cache.
>>>> MADV_DONTFORK will be obsolete starting in kernel v5.9
>>>> If you can test and confirm that everything works without it then we
>>>> can detect and disable ibv_fork_init on new kernels.
>>> Interesting.  What will the behavior be for registered regions when fork is called?
>> They are copied into the fork.
>>> My concern is that the registrations are made and maintained without
>>> the application being aware.  Will cached registrations need to be
>>> released when fork is invoked, or is there some other mechanism
>>> coming into play now?
>> MRs continue to reliably point to memory owned in the parent
>> process.
>> The child process will be unable to use any MRs or verbs objects, just
>> like today.
> Thanks - I think this means that fork becomes a non-issue.

We’ll have to figure out how to make some of these decisions at runtime.  We need a fix for today’s world (even if we’re ok with it being a little more hacky, since it has a finite lifespan), and a way to know whether we need to run that hacky fix or not in the future.  I don’t think our current hack around trying ibv_fork_init() will work in a world where rdma-core isn’t building the RB tree.  So some way of exposing that new behavior out of rdma-core would, unfortunately, be helpful to Libfabric.


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