Presented by

  • Paul McKenney

    Paul McKenney

    Paul E. McKenney has been coding for more than four decades, more than half of that on parallel hardware. Paul is a software engineer at Facebook. where he maintains the RCU implementation within the Linux kernel, where the variety of workloads present highly entertaining performance, scalability, real-time response, and energy-efficiency challenges. Prior to that, he did very similar work for IBM's Linux Technology Center, before which he worked on the DYNIX/ptx kernel at Sequent, and prior to that on packet-radio and Internet protocols (but long before it was polite to mention Internet at cocktail parties), system administration, business applications, and real-time systems. His hobbies include what passes for running at his age along with the usual house-wife-and-grown-kids habit.


Let's face it, using synchronization primitives such as RCU can be frustrating. And it is only natural to wish to get back, somehow, at the source of such frustration. In short, it is quite understandable to want to torture RCU. (And other synchronization primitives as well, but you have to start somewhere!) Another benefit of torturing RCU is that doing so sometimes uncovers bugs in other parts of the kernel. You see, RCU is not always willing to suffer alone. This talk will give an overview of how to torture RCU using the rcutorture test suite. It will also present a few of rcutorture's tricks that permit short tests on a smallish number of modest systems to nevertheless provide some assurance that RCU will run robustly on billions of systems across the inner solar system.