RFR: 6900441 PlatformEvent.park(millis) on Linux could still be affected by changes to the time-of-day clock

Mikael Gerdin mikael.gerdin at oracle.com
Thu Sep 12 00:26:44 PDT 2013


(not a review, but I have a comment at the bottom)

On 2013-09-11 13:06, David Holmes wrote:
> webrev:
> http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~dholmes/6900441/webrev/
> Short version: use CLOCK_MONOTONIC with pthread_cond_t objects for
> relative timed-waits.
> Long version - see below :)
> Thanks,
> David
> -----
> Background: relative timed-waits (Thread.sleep, Object.wait,
> LockSupport.parkNanos) should not be affected by changes to the
> time-of-day clock. The linux implementation uses pthread_cond_timedwait
> on default initialized pthread_cond_t objects. pthread_cond_timedwait
> actually takes an absolute time and the default clock is CLOCK_REALTIME
> (which is a time-of-day clock). You would expect then that changing the
> time-of-day would impact these supposedly relative timed waits: time
> going forward would cause early returns; time going backwards would
> cause extended delays. But for many years it did not - the reason being
> that the glibc/pthreads implementors had not implemented it to work that
> way. Originally the monotonic clock didn't even exist so there was only
> one way this could be implemented (and we had LinuxThreads vs NPTL etc
> etc - lots of history).
> Skip forward to 2009 and glibc was modified to correct this behaviour -
> but only on 64-bit linux (no idea why - the 32-bit variant was added
> earlier this year but I don't know what glibc version that corresponds
> to). For 64-bit this was, as I understand it, glibc 2.12. By coincidence
> in 2009 I filed 6900441 as I knew we would have to change the
> implementation when glibc was fixed - unfortunately I wasn't aware that
> it actually had been fixed at that time. The bug was slated for future
> work, I went on to other things, blah blah blah ...
> We didn't get a flurry of bug reports in 2009, nor 2010, 2011 ... why
> not? Partly because people tend to avoid large jumps in system time and
> this bug only becomes noticeable when "large" backward jumps occur and
> threads 'hang'. (Forward jumps cause early returns that are either
> filtered out or permitted as spurious-wakeups). And partly it seems
> because it took time for glibc 2.12 to get into some Linux distributions
> and for people to take up the new version.
> Skip forward to today and we are starting to see a number of reports
> about this problem as people are now using the new glibc (and may have
> been for a while) and also seeing time changes have unexpected impact on
> their programs. So this needs to be fixed ASAP before it becomes a major
> problem and will be backported to OpenJDK 7 and 6.
> The fix is relatively straight-forward: the pthread_cond_t objects used
> for the relative timed-waits have to be associated with CLOCK_MONOTONIC
> so that they are not affected by changes to the time-of-day clock. There
> is a slight complication in that the LockSupport.park API supports both
> a relative and absolute timed-wait so we need two different
> pthread_cond_t each associated with different clocks.
> Notes:
> 1. This is a linux fix only. I don't know if we also have the problem on
> other OS but it hasn't been flagged and while I will check, it is more
> important to get this out for Linux ASAP.
> 2. Given the late stage of JDK 8 release cycle (to minimize risk), and
> to ease backporting to 6 and 7, I made no attempt to do any kind of code
> clean up here. This code is full of historical anachronisms and for Java
> 9 I hope to see it all cleaned up, but for now all the baggage and
> duplication must remain as-is.
> 3. We can obviously only fix this if we have a monotonic clock hence
> that has to be used to guard the new code. These days it would be
> extremely rare to not have the monotonic clock but I still use the guard.
> 4. CLOCK_MONOTONIC is not in fact completely immune to changes in the
> time of day clock but it won't jump backwards. The new clock on the
> block is CLOCK_MONOTONIC_RAW which should always advance at a constant
> rate with no jumps. We have a RFE to start using CLOCK_MONOTONIC_RAW for
> System.nanoTime(), and we would use it for the pthread_cond_t too, but
> we can't use that until the JDK 8 build platform is updated to a linux
> version that actually has that clock at build time. That update is very
> near but not yet here so we stay with CLOCK_MONOTONIC.

It seems like we already handle the fact that the build platform may not 
1371 #ifndef CLOCK_MONOTONIC
1372 #define CLOCK_MONOTONIC (1)
1373 #endif

Is there something stopping us from #define:ing CLOCK_MONOTONIC_RAW 
ourselves as well?
Do you plan to remove this #ifndef block when the build platform is 


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