Why do we need READ_ONCE() in list_empty()?

Karim Manaouil k.manaouil at gmail.com
Thu Apr 28 11:00:15 EDT 2022


list_empty() uses READ_ONCE() to read head->next [1]. AFAIK, READ_ONCE() is
a compile-time memory
barrier to prevent the compiler from reordering the read with the previous
or the following memory accesses.

I checked commit id 1658d35ead5d8dd from its committer Paul E. McKenney
when such a thing was added
to the kernel, to seek for an explanation, but the commit description is
not very insightful. It only says that this
macro might be accessed without the protection of a lock and thus the need

I still don't understand why READ_ONCE() is needed in list_empty(). Is
there a concrete example where not
wrapping it inside READ_ONCE() could lead to inconsistency/incorrectness?


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