[3.13.y.z extended stable] Patch "jiffies: Fix timeval conversion to jiffies" has been added to staging queue

Kamal Mostafa kamal at canonical.com
Wed Oct 8 22:14:13 UTC 2014

This is a note to let you know that I have just added a patch titled

    jiffies: Fix timeval conversion to jiffies

to the linux-3.13.y-queue branch of the 3.13.y.z extended stable tree 
which can be found at:


This patch is scheduled to be released in version

If you, or anyone else, feels it should not be added to this tree, please 
reply to this email.

For more information about the 3.13.y.z tree, see



>From d7c27452aa25b5f9cd5cd4be2482ef9e4258f95b Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Andrew Hunter <ahh at google.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2014 14:17:16 -0700
Subject: jiffies: Fix timeval conversion to jiffies

commit d78c9300c51d6ceed9f6d078d4e9366f259de28c upstream.

timeval_to_jiffies tried to round a timeval up to an integral number
of jiffies, but the logic for doing so was incorrect: intervals
corresponding to exactly N jiffies would become N+1. This manifested
itself particularly repeatedly stopping/starting an itimer:

setitimer(ITIMER_PROF, &val, NULL);
setitimer(ITIMER_PROF, NULL, &val);

would add a full tick to val, _even if it was exactly representable in
terms of jiffies_ (say, the result of a previous rounding.)  Doing
this repeatedly would cause unbounded growth in val.  So fix the math.

Here's what was wrong with the conversion: we essentially computed
(eliding seconds)

jiffies = usec  * (NSEC_PER_USEC/TICK_NSEC)

by using scaling arithmetic, which took the best approximation of
NSEC_PER_USEC/TICK_NSEC with denominator of 2^USEC_JIFFIE_SC =
x/(2^USEC_JIFFIE_SC), and computed:

jiffies = (usec * x) >> USEC_JIFFIE_SC

and rounded this calculation up in the intermediate form (since we
can't necessarily exactly represent TICK_NSEC in usec.) But the
scaling arithmetic is a (very slight) *over*approximation of the true
value; that is, instead of dividing by (1 usec/ 1 jiffie), we
effectively divided by (1 usec/1 jiffie)-epsilon (rounding
down). This would normally be fine, but we want to round timeouts up,
and we did so by adding 2^USEC_JIFFIE_SC - 1 before the shift; this
would be fine if our division was exact, but dividing this by the
slightly smaller factor was equivalent to adding just _over_ 1 to the
final result (instead of just _under_ 1, as desired.)

In particular, with HZ=1000, we consistently computed that 10000 usec
was 11 jiffies; the same was true for any exact multiple of

We could possibly still round in the intermediate form, adding
something less than 2^USEC_JIFFIE_SC - 1, but easier still is to
convert usec->nsec, round in nanoseconds, and then convert using
time*spec*_to_jiffies.  This adds one constant multiplication, and is
not observably slower in microbenchmarks on recent x86 hardware.

Tested: the following program:

int main() {
  struct itimerval zero = {{0, 0}, {0, 0}};
  /* Initially set to 10 ms. */
  struct itimerval initial = zero;
  initial.it_interval.tv_usec = 10000;
  setitimer(ITIMER_PROF, &initial, NULL);
  /* Save and restore several times. */
  for (size_t i = 0; i < 10; ++i) {
    struct itimerval prev;
    setitimer(ITIMER_PROF, &zero, &prev);
    /* on old kernels, this goes up by TICK_USEC every iteration */
    printf("previous value: %ld %ld %ld %ld\n",
           prev.it_interval.tv_sec, prev.it_interval.tv_usec,
           prev.it_value.tv_sec, prev.it_value.tv_usec);
    setitimer(ITIMER_PROF, &prev, NULL);
    return 0;

Cc: Thomas Gleixner <tglx at linutronix.de>
Cc: Ingo Molnar <mingo at redhat.com>
Cc: Paul Turner <pjt at google.com>
Cc: Richard Cochran <richardcochran at gmail.com>
Cc: Prarit Bhargava <prarit at redhat.com>
Reviewed-by: Paul Turner <pjt at google.com>
Reported-by: Aaron Jacobs <jacobsa at google.com>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Hunter <ahh at google.com>
[jstultz: Tweaked to apply to 3.17-rc]
Signed-off-by: John Stultz <john.stultz at linaro.org>
[ kamal: backport to 3.13-stable: kernel/time.c ]
Signed-off-by: Kamal Mostafa <kamal at canonical.com>
 include/linux/jiffies.h | 12 -----------
 kernel/time.c           | 54 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++----------------------
 2 files changed, 30 insertions(+), 36 deletions(-)

diff --git a/include/linux/jiffies.h b/include/linux/jiffies.h
index d235e88..8acbb7b 100644
--- a/include/linux/jiffies.h
+++ b/include/linux/jiffies.h
@@ -258,23 +258,11 @@ extern unsigned long preset_lpj;
 #define SEC_JIFFIE_SC (32 - SHIFT_HZ)
 #define SEC_CONVERSION ((unsigned long)((((u64)NSEC_PER_SEC << SEC_JIFFIE_SC) +\
                                 TICK_NSEC -1) / (u64)TICK_NSEC))

 #define NSEC_CONVERSION ((unsigned long)((((u64)1 << NSEC_JIFFIE_SC) +\
                                         TICK_NSEC -1) / (u64)TICK_NSEC))
-                    ((unsigned long)((((u64)NSEC_PER_USEC << USEC_JIFFIE_SC) +\
-                                        TICK_NSEC -1) / (u64)TICK_NSEC))
- * USEC_ROUND is used in the timeval to jiffie conversion.  See there
- * for more details.  It is the scaled resolution rounding value.  Note
- * that it is a 64-bit value.  Since, when it is applied, we are already
- * in jiffies (albit scaled), it is nothing but the bits we will shift
- * off.
- */
-#define USEC_ROUND (u64)(((u64)1 << USEC_JIFFIE_SC) - 1)
  * The maximum jiffie value is (MAX_INT >> 1).  Here we translate that
  * into seconds.  The 64-bit case will overflow if we are not careful,
diff --git a/kernel/time.c b/kernel/time.c
index 7c7964c..3c49ab4 100644
--- a/kernel/time.c
+++ b/kernel/time.c
@@ -496,17 +496,20 @@ EXPORT_SYMBOL(usecs_to_jiffies);
  * that a remainder subtract here would not do the right thing as the
  * resolution values don't fall on second boundries.  I.e. the line:
  * nsec -= nsec % TICK_NSEC; is NOT a correct resolution rounding.
+ * Note that due to the small error in the multiplier here, this
+ * rounding is incorrect for sufficiently large values of tv_nsec, but
+ * well formed timespecs should have tv_nsec < NSEC_PER_SEC, so we're
+ * OK.
  * Rather, we just shift the bits off the right.
  * The >> (NSEC_JIFFIE_SC - SEC_JIFFIE_SC) converts the scaled nsec
  * value to a scaled second value.
-unsigned long
-timespec_to_jiffies(const struct timespec *value)
+static unsigned long
+__timespec_to_jiffies(unsigned long sec, long nsec)
-	unsigned long sec = value->tv_sec;
-	long nsec = value->tv_nsec + TICK_NSEC - 1;
+	nsec = nsec + TICK_NSEC - 1;

 	if (sec >= MAX_SEC_IN_JIFFIES){
@@ -517,6 +520,13 @@ timespec_to_jiffies(const struct timespec *value)

+unsigned long
+timespec_to_jiffies(const struct timespec *value)
+	return __timespec_to_jiffies(value->tv_sec, value->tv_nsec);

@@ -533,31 +543,27 @@ jiffies_to_timespec(const unsigned long jiffies, struct timespec *value)

-/* Same for "timeval"
+ * We could use a similar algorithm to timespec_to_jiffies (with a
+ * different multiplier for usec instead of nsec). But this has a
+ * problem with rounding: we can't exactly add TICK_NSEC - 1 to the
+ * usec value, since it's not necessarily integral.
- * Well, almost.  The problem here is that the real system resolution is
- * in nanoseconds and the value being converted is in micro seconds.
- * Also for some machines (those that use HZ = 1024, in-particular),
- * there is a LARGE error in the tick size in microseconds.
- * The solution we use is to do the rounding AFTER we convert the
- * microsecond part.  Thus the USEC_ROUND, the bits to be shifted off.
- * Instruction wise, this should cost only an additional add with carry
- * instruction above the way it was done above.
+ * We could instead round in the intermediate scaled representation
+ * (i.e. in units of 1/2^(large scale) jiffies) but that's also
+ * perilous: the scaling introduces a small positive error, which
+ * combined with a division-rounding-upward (i.e. adding 2^(scale) - 1
+ * units to the intermediate before shifting) leads to accidental
+ * overflow and overestimates.
+ *
+ * At the cost of one additional multiplication by a constant, just
+ * use the timespec implementation.
 unsigned long
 timeval_to_jiffies(const struct timeval *value)
-	unsigned long sec = value->tv_sec;
-	long usec = value->tv_usec;
-	if (sec >= MAX_SEC_IN_JIFFIES){
-		usec = 0;
-	}
-	return (((u64)sec * SEC_CONVERSION) +
-		(((u64)usec * USEC_CONVERSION + USEC_ROUND) >>
+	return __timespec_to_jiffies(value->tv_sec,
+				     value->tv_usec * NSEC_PER_USEC);


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