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dev/debug/LockSmith.lha

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Short:debugging: detect semaphore conflicts
Author:thorfdbg at alumni.tu-berlin.de (Thomas Richter)
Uploader:thorfdbg alumni tu-berlin de (Thomas Richter)
Type:dev/debug
Version:1.0
Architecture:m68k-amigaos >= 2.0.4
Date:2018-05-30
Download:http://aminet.net/dev/debug/LockSmith.lha - View contents
Readme:http://aminet.net/dev/debug/LockSmith.readme
Downloads:336
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

This tool help to hunt down semaphore conflicts, or short
"deadlocks". It is primarily targeted at developers.

What is a semaphore?

A semahore (actually, these structures are called "monitors" outside
AmigaOs) is a data structure that grants exclusive access to a
resource, such that only a single task can operate on a data structure
at a time. Semaphores are a service provided by the exec.library. If a
task obtains a semaphore, it locks the corresponding resource for
exclusive access by this task. Any other task also attempting to
obtain the same semaphore at this time will either block (through
ObtainSemaphore()) or access will fail (AttemptObtainSemaphore()).
Any task waiting on a blocked semaphore will be granted access as soon
as the first task releases the semaphore (ReleaseSemaphore()).

What is a semaphore conflict?

If, in a complex system, at least two semaphores are locked by two
tasks, though the order in which they are obtained is not defined, a
situation may appear where the tasks lock out themselves such that the
program state cannot progress anymore. This is called a
"deadlock". Depending on the tasks involved in such a deadlock, the
mouse pointer may freeze, or the disk may freeze, or a program may
freeze, or a window may freeze...

How do such semaphore conflicts arise?

It takes at least two semaphores (A and B) and two tasks (1 and
2). Consider that task 1 first obtains semaphore A, then a task switch
gives task 2 the CPU. Task 2 obtains semaphore B. While holding
semaphore B, task 2 tries to obtain semaphore A, but is blocked out
because task 1 holds it already. Hence, the exec scheduler gives task
1 the CPU again. If task 1 now tries to obtain semaphore B, none of
the tasks can progress anymore. Task 1 holds semaphore A, and task 2
holds semaphore B, but none can progress as each requires the
semaphore of the other task.

How can LockSmith help?

LockSmith will, upon pressing a "magic key", report which semaphores
are held by which tasks. If you see there a circular dependency as the
above, something is wrong with your program logic. It is necessary to
define a strict order in which semaphores are locked. Unfortunately,
many Os calls, in particular around intuition and layers, obtain locks
implicitly, and hence require careful consideration of the semaphore
dependencies.

Locksmith is best combined with SegTracker, such that it can report in
which hunk and offset of which program the deadlock was triggered.

If the "magic key" is pressed, LockSmith will print for every semaphore:

1) The name of the task that is currently waiting on the semaphore,
along with its address,

2) The name of the task that created the semaphore, if this
information is available,

3) The name of the task that is currently holding the semaphore, along
with its address,

4) A stack dump of the task that is currently blocked at obtaining the
semaphore. If addresses in the stack dump point to known segments
tracked by SegTracker, it also prints the hunk number and offset of
the program within which the address on the stack belongs.

The output of LockSmith reads very much like the output of MuForce,
see below for an example.


Can LockSmith "unlock" the semaphores and let the Amiga continue to
operate?

No. This would also be dangerous as it is unclear which task is
allowed to receive which semaphore. LockSmith is a debugging tool
helping to detect semaphore conflicts in programs, and then resolving
them by fixing dependency problems of semaphores. It is not a program
that magically unlocks semaphore locks (despite its name). That is up
to you to fix the software. It pinpoints at the problem, but it
doesn't resolve it.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Usage:

LockSmith should be run early in the startup-sequence, but after
SegTracker.  Whether you place LockSmith before or after
MuForce/MuGuardianAngel does not matter.

In particular, ensure that *no patches* are installed into the
semaphore calls of exec as otherwise LockSmith cannot operate
correctly. Such patches can be identified by running "SaferPatches"
(by the same author) early in the startup-sequence as well, and then
run "ShowPatches" from the workbench to list the installed
patches. The only permissible patch into the "Semaphore" calls of exec
are those coming from LockSmith itself.

LockSmith dumps its output over the serial console, at 9600 baud, 8
bits, no parity, similar to MuForce and MuGuardianAngle. While it is
in principle possible to capture the output of the serial port with
Sashimi or similar tools, it is - in particular for LockSmith - not
generally advisable. The reason is that the Sashimi output goes
through the console, and printing through the console requires locking
some resources by semaphores. Though this is what is to be debugged in
first place, and obtaining a semaphore in a critical situation may do
more harm than good.

Hence, it is generally a better idea to connect the Amiga to a serial
terminal, e.g. a PC running MiniCom, or a second Amiga, by a
null-modem cable.


The following excerpt from the startup-sequence would work:

SetPatch >NIL:
SegTracker 
run LockSmith <>NIL:

You can abort LockSmith any time by sending it a Control-C with the
BREAK command.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Synopsis:

LockSmith KEYCODE/N,STACKLINES/N

KEYCODE is the keyboard code (NOT an ASCII code) in decimal of the
"magic key" upon which LockSmith analyzes semaphores. It defaults to
69 (hex 0x45), which is the key code of the ESC key on the top left of
the keyboard.

STACKLINES is the number of stack lines LockSmith is supposed to dump,
along with checking them through SegTracker. By default, 16 lines are
analyzed. Each line covers 16 bytes (4 long words to 4 bytes each).

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How to test LockSmith?

This archive contains a small test-case that provokes a deadlock
situation through a simple program "LockOut". Simply run(!) it
*twice*(!) from the shell:

run Lockout
run Lockout

Then press the "magic key", i.e. ESC by default. The result is a
LockSmith dump similar to the following:

Task lockout at 08678428 locked on semaphore <lockout> at 085F5A04
created by lockout, currently owned by lockout at 08676390
Stck: 0824A936 0824AE3E 085F5A18 085F5A14 08678428 085F5A04 085FEE88 085F5A04
----> 0867A48C - "lockout" Hunk 00000001 Offset 00000050
----> 0867A490 - "lockout" Hunk 00000001 Offset 0000004C
----> 0867A498 - "lockout" Hunk 00000001 Offset 0000003C
----> 0867A49C - "lockout" Hunk 00000001 Offset 00000000
----> 0867A4A0 - "lockout" Hunk 00000001 Offset 0000003C
Stck: 085FEE88 085FEC8C 0867A4B8 00F9FE9E 00FA06D6 00001000 086793B8 0AB64000
----> 0867A4A4 - "lockout" Hunk 00000001 Offset 00000000
----> 0867A4A8 - "lockout" Hunk 00000000 Offset 00000044
----> 0867A4B0 - "ROM - dos 40.3 (1.4.93)" Hunk 00000000 Offset 000002F6
----> 0867A4B4 - "ROM - dos 40.3 (1.4.93)" Hunk 00000000 Offset 00000B2E
Stck: 02469B40 003C0014 000442AB 001242AB 000E42AB 0016276F 0014000A 4A866F0E
Stck: 202C0014 6704220B 6604720E 600E2006 204B226C 00146100 2DEA7200 2E016708
Stck: 91C82948 00146004 DDAC0014 20074CDF 38C0DEFC 00244E75 9EFC0024 48E7033C
Stck: 2E007024 2A4841EF 00186100 25F82879 0868F198 60000150 202D0004 670C7200
Stck: 322C0014 B0816600 013A266C 00082F53 002C2F0D 93C941EF 001C700E 6100FB60
Stck: 584F2C00 6C067037 60000124 42AF002C 4AAD0014 670000F4 246D0018 200A6700
Stck: 00EA356C 0014000C 7000302C 001A2540 000841EC 001C43EA 000E7044 6100F2E8
Stck: 256F0018 00044A86 6F0E202D 00146704 220A6604 720E600E 2006204A 226D0014
Stck: 61002D20 72004A81 6700009C 20016000 00BE4A87 670E2053 70001028 0001BE80
Stck: 66000088 2F530030 2F6B0008 0024700C 2F6B0004 00382F0D 93C941EF 001C6100
Stck: FABE584F 2C006C06 70376000 00824AAD 00146756 226D0018 2009674E 33730162
Stck: 000C0014 000C7000 302B0018 23400008 236B001C 000E236F 00180004 4A866F0E
Stck: 202D0014 67042209 6604720E 60102006 206D0018 226D0014 61002C88 72004A81
Stck: 67042001 6028DDAD 0014266B 0010200B 6600FF60 91C82F48 00382F48 00242F48

This indicates the following: The invocation of the lockout program
with the task structure at 08678428 is currently blocked at the
semaphore 085F5A04 whose name is also <lockout>. This is the test semaphore.

The semaphore was created by the program lockout (too, but its first
invocation), and it is owned (blocked) by the first invocation of
lockout, whose task structure is located at 08676390. Note that this
is a different task address than the first, so we are dealing with two
programs with the same name.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         The THOR-Software Licence (v2, 24th June 1998)


This License applies to the computer programs known as the "LockSmith" 
and "LockOut". The "Program", below, refers to such program. The
"Archive" refers to the package of distribution, as prepared by the author
of the Program, Thomas Richter. Each licensee is addressed as "you".



The Program and the data in the archive are freely distributable
under the restrictions stated below, but are also Copyright (c)
Thomas Richter.

Distribution of the Program, the Archive and the data in the Archive by a
commercial organization without written permission from the author to any
third party is prohibited if any payment is made in connection with such
distribution, whether directly (as in payment for a copy of the Program) or
indirectly (as in payment for some service related to the Program, or
payment for some product or service that includes a copy of the Program
"without charge"; these are only examples, and not an exhaustive enumeration
of prohibited activities).


However, the following methods of distribution
involving payment shall not in and of themselves be a violation of this
restriction:


(i) Posting the Program on a public access information storage and
retrieval service for which a fee is received for retrieving information
(such as an on-line service), provided that the fee is not
content-dependent (i.e., the fee would be the same for retrieving the same
volume of information consisting of random data).


(ii) Distributing the Program on a CD-ROM, provided that

a) the Archive is reproduced entirely and verbatim on such CD-ROM, including
especially this licence agreement;

b) the CD-ROM is made available to the public for a nominal fee only,

c) a copy of the CD is made available to the author for free except for
shipment costs, and

d) provided further that all information on such CD-ROM is redistributable
for non-commercial purposes without charge.


Redistribution of a modified version of the Archive, the Program or the
contents of the Archive is prohibited in any way, by any organization,
regardless whether commercial or non-commercial. Everything must be kept
together, in original and unmodified form.




Limitations.


THE PROGRAM IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY. THERE IS NO
WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT
LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS. THE ENTIRE
RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH YOU. SHOULD
THE PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY
SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION.


IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THIS LICENCE, YOU MUST DELETE THE PROGRAM, THE ARCHIVE
AND ALL DATA OF THIS ARCHIVE FROM YOUR STORAGE SYSTEM. YOU ACCEPT THIS
LICENCE BY USING OR REDISTRIBUTING THE PROGRAM.


                                                        Thomas Richter

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

So long,
	Thomas			(May 2018)


Contents of dev/debug/LockSmith.lha
PERMISSION  UID  GID    PACKED    SIZE  RATIO METHOD CRC     STAMP     NAME
---------- ----------- ------- ------- ------ ---------- ------------ ----------
[unknown]                  144     228  63.2% -lh5- b00e May 30 18:02 LockSmith/LockOut
[unknown]                 1623    2248  72.2% -lh5- 05b4 May 30 18:01 LockSmith/LockSmith
[unknown]                 5050   12159  41.5% -lh5- 2ec4 May 30 18:02 LockSmith/LockSmith.readme
---------- ----------- ------- ------- ------ ---------- ------------ ----------
 Total         3 files    6817   14635  46.6%            May 30 21:55

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