kmod: throttle kmod thread limit

If we reach the limit of modprobe_limit threads running the next
request_module() call will fail.  The original reason for adding a kill
was to do away with possible issues with in old circumstances which would
create a recursive series of request_module() calls.

We can do better than just be super aggressive and reject calls once we've
reached the limit by simply making pending callers wait until the
threshold has been reduced, and then throttling them in, one by one.

This throttling enables requests over the kmod concurrent limit to be
processed once a pending request completes.  Only the first item queued up
to wait is woken up.  The assumption here is once a task is woken it will
have no other option to also kick the queue to check if there are more
pending tasks -- regardless of whether or not it was successful.

By throttling and processing only max kmod concurrent tasks we ensure we
avoid unexpected fatal request_module() calls, and we keep memory
consumption on module loading to a minimum.

With x86_64 qemu, with 4 cores, 4 GiB of RAM it takes the following run
time to run both tests:

time ./ -t 0008
real    0m16.366s
user    0m0.883s
sys     0m8.916s

time ./ -t 0009
real    0m50.803s
user    0m0.791s
sys     0m9.852s

Signed-off-by: Luis R. Rodriguez <>
Reviewed-by: Petr Mladek <>
Cc: Jessica Yu <>
Cc: Shuah Khan <>
Cc: Rusty Russell <>
Cc: Michal Marek <>
Cc: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <>
2 files changed