all right, so it seems like a good idea to map out the ideas and targets I've got in my head, for several reasons. Here's what I've determined I should be doing.

1) Fork/exit callbacks need to go. It's this functionality that cgroups has offered since (presumably) it first hit mainline in which a subsystem can set itself up to get a function called whenever a task forks or exits. Apparently, no subsystem has ever used it, and the presence of it here is going to interact funnily with module-loadable subsystems, so - at the suggestion and approval of Paul - I'm going to strip all callback code out of cgroups. This will be done as a pre-patch to the main patch series I plan on generating.

2) Changing how subsys[] is used.
a) At the bottom of the array will be the entries for builtin subsystems, which will be there at link-time, up until CGROUP_BUILTIN_SUBSYS_COUNT. CGROUP_SUBSYS_COUNT, which used to be that, is now defined as the size of the subsys_bits field in cgroupfs_root (i.e., 32 or 64), and is still the max size of the array. At link time, all entries between the builtin count and the total count will be NULL, and that's where module subsystems will put themselves. (This is done.) Also, the array will need to be surrounded in a rwlock, since when a subsystem registers itself it will need to take a subsys_id. (This is not done.)
b) All code throughout cgroups needs to be able to handle when a subsystem is gone. Each loop that iterates down the array will need to have a check for null pointers (this is done) and take the read-lock (this is not done). There may also be other things that certain loops need to do, situationally - this is as yet unclear.

3) cgroup_init_subsys() needs to be revised to be suitable as a module initcall. It needs to be able to handle failures correctly (the current version will kpanic on initialization fail, since it's assumed to call at boot time only). Of course, because some subsystems will be left as builtins, we'll still need a version suitable for calling at boottime - probably just a wrapper around the adapted module initcall. Also, we'll need to be concurrency-safe now - obviously around the subsys array, and possibly in the other various things that the function does. Among other things, when the module is loaded OR when the module is mounted on a cgroup hierarchy (see note at end of post) we'll need to pin it with try_module_get() to make sure it doesn't go away.

Once we hit this point, it can be said that cgroups has support for modular subsystems. Next, we do the whole "confirming" thing:

4) adapt one or more subsystems to become modules, or perhaps write a new skeleton one for testing, or both. in order to be a module (suppose your module is "foo" as CONFIG_FOO), you need to do the following things:
a) instead of having code interspersed in other code with stuff like #ifdef CONFIG_FOO, it has to be all in the same file (since each .o file is either going to be a builtin or a module). in the kconfig, you need to specify that it's buildable as a module, and in the makefile, you need to make sure that the config file corresponds to the right source file.
b) you need to register a bunch of stuff with the module_suchandsuch() macros - like name, version, author, and most importantly module_init() and module_exit(), which define what functions are called at module load and unload time. (the infrastructure behind this and these macros is a lot of hax.)

I am uncertain whether I'll end up supporting module unloading for cgroups - it seems like it would be useful, given that we have a limit on the number of subsystems loaded at a time. I think this would involve making sure that subsystems can't be unloaded while attached to any mounted hierarchy, but can when not. This likely will necessitate use of cgroup_lock. If we do this, we'll end up pinning the module when we mount a hierarchy - there will be a race here if somebody's trying to unload the module at the same time, so when mounting, pinning all subsystems will have to be done before committing to the mount.

The alternative approach - and the one that I'll go with to begin with, for sure - is to just say nope, never unload, and the module is pinned forever as soon as it's loaded.

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