Re: RFC: pageable kernel-segments
H. Peter Anvin (email@example.com)
17 Apr 2001 12:21:17 -0700
Followup to: <27525795B28BD311B28D00500481B7601F11D9@ftrs1.intranet.ftr.nl>
By author: "Heusden, Folkert van" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In newsgroup: linux.dev.kernel
> Would anyone be intrested (besides me) in a kernel which can page
> out certain parts of itself? The kernel should be in some kind of
> vmlinux-ish (as in: uncompressed) format on disk for on-demand
> re-loading of pages which are discarded.
> Certain parts of drivers could get the __pageable prefix or so
> (like the __init parts of drivers which get removed) for letting
> the paging-code know that it can be discared if memory-pressure
> demands it.
> __pageable -code would then be things like (e.g.!) the code which
> handles the open()/close() of a device. Most of the time a device
> spends more time doing read/write/ioctl then close/open so. Also;
> hopefully there's no interrupt-sensitive code in these routines.
> I would think is usable (for example) for my 8MB ram laptop.
> Anyone any thoughts on this?
VMS does this. It at least used to have a great tendency to crash
itself, because it swapped out something that was called from a driver
that was called by the swapper -- resulting in deadlock. You need
iron discipline for this to work right in all circumstances.
Second, it makes it quite hard to know what operations can cause a
task to sleep, since any reference to paged-out memory can require a
page-in and the associated schedule. You almost need pointer
annotation in order for this to be safe.
<email@example.com> at work, <firstname.lastname@example.org> in private!
"Unix gives you enough rope to shoot yourself in the foot."
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