Re: large page patch (fwd) (fwd)

David Mosberger (
Sat, 3 Aug 2002 14:18:15 -0700

>>>>> On Sat, 3 Aug 2002 12:43:47 -0700 (PDT), Linus Torvalds <> said:

>> You don't need separate system calls for that: with a transparent
>> superpage framework and a privileged & reserved giant-page pool,
>> it's trivial to set up things such that your favorite data base
>> will always be able to get the giant pages (and hence the giant
>> TLB mappings) it wants. The only thing you lose in the
>> transparent case is control over _which_ pages need to use the
>> pinned giant pages. I can certainly imagine cases where this
>> would be an issue, but I kind of doubt it would be an issue for
>> databases.

Linus> That's _probably_ true. There aren't that many allocations
Linus> that ask for megabytes of consecutive memory that wouldn't
Linus> want to do it. However, there might certainly be non-critical
Linus> maintenance programs (with the same privileges as the
Linus> database program proper) that _do_ do large allocations, and
Linus> that we don't want to give large pages to.

Linus> Guessing is always bad, especially since the application
Linus> certainly does know what it wants.

Yes, but that applies even to a transparent superpage scheme: in those
instances where an application knows what page size is optimal, it's
better if the application can express that (saves time
promoting/demoting pages needlessly). It's not unlike madvise() or
the readahead() syscall: use reasonable policies for the ordinary
apps, and provide the means to let the smart apps tell the kernel
exactly what they need.

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