you mention only the positive things, and never the fact that's the most
hurting piece of kernel code in terms of performance and smp scalability
until you actually have to swapout or pageout.
> Non-Linear Populating of Virtual Areas
> In 2.4, a VMA backed by a file would be populated in a linear fashion.
> This can be optionally changed in 2.6 with the introduction of the
> MAP_POPULATE flag to mmap() and the new system call remap_file_pages().
> This system call allows arbitrary pages in an existing VMA to be remapped
> to an arbitrary location on the backing file. This is mainly of interest
> to database servers which previously simulated this behavior by the
> creation of many VMAs.
> On page-out, the non-linear address for the file is encoded within the PTE
> so that it can be installed again correctly on page fault. How it is
> encoded is architecture specific so two macros are defined called
> pgoff_to_pte() and pte_to_pgoff() for the task.
and it was used to break truncate, furthmore the API doesn't look good
to me, the vma should have a special VM_NONLINEAR created with a
MAP_NONLINEAR so the vm will skip it enterely and it should be possible
to put multiple files in the same vma IMHO. If these areas are
vmtruncated the VM_NONLINEAR will keep vmtruncate out of them and the
pages will become anonymous, which is perfectly fine since they're
created with a special MAP_NONLINEAR that can have different semantics.
Also this feature is mainly useful only in kernels with rmap while using
the VLM, to workaround the otherwise overkill cpu and memory overhead
generated by rmap. It is discouraged to use it as a default API unless
you fall into those special corner cases. the object of this API is to
bypass the VM so you would lose security and the VM advantages. if you
want the same features you have w/o nonlinaer w/ nonlinear, then you
invalidate the whole point of nonlinear.
The other very corner cases are emulators, they also could benefit from
a VM bypass like remap_file_pags provides.
Pinning ram from multiple files plus a sysctl or a sudo wrapper would be
an optimal API and it would avoid the VM to even look at the pagetables
of those areas.
Last but not the least, remap_file_pages is nearly useless (again modulo
emulators) w/o bigpages support backing it (not yet the case in 2.5 as
far as I can see so it's unusable compared to 2.4-aa [but 2.5 -
remap_file_pages is even less usable than 2.5 + remap_file_pages due
rmap that wouldn't only run slow but it wouldn't run at all]). objrmap
fixes that despites it introduces some complex algorithm.
the only significant cost is the tlb flushing and pagetable walking at
32G of working set in cache with a 30-31bit window on the cache.
> the flags are implemented in many different parts of the kernel.
> NOFAIL flag requires teh VM to constantly retry an allocation until it
described this way it sounds like NOFAIL imply a deadlock condition. We
already have very longstanding design deadlock since the first linux
I've seen in the callers, moving it down to the VM doesn't sound any
good as if something it would encourage this deadlock prone usages.
The idea of an allocation non failing is broken in the first place and
it should not get propagated, every allocation visible to the VM users
must be allowed to fail. If you can't avoid writing buggy code, then
loop in the caller not in the VM.
> Delayed Coalescing
> 2.6 extends the buddy algorithm to resemble a lazy buddy algorithm [BL89]
> which delays the splitting and coalescing of buddies until it is
> necessary. The delay is implemented only for 0 order allocations with the
desribed this way it sounds like it's not O(1) anymore for order > 0
allocations. Though it would be a nice feature for all the common cases.
And of course it's still O(1) if one assumes the number of orders
limited (and it's fixed at compile time).
as for the per-zone lists, sure they increase scalability, but it loses
aging information, the worst case will be reproducible on a 1.6G box,
some day even 2.3 had per-zone lists, I backed it out to avoid losing
information which is an order of magnitude more interesting than
the pure smp scalability for normal users (i.e. 2-way systems with 1-2G
of ram, of course the scalability numbers that people cares about on the
8-way with 32G of ram will be much better with the per-zone lru).
Just trying not to forget the other side too ;) Not every improvement on
one side cames for free on all other sides.
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