Re: [PATCH 0/4] RFC - ksm api change into madvise
From: Hugh Dickins
Date: Mon Jun 08 2009 - 12:30:07 EST
On Thu, 14 May 2009, Izik Eidus wrote:
> This is comment request for ksm api changes.
> The following patchs move the api to use madvise instead of ioctls.
Thanks a lot for doing this.
I'm afraid more than three weeks have gone past, and the 2.6.31
merge window is almost upon us, and you haven't even got a comment
out of me: I apologize for that.
Although my (lack of) response is indistinguishable from a conspiracy
to keep KSM out of the kernel, I beg to assure you that's not the case.
I do want KSM to go in - though I never shared Andrew's optimism that it
is 2.6.31 material: I've too long a list of notes/doubts on the existing
implementation, which I've not had time to expand upon to you; but I
don't think there are any killer issues, we should be able to work
things out as 2.6.31 goes through its -rcs, and aim for 2.6.32.
But let's get this change of interface sorted out first.
I remain convinced that it's right to go the madvise() route,
though I don't necessarily like the details in your patches.
And I've come to the conclusion that the only way I can force
myself to contribute constructively, is to start from these
patches, and shift things around until it's as I think it
should be, then see what you think of the result.
I notice that you chose to integrate fully (though not fully enough)
with vmas, adding a VM_MERGEABLE flag. Fine, that's probably going
to be safest in the end, and I'll follow you; but it is further than
I was necessarily asking you to go - it might have been okay to use
the madvise() interface, but just to declare areas of address space
(not necessarily backed by mappings) to ksm.c, as you did via /dev/ksm.
But it's fairly likely that if you had stayed with that, it would have
proved problematic later, so let's go forward with the full integration
> Before i will describe the patchs, i want to note that i rewrote this
> patch seires alot of times, all the other methods that i have tried had some
> fandumatel issues with them.
> The current implemantion does have some issues with it, but i belive they are
> all solveable and better than the other ways to do it.
> If you feel you have better way how to do it, please tell me :).
> Ok when we changed ksm to use madvise instead of ioctls we wanted to keep
> the following rules:
> Not to increase the host memory usage if ksm is not being used (even when it
> is compiled), this mean not to add fields into mm_struct / vm_area_struct...
> Not to effect the system performence with notifiers that will have to block
> while ksm code is running under some lock - ksm is helper, it should do it
> work quitely, - this why i dropped patch that i did that add mmu notifiers
> support inside ksm.c and recived notifications from the MM (for example
> when vma is destroyed (invalidate_range...)
> Not to change the MM logic.
> Trying to touch as less code as we can outisde ksm.c
These are well-intentioned goals, and thank you for making the effort
to follow them; but I'm probably going to depart from them. I'd
rather we put in what's necessary and appropriate, and then cut
that down if necessary.
> Taking into account all this rules, the end result that we have came with is:
> mmlist is now not used only by swapoff, but by ksm as well, this mean that
> each time you call to madvise for to set vma as MERGEABLE, madvise will check
> if the mm_struct is inside the mmlist and will insert it in case it isnt.
> It is belived that it is better to hurt little bit the performence of swapoff
> than adding another list into the mm_struct.
That was a perfectly sensible thing for you to do, given your rules
above; but I don't really like the result, and think it'll be clearer
to have your own list. Whether by mm or by vma, I've not yet decided:
by mm won't add enough #idef CONFIG_KSM bloat to worry about; by vma,
we might be able to reuse some prio_tree fields, I've not checked yet.
> One issue that should be note is: after mm_struct is going into the mmlist, it
> wont be kicked from it until the procsses is die (even if there are no more
> VM_MERGEABLE vmas), this doesnt mean memory is wasted, but it does mean ksm
> will spend little more time in doing cur = cur->next if(...).
> Another issue is: when procsess is die, ksm will have to find (when scanning)
> that its mm_users == 1 and then do mmput(), this mean that there might be dealy
> from the time that someone do kill until the mm is really free -
> i am open for suggestions on how to improve this...
You've resisted putting in the callbacks you need. I think they were
always (i.e. even when using /dev/ksm) necessary, but should become
more obvious now we have this tighter integration with mm's vmas.
You seem to have no callback in fork: doesn't that mean that KSM
pages get into mms of which mm/ksm.c has no knowledge? You had
no callback in mremap move: doesn't that mean that KSM pages could
be moved into areas which mm/ksm.c never tracked? Though that's
probably no issue now we move over to vmas: they should now travel
with their VM flag. You have no callback in unmap: doesn't that
mean that KSM never knows when its pages have gone away?
(Closing the /dev/ksm fd used to clean up some of this, in the
end; but the lifetime of the fd can be so different from that of
the mapped area, I've felt very unsafe with that technique - a good
technique when you're trying to sneak in special handling for your
special driver, but not a good technique once you go to mainline.)
I haven't worked out the full consequences of these lost pages:
perhaps it's no worse than that you could never properly enforce
your ksm_thread_max_kernel_pages quota.
> (when someone do echo 0 > /sys/kernel/mm/ksm/run ksm will throw away all the
> memory, so condtion when the memory wont ever be free wont happen)
> Another important thing is: this is request for comment, i still not sure few
> things that we have made here are totaly safe:
> (the mmlist sync with drain_mmlist, and the handle_vmas() function in madvise,
> the logic inside ksm for searching the next virtual address on the vmas,
> and so on...)
> The main purpuse of this is to ask if the new interface is what you guys
> want..., and if you like the impelmantion desgin.
It's in the right direction. But it would be silly for me to start
criticizing your details now: I need to try doing the same, that will
force me to think deeply enough about it, and I may then be led to
the same decisions as you made.
> (I have added option to scan closed support applications as well)
That's a nice detail that I'll find very useful for testing,
but we might want to hold it back longer than the rest. I just get
naturally more cautious when we consider interfaces for doing things
to other processes, and want to spend even longer over it.
> Izik Eidus (4):
> madvice: add MADV_SHAREABLE and MADV_UNSHAREABLE calls.
I didn't understand why you went over to VM_MERGEABLE but stuck
with MADV_SHAREABLE: there's a confusing mix of shareables and
mergeables, I'll head for mergeables throughout, though keep to "KSM".
> mmlist: share mmlist with ksm.
> ksm: change ksm api to use madvise instead of ioctls.
> ksm: add support for scanning procsses that were not modifided to use
While I'm being communicative, let me mention two things,
not related to this RFC patchset, but to what's currently in mmotm.
I've a bugfix patch to scan_get_next_index(), I'll send that to you
in a few moments.
And a question on your page_wrprotect() addition to mm/rmap.c: though
it may contain some important checks (I'm thinking of the get_user_pages
protection), isn't it essentially redundant, and should be removed from
the patchset? If we have a private page which is mapped into more than
the one address space by which we arrive at it, then, quite independent
of KSM, it needs to be write-protected already to prevent mods in one
address space leaking into another - doesn't it? So I see no need for
the rmap'ped write-protection there, just make the checks and write
protect the pte you have in ksm.c. Or am I missing something?
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