Re: [PATCH] mm: thp: Acquire the anon_vma rwsem for lock during split

From: Mel Gorman
Date: Mon Jan 07 2013 - 09:36:34 EST

On Fri, Jan 04, 2013 at 01:28:09PM -0800, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> I've added Alexander, Hillf and Alex to the Cc.
> On Fri, 4 Jan 2013, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > Zhouping, please test this patch.
> >
> > Andrea and Hugh, any comments on whether this could be improved?
> Your patch itself looks just right to me, no improvement required;
> and it's easy to understand how the bug crept in, from a blanket
> rwsem replacement of anon_vma mutex meeting the harmless-looking
> anon_vma_interval_tree_foreach in __split_huge_page, which looked
> as if it needed only the readlock provided by the usual method.

Indeed. Thanks Hugh for taking a look over it.

> But I'd fight shy myself of trying to describe all the THP locking
> conventions in the commit message: I haven't really tried to work
> out just how right you've got all those details.

I thought it was risky myself but it was the best way of getting Andrea
to object if I missed some subtlety! If I had infinite time I would
follow up with a patch to Documentation/vm/transhuge.txt explaining how
the anon_vma lock is used by THP.

> The actual race in question here was just two processes (one or both
> forked) doing split_huge_page() on the same THPage at the same time,
> wasn't it? (Though of course we only see the backtrace from one of
> them.) Which would be very confusing, and no surprise that the
> pmd_trans_splitting test ends up skipping pmds already updated by
> the racing process, so the mapcount doesn't match what's expected.
> Of course we need exclusive lock against that, which you give it.

Ok, thanks. Will resend to Andrew with some changelog edits.

Mel Gorman
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at