Re: RFC: named anonymous vmas

From: Colin Cross
Date: Sat Jun 22 2013 - 01:20:41 EST

On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Kyungmin Park <kmpark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Colin Cross <ccross@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> One of the features of ashmem (drivers/staging/android/ashmem.c) that
>> hasn't gotten much discussion about moving out of staging is named
>> anonymous memory.
>> In Android, ashmem is used for three different features, and most
>> users of it only care about one feature at a time. One is volatile
>> ranges, which John Stultz has been implementing. The second is
>> anonymous shareable memory without having a world-writable tmpfs that
>> untrusted apps could fill with files. The third and most heavily used
>> feature within the Android codebase is named anonymous memory, where a
>> region of anonymous memory can have a name associated with it that
>> will show up in /proc/pid/maps. The Dalvik VM likes to use this
> Good to know it. I didn't know ashmem provides these features.
> we are also discussing these requirement internally. and study how to
> show who request these anon memory and which callback is used for it.
>> feature extensively, even for memory that will never be shared and
>> could easily be allocated using an anonymous mmap, and even malloc has
>> used it in the past. It provides an easy way to collate memory used
>> for different purposes across multiple processes, which Android uses
>> for its "dumpsys meminfo" and "librank" tools to determine how much
>> memory is used for java heaps, JIT caches, native mallocs, etc.
> Same requirement for app developers. they want to know what's the
> meaning these anon memory is allocated and how to find out these anon
> memory is allocated at their codes.
>> I'd like to add this feature for anonymous mmap memory. I propose
>> adding an madvise2(unsigned long start, size_t len_in, int behavior,
>> void *ptr, size_t size) syscall and a new MADV_NAME behavior, which
>> treats ptr as a string of length size. The string would be copied
>> somewhere reusable in the kernel, or reused if it already exists, and
>> the kernel address of the string would get stashed in a new field in
>> struct vm_area_struct. Adjacent vmas would only get merged if the
>> name pointer matched, and naming part of a mapping would split the
>> mapping. show_map_vma would print the name only if none of the other
>> existing names rules match.
> Do you want to create new syscall? can it use current madvise and only
> allow this feature at linux only?
> As you know it's just hint and it doesn't break existing memory behaviors.

The existing madvise syscall only takes a single int to modify the
vma, which is not enough to pass a pointer to a string.
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