Re: [PATCH v17 1/7] mm: support madvise(MADV_FREE)
From: Minchan Kim
Date: Fri Dec 05 2014 - 02:07:47 EST
On Wed, Dec 03, 2014 at 11:13:29AM +0100, Michal Hocko wrote:
> On Wed 03-12-14 09:00:26, Minchan Kim wrote:
> > On Tue, Dec 02, 2014 at 11:01:25AM +0100, Michal Hocko wrote:
> > > On Mon 01-12-14 08:56:52, Minchan Kim wrote:
> > > [...]
> > > > From 2edd6890f92fa4943ce3c452194479458582d88c Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
> > > > From: Minchan Kim <minchan@xxxxxxxxxx>
> > > > Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 08:53:55 +0900
> > > > Subject: [PATCH] madvise.2: Document MADV_FREE
> > > >
> > > > Signed-off-by: Minchan Kim <minchan@xxxxxxxxxx>
> > > > ---
> > > > man2/madvise.2 | 13 +++++++++++++
> > > > 1 file changed, 13 insertions(+)
> > > >
> > > > diff --git a/man2/madvise.2 b/man2/madvise.2
> > > > index 032ead7..33aa936 100644
> > > > --- a/man2/madvise.2
> > > > +++ b/man2/madvise.2
> > > > @@ -265,6 +265,19 @@ file (see
> > > > .BR MADV_DODUMP " (since Linux 3.4)"
> > > > Undo the effect of an earlier
> > > > .BR MADV_DONTDUMP .
> > > > +.TP
> > > > +.BR MADV_FREE " (since Linux 3.19)"
> > > > +Gives the VM system the freedom to free pages, and tells the system that
> > > > +information in the specified page range is no longer important.
> > > > +This is an efficient way of allowing
> > > > +.BR malloc (3)
> > >
> > > This might be rather misleading. Only some malloc implementations are
> > > using this feature (jemalloc, right?). So either be specific about which
> > > implementation or do not add it at all.
> > Make sense. I don't think it's a good idea to say specific example
> > in man page, which is rather arguable and limit the idea.
> > >
> > > > +to free pages anywhere in the address space, while keeping the address space
> > > > +valid. The next time that the page is referenced, the page might be demand
> > > > +zeroed, or might contain the data that was there before the MADV_FREE call.
> > > > +References made to that address space range will not make the VM system page the
> > > > +information back in from backing store until the page is modified again.
> > >
> > > I am not sure I understand the last sentence. So say I did MADV_FREE and
> > > the reclaim has dropped that page. I know that the file backed mappings
> > > are not supported yet but assume they were for a second... Now, I do
> > > read from that location again what is the result?
> > Zero page.
> OK, it felt strange at first but now that I am thinking about it some
> more it starts making sense. So the semantic is: Either zero page
> (disconnected from the backing store) or the original content after
> madvise(MADV_FREE). The page gets connected to the backing store after
> it gets modified again. If this is the case then the sentence in the man
> page makes perfect sense.
> What made me confused was that I expected file backed pages would get a
> fresh page from the origin but this would be awkward I guess.
> > > If we consider anon mappings then the backing store is misleading as
> > > well because memory was dropped and so always newly allocated.
> > When I read the sentence at first, I thought backing store means swap
> > so I don't have any trouble to understand it. But I agree your opinion.
> > Target for man page is not a kernel developer but application developer.
> > > I would rather drop the whole sentence and rather see an explanation
> > > what is the difference between to MADV_DONT_NEED.
> > > "
> > > Unlike MADV_DONT_NEED the memory is freed lazily e.g. when the VM system
> > > is under memory pressure.
> > > "
> > It's a good idea but I don't think it's enough. At least we should explan
> > cancel of delay free logic(ie, write). So, How about this?
> > MADV_FREE " (since Linux 3.19)"
> > Gives the VM system the freedom to free pages, and tells the system that
> > it's okay to free pages if the VM system has reasons(e.g., memory pressure).
> > So, it looks like delayed MADV_DONTNEED.
> > The next time that the page is referenced, the page might be demand
> > zeroed if the VM system freed the page. Otherwise, it might contain the data
> > that was there before the MADV_FREE call if the VM system didn't free the page.
> > New write in the page after the MADV_FREE call makes the VM system not free
> > the page any more.
> Dunno, I guess the original content was slightly better. Or the
> following wording from UNIX man pages is even more descriptive
> Tell the kernel that contents in the specified address range are no
> longer important and the range will be overwritten. When there is
> demand for memory, the system will free pages associated with the
> specified address range. In this instance, the next time a page in the
> address range is referenced, it will contain all zeroes. Otherwise,
> it will con- tain the data that was there prior to the MADV_FREE
> call. References made to the address range will not make the system read
> from backing store (swap space) until the page is modified again.
> This value cannot be used on mappings that have underlying file objects.
For me, it would be better.
Thanks for the heads up.
> I would just clarify the last sentence with addition
> (MAP_PRIVATE|MAP_ANONYMOUS mappings in this implementation). The
I want to be consistent with KSM/THP which used "private anonymous pages".
So, I guess man page maintainer already acked the term so I want to use it,
> difference to MADV_DONTNEED is more complicated now so I wouldn't make
> the text even more confusing.
> Anyway the confusion started on my end so feel free to stick with the
> BSD wording (modulo malloc note which is really confusing as the default
> glibc allocator doesn't do that AFAIK).