Re: [PATCH v2 0/4] hugetlbfs fallocate hole punch race with page faults

From: Mike Kravetz
Date: Wed Oct 28 2015 - 17:14:03 EST

On 10/28/2015 02:00 PM, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> On Wed, 28 Oct 2015, Mike Kravetz wrote:
>> On 10/27/2015 08:34 PM, Hugh Dickins wrote:
>> Thanks for the detailed response Hugh. I will try to address your questions
>> and provide more reasoning behind the use case and need for this code.
> And thank you for your detailed response, Mike: that helped a lot.
>> Ok, here is a bit more explanation of the proposed use case. It all
>> revolves around a DB's use of hugetlbfs and the desire for more control
>> over the underlying memory. This additional control is achieved by
>> adding existing fallocate and userfaultfd semantics to hugetlbfs.
>> In this use case there is a single process that manages hugetlbfs files
>> and the underlying memory resources. It pre-allocates/initializes these
>> files.
>> In addition, there are many other processes which access (rw mode) these
>> files. They will simply mmap the files. It is expected that they will
>> not fault in any new pages. Rather, all pages would have been pre-allocated
>> by the management process.
>> At some time, the management process determines that specific ranges of
>> pages within the hugetlbfs files are no longer needed. It will then punch
>> holes in the files. These 'free' pages within the holes may then be used
>> for other purposes. For applications like this (sophisticated DBs), huge
>> pages are reserved at system init time and closely managed by the
>> application.
>> Hence, the desire for this additional control.
>> So, when a hole containing N huge pages is punched, the management process
>> wants to know that it really has N huge pages for other purposes. Ideally,
>> none of the other processes mapping this file/area would access the hole.
>> This is an application error, and it can be 'caught' with userfaultfd.
>> Since these other (non-management) processes will never fault in pages,
>> they would simply set up userfaultfd to catch any page faults immediately
>> after mmaping the hugetlbfs file.
>>> But it sounds to me more as if the holes you want punched are not
>>> quite like on other filesystems, and you want to be able to police
>>> them afterwards with userfaultfd, to prevent them from being refilled.
>> I am not sure if they are any different.
>> One could argue that a hole punch operation must always result in all
>> pages within the hole being deallocated. As you point out, this could
>> race with a fault. Previously, there would be no way to determine if
>> all pages had been deallocated because user space could not detect this
>> race. Now, userfaultfd allows user space to catch page faults. So,
>> it is now possible to catch/depend on hole punch deallocating all pages
>> within the hole.
>>> Can't userfaultfd be used just slightly earlier, to prevent them from
>>> being filled while doing the holepunch? Then no need for this patchset?
>> I do not think so, at least with current userfaultfd semantics. The hole
>> needs to be punched before being caught with UFFDIO_REGISTER_MODE_MISSING.
> Great, that makes sense.
> I was worried that you needed some kind of atomic treatment of the whole
> extent punched, but all you need is to close the hole/fault race one
> hugepage at a time.
> Throw away all of 1/4, 2/4, 3/4: I think all you need is your 4/4
> (plus i_mmap_lock_write around the hugetlb_vmdelete_list of course).
> There you already do the single hugepage hugetlb_vmdelete_list()
> under mutex_lock(&hugetlb_fault_mutex_table[hash]).
> And it should come as no surprise that hugetlb_fault() does most
> of its work under that same mutex.
> So once remove_inode_hugepages() unlocks the mutex, that page is gone
> from the file, and userfaultfd UFFDIO_REGISTER_MODE_MISSING will do
> what you want, won't it?
> I don't think "my" code buys you anything at all: you're not in danger of
> shmem's starvation livelock issue, partly because remove_inode_hugepages()
> uses the simple loop from start to end, and partly because hugetlb_fault()
> already takes the serializing mutex (no equivalent in shmem_fault()).
> Or am I dreaming?

I don't think you are dreaming.

I should have stepped back and thought about this more before before pulling
in the shmem code. It really is only a 'page at a time' operation, and we
can use the fault mutex table for that.

I'll code it up with just the changes needed for 4/4 and put it through some
stress testing.

Mike Kravetz

> Hugh
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