Re: [PATCH v5 14/32] x86/mm/64: Enable vmapped stacks

From: Ingo Molnar
Date: Thu Jul 14 2016 - 04:35:03 EST

* Andy Lutomirski <luto@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 12:53 AM, Ingo Molnar <mingo@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > * Andy Lutomirski <luto@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> >> This allows x86_64 kernels to enable vmapped stacks. There are a
> >> couple of interesting bits.
> >
> >> --- a/arch/x86/Kconfig
> >> +++ b/arch/x86/Kconfig
> >> @@ -92,6 +92,7 @@ config X86
> >> select HAVE_EBPF_JIT if X86_64
> >> + select HAVE_ARCH_VMAP_STACK if X86_64
> >
> > So what is the performance impact?
> Seems to be a very slight speedup (0.5 µs or so) on my silly benchmark
> (pthread_create, pthread_join in a loop). [...]

Music to my ears - although TBH there's probably two opposing forces: advantages
from the cache versus (possibly very minor, if measurable at all) disadvantages
from the 4K granularity.

> [...] It should be a small slowdown on workloads that create many threads all
> at once, thus defeating the stack cache. It should be a *large* speedup on any
> workload that would trigger compaction on clone() to satisfy the high-order
> allocation.
> >
> > Because I think we should consider enabling this feature by default on x86 - but
> > the way it's selected here it will be default-off.
> >
> > On the plus side: the debuggability and reliability improvements are real and
> > making it harder for exploits to use kernel stack overflows is a nice bonus as
> > well. There's two performance effects:
> Agreed. At the very least, I want to wait until after net-next gets
> pulled to flip the default to y. I'm also a bit concerned about more
> random driver issues that I haven't found yet. I suppose we could
> flip the default to y for a few -rc releases and see what, if
> anything, shakes loose.

So I'd prefer the following approach: to apply it to a v4.8-rc1 base in ~2 weeks
and keep it default-y for much of the next development cycle. If no serious
problems are found in those ~2 months then send it to Linus in that fashion. We
can still turn it off by default (or re-spin the whole approach) if it turns out
to be too risky.

Exposing it as default-n for even a small amount of time will massively reduce the
testing we'll get, as most people will just use the N setting (often without

Plus this also gives net-next and other preparatory patches applied directly to
maintainer trees time to trickle upstream.