Re: [RFC PATCH] mm: introduce kv[mz]alloc helpers

From: Al Viro
Date: Thu Dec 08 2016 - 21:00:30 EST

On Fri, Dec 09, 2016 at 12:44:17PM +1100, Dave Chinner wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 08, 2016 at 11:33:00AM +0100, Michal Hocko wrote:
> > From: Michal Hocko <mhocko@xxxxxxxx>
> >
> > Using kmalloc with the vmalloc fallback for larger allocations is a
> > common pattern in the kernel code. Yet we do not have any common helper
> > for that and so users have invented their own helpers. Some of them are
> > really creative when doing so. Let's just add kv[mz]alloc and make sure
> > it is implemented properly. This implementation makes sure to not make
> > a large memory pressure for > PAGE_SZE requests (__GFP_NORETRY) and also
> > to not warn about allocation failures. This also rules out the OOM
> > killer as the vmalloc is a more approapriate fallback than a disruptive
> > user visible action.
> >
> > This patch also changes some existing users and removes helpers which
> > are specific for them. In some cases this is not possible (e.g.
> > ext4_kvmalloc, libcfs_kvzalloc, __aa_kvmalloc) because those seems to be
> > broken and require GFP_NO{FS,IO} context which is not vmalloc compatible
> > in general (note that the page table allocation is GFP_KERNEL). Those
> > need to be fixed separately.
> See fs/xfs/kmem.c::kmem_zalloc_large(), which is XFS's version of
> kvmalloc() that is GFP_NOFS/GFP_NOIO safe. Any generic API for this
> functionality will have to play these memalloc_noio_save/
> memalloc_noio_restore games to ensure they are GFP_NOFS safe....

Easier to handle those in vmalloc() itself. The problem I have with these
helpers is that different places have different cutoff thresholds for
switch from kmalloc to vmalloc; has anyone done an analysis of those?