Re: [PATCH v9 0/8] stg mail -e --version=v9 \

From: Michal Hocko
Date: Tue Sep 10 2019 - 10:47:20 EST

On Tue 10-09-19 07:42:43, Alexander Duyck wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 5:42 AM Michal Hocko <mhocko@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > I wanted to review "mm: Introduce Reported pages" just realize that I
> > have no clue on what is going on so returned to the cover and it didn't
> > really help much. I am completely unfamiliar with virtio so please bear
> > with me.
> >
> > On Sat 07-09-19 10:25:03, Alexander Duyck wrote:
> > [...]
> > > This series provides an asynchronous means of reporting to a hypervisor
> > > that a guest page is no longer in use and can have the data associated
> > > with it dropped. To do this I have implemented functionality that allows
> > > for what I am referring to as unused page reporting
> > >
> > > The functionality for this is fairly simple. When enabled it will allocate
> > > statistics to track the number of reported pages in a given free area.
> > > When the number of free pages exceeds this value plus a high water value,
> > > currently 32, it will begin performing page reporting which consists of
> > > pulling pages off of free list and placing them into a scatter list. The
> > > scatterlist is then given to the page reporting device and it will perform
> > > the required action to make the pages "reported", in the case of
> > > virtio-balloon this results in the pages being madvised as MADV_DONTNEED
> > > and as such they are forced out of the guest. After this they are placed
> > > back on the free list,
> >
> > And here I am reallly lost because "forced out of the guest" makes me
> > feel that those pages are no longer usable by the guest. So how come you
> > can add them back to the free list. I suspect understanding this part
> > will allow me to understand why we have to mark those pages and prevent
> > merging.
> Basically as the paragraph above mentions "forced out of the guest"
> really is just the hypervisor calling MADV_DONTNEED on the page in
> question. So the behavior is the same as any userspace application
> that calls MADV_DONTNEED where the contents are no longer accessible
> from userspace and attempting to access them will result in a fault
> and the page being populated with a zero fill on-demand page, or a
> copy of the file contents if the memory is file backed.

As I've said I have no idea about virt so this doesn't really tell me
much. Does that mean that if somebody allocates such a page and tries to
access it then virt will handle a fault and bring it back?

Michal Hocko