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

From: David Hildenbrand
Date: Wed Sep 11 2019 - 08:42:58 EST

On 11.09.19 14:25, Michal Hocko wrote:
> On Wed 11-09-19 14:19:41, Michal Hocko wrote:
>> On Wed 11-09-19 08:08:38, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
>>> On Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 01:36:19PM +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
>>>> On Tue 10-09-19 14:23:40, Alexander Duyck wrote:
>>>> [...]
>>>>> We don't put any limitations on the allocator other then that it needs to
>>>>> clean up the metadata on allocation, and that it cannot allocate a page
>>>>> that is in the process of being reported since we pulled it from the
>>>>> free_list. If the page is a "Reported" page then it decrements the
>>>>> reported_pages count for the free_area and makes sure the page doesn't
>>>>> exist in the "Boundary" array pointer value, if it does it moves the
>>>>> "Boundary" since it is pulling the page.
>>>> This is still a non-trivial limitation on the page allocation from an
>>>> external code IMHO. I cannot give any explicit reason why an ordering on
>>>> the free list might matter (well except for page shuffling which uses it
>>>> to make physical memory pattern allocation more random) but the
>>>> architecture seems hacky and dubious to be honest. It shoulds like the
>>>> whole interface has been developed around a very particular and single
>>>> purpose optimization.
>>>> I remember that there was an attempt to report free memory that provided
>>>> a callback mechanism [1], which was much less intrusive to the internals
>>>> of the allocator yet it should provide a similar functionality. Did you
>>>> see that approach? How does this compares to it? Or am I completely off
>>>> when comparing them?
>>>> [1] mostly likely not the latest version of the patchset
>>> Linus nacked that one. He thinks invoking callbacks with lots of
>>> internal mm locks is too fragile.
>> I would be really curious how much he would be happy about injecting
>> other restrictions on the allocator like this patch proposes. This is
>> more intrusive as it has a higher maintenance cost longterm IMHO.
> Btw. I do agree that callbacks with internal mm locks are not great
> either. We do have a model for that in mmu_notifiers and it is something
> I do consider PITA, on the other hand it is mostly sleepable part of the
> interface which makes it the real pain. The above callback mechanism was
> explicitly documented with restrictions and that the context is
> essentially atomic with no access to particular struct pages and no
> expensive operations possible. So in the end I've considered it
> acceptably painful. Not that I want to override Linus' nack but if
> virtualization usecases really require some form of reporting and no
> other way to do that push people to invent even more interesting
> approaches then we should simply give them/you something reasonable
> and least intrusive to our internals.

The issue with "[PATCH v14 4/5] mm: support reporting free page blocks"
is that it cannot really handle the use case we have here if I am not
wrong. While a page is getting processed by the hypervisor (e.g.
MADV_DONTNEED), it must not get reused.

"Some page blocks may
leave the free list after zone->lock is released, so it is the caller's
responsibility to either detect or prevent the use of such pages."

If I'm not wrong, this only made sense to speed up migration in the
hypervisor, where you can deal with false positives differently.



David / dhildenb