Re: [GIT PULL v2] Early SLAB fixes for 2.6.31

From: Benjamin Herrenschmidt
Date: Tue Jun 16 2009 - 01:30:07 EST

On Tue, 2009-06-16 at 06:57 +0200, Nick Piggin wrote:
> Yes but that's heavily qualified. As I said, we already require
> a lot of knowledge of context passed in to it. I have no interest
> in adding code to make *early boot* code not have to care about
> that, especially because everybody else certainly has to know
> whether they are calling the allocator with interrupts disabled
> or a lock held etc.

You seem to totally ignore the argument I made to answer this specific
point in one of my previous emails. Right, they are to some extent
subjective, but I believe they have some standing. The main one is
probably that it's a lot less obvious to a lot of code where in the boot
process it's going to be called, or even if it's going to be called at
boot, later, both. This is especially true nowadays with all the talks
about shuffling more of the boot process around.

> To be clear about this: the allocator is fully servicable and
> no different to normal system running at this point. The
> difference for example is that code runs with interrupts off
> but incorrectly uses GFP_KERNEL for allocations. This is a
> blatent bug in any other kernel code, I don't know why boot
> code is OK to be horrible and wrong and work around it with
> the equally horrible system_state (and this gfp mask which is
> just system_state under another name).

Because it would be extremely impractical to have to explicitely pass
the gfp_flags around for anything that can be called at boot time. This
is as simple as that. A -lot- more impractical than requiring atomic
call sites to know what they are doing.

> I just don't want to use this slab fix in question to be a
> license to throw away and forget all about any context information
> in the early boot code because someone asserts "it will make the
> code better". I'm fine with the slab change for now, but let's
> try to retain context information as well.

But in many case it's meaningless. Again, what do you define as "boot"
is a very obscure thing here.

> If somebody comes up with a patch to remove thousands of lines
> of boot code by ignoring context, then I might concede the
> point and we could remove the context annotations.

No, we don't want to -add- thousands of lines of code :-) And we can
indeed remove a bunch of the old slab_is_available() tests too indeed.
And no, they should not -all- be converted to NOWAIT. See vmalloc() as a
good example, I have a few more like that.


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at