[PATCH] mm: Improve documentation of page_order v2
From: Mel Gorman
Date: Tue Jan 21 2014 - 06:05:27 EST
Developers occasionally try and optimise PFN scanners by using page_order
but miss that in general it requires zone->lock. This has happened twice for
compaction.c and rejected both times. This patch clarifies the documentation
of page_order and adds a note to compaction.c why page_order is not used.
[lauraa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx: Corrected a page_zone(page)->lock reference]
Signed-off-by: Mel Gorman <mgorman@xxxxxxx>
Acked-by: Rafael Aquini <aquini@xxxxxxxxxx>
Acked-by: Minchan Kim <minchan@xxxxxxxxxx>
mm/compaction.c | 5 ++++-
mm/internal.h | 8 +++++---
2 files changed, 9 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)
diff --git a/mm/compaction.c b/mm/compaction.c
index f58bcd0..f91d26b 100644
@@ -522,7 +522,10 @@ isolate_migratepages_range(struct zone *zone, struct compact_control *cc,
if (!isolation_suitable(cc, page))
- /* Skip if free */
+ * Skip if free. page_order cannot be used without zone->lock
+ * as nothing prevents parallel allocations or buddy merging.
diff --git a/mm/internal.h b/mm/internal.h
index 684f7aa..09cd8be 100644
@@ -144,9 +144,11 @@ isolate_migratepages_range(struct zone *zone, struct compact_control *cc,
- * function for dealing with page's order in buddy system.
- * zone->lock is already acquired when we use these.
- * So, we don't need atomic page->flags operations here.
+ * This functions returns the order of a free page in the buddy system. In
+ * general, page_zone(page)->lock must be held by the caller to prevent the
+ * page being allocated in parallel and returning garbage as the order. If the
+ * caller does not hold page_zone(page)->lock, they must guarantee that the
+ * page cannot be allocated or merged in parallel.
static inline unsigned long page_order(struct page *page)
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