Re: [PATCH 0/3] Allow user to request memory to be locked on page fault

From: Andrew Morton
Date: Mon May 11 2015 - 15:12:08 EST

On Mon, 11 May 2015 10:36:18 -0400 Eric B Munson <emunson@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On Fri, 08 May 2015, Andrew Morton wrote:
> ...
> >
> > Why can't the application mmap only those parts of the file which it
> > wants and mlock those?
> There are a number of problems with this approach. The first is it
> presumes the program will know what portions are needed a head of time.
> In many cases this is simply not true. The second problem is the number
> of syscalls required. With my patches, a single mmap() or mlockall()
> call is needed to setup the required locking. Without it, a separate
> mmap call must be made for each piece of data that is needed. This also
> opens up problems for data that is arranged assuming it is contiguous in
> memory. With the single mmap call, the user gets a contiguous VMA
> without having to know about it. mmap() with MAP_FIXED could address
> the problem, but this introduces a new failure mode of your map
> colliding with another that was placed by the kernel.
> Another use case for the LOCKONFAULT flag is the security use of
> mlock(). If an application will be using data that cannot be written
> to swap, but the exact size is unknown until run time (all we have a
> build time is the maximum size the buffer can be). The LOCKONFAULT flag
> allows the developer to create the buffer and guarantee that the
> contents are never written to swap without ever consuming more memory
> than is actually needed.

What application(s) or class of applications are we talking about here?

IOW, how generally applicable is this? It sounds rather specialized.

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