Re: [PATCH 1/4] mm: Provide kernel parameter to allow disabling page init poisoning

From: Alexander Duyck
Date: Wed Sep 12 2018 - 10:49:22 EST

On Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 7:10 AM Michal Hocko <mhocko@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Mon 10-09-18 16:43:41, Alexander Duyck wrote:
> > From: Alexander Duyck <alexander.h.duyck@xxxxxxxxx>
> >
> > On systems with a large amount of memory it can take a significant amount
> > of time to initialize all of the page structs with the PAGE_POISON_PATTERN
> > value. I have seen it take over 2 minutes to initialize a system with
> > over 12GB of RAM.
> >
> > In order to work around the issue I had to disable CONFIG_DEBUG_VM and then
> > the boot time returned to something much more reasonable as the
> > arch_add_memory call completed in milliseconds versus seconds. However in
> > doing that I had to disable all of the other VM debugging on the system.
> >
> > In order to work around a kernel that might have CONFIG_DEBUG_VM enabled on
> > a system that has a large amount of memory I have added a new kernel
> > parameter named "page_init_poison" that can be set to "off" in order to
> > disable it.
> I am still not convinced that this all is worth the additional code. It
> is much better than a new config option for sure. If we really want this
> though then I suggest that the parameter handler should note the
> disabled state (when CONFIG_DEBUG_VM is on) to the kernel log. I would
> also make it explicit who might want to do that in the parameter
> description.

Anything specific in terms of the kernel log message we are looking
for? I'll probably just go with "Page struct poisoning disabled by
kernel command line option 'page_init_poison'" or something along
those lines.

> > + page_init_poison= [KNL] Boot-time parameter changing the
> > + state of poisoning of page structures during early
> > + boot. Used to verify page metadata is not accessed
> > + prior to initialization. Available with
> > + off: turn off poisoning
> > + on: turn on poisoning (default)
> > +
> what about the following wording or something along those lines
> Boot-time parameter to control struct page poisoning which is a
> debugging feature to catch unitialized struct page access. This option
> is available only for CONFIG_DEBUG_VM=y and it affects boot time
> (especially on large systems). If there are no poisoning bugs reported
> on the particular system and workload it should be safe to disable it to
> speed up the boot time.

That works for me. I will update it for the next release.


- Alex