Re: [LSF/MM TOPIC] Non standard size THP

From: Kirill A. Shutemov
Date: Tue Feb 12 2019 - 03:33:39 EST

On Fri, Feb 08, 2019 at 07:43:57AM +0530, Anshuman Khandual wrote:
> Hello,
> THP is currently supported for
> - PMD level pages (anon and file)
> - PUD level pages (file - DAX file system)
> THP is a single entry mapping at standard page table levels (either PMD or PUD)
> But architectures like ARM64 supports non-standard page table level huge pages
> with contiguous bits.
> - These are created as multiple entries at either PTE or PMD level
> - These multiple entries carry pages which are physically contiguous
> - A special PTE bit (PTE_CONT) is set indicating single entry to be contiguous
> These multiple contiguous entries create a huge page size which is different
> than standard PMD/PUD level but they provide benefits of huge memory like
> less number of faults, bigger TLB coverage, less TLB miss etc.
> Currently they are used as HugeTLB pages because
> - HugeTLB page sizes is carried in the VMA
> - Page table walker can operate on multiple PTE or PMD entries given its size in VMA
> - Irrespective of HugeTLB page size its operated with set_huge_pte_at() at any level
> - set_huge_pte_at() is arch specific which knows how to encode multiple consecutive entries
> But not as THP huge pages because
> - THP size is not encoded any where like VMA
> - Page table walker expects it to be either at PUD (HPAGE_PUD_SIZE) or at PMD (HPAGE_PMD_SIZE)
> - Page table operates directly with set_pmd_at() or set_pud_at()
> - Direct faulted or promoted huge pages is verified with [pmd|pud]_trans_huge()
> How non-standard huge pages can be supported for THP
> - THP starts recognizing non standard huge page (exported by arch) like HPAGE_CONT_(PMD|PTE)_SIZE
> - THP starts operating for either on HPAGE_PMD_SIZE or HPAGE_CONT_PMD_SIZE or HPAGE_CONT_PTE_SIZE
> - set_pmd_at() only recognizes HPAGE_PMD_SIZE hence replace set_pmd_at() with set_huge_pmd_at()
> - set_huge_pmd_at() could differentiate between HPAGE_PMD_SIZE or HPAGE_CONT_PMD_SIZE
> - In case for HPAGE_CONT_PTE_SIZE extend page table walker till PTE level
> - Use set_huge_pte_at() which can operate on multiple contiguous PTE bits

You only listed trivial things. All tricky stuff is what make THP

To consider it seriously we need to understand what it means for
split_huge_p?d()/split_huge_page()? How khugepaged will deal with this?

In particular, I'm worry to expose (to user or CPU) page table state in
the middle of conversion (huge->small or small->huge). Handling this on
page table level provides a level atomicity that you will not have.

Honestly, I'm very skeptical about the idea. It took a lot of time to
stabilize THP for singe page size, equal to PMD page table, but this looks
like a new can of worms. :P

It *might* be possible to support it for DAX, but beyond that...

Kirill A. Shutemov