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SubjectRe: Active Memory Defragmentation: Our implementation & problems
Hi!

> > If this is an Intel x86 machine, it is impossible
> > > for pages
> > > to get fragmented in the first place. The hardware
> > > allows any
> > > page, from anywhere in memory, to be concatenated
> > > into linear
> > > virtual address space. Even the kernel address space
> > > is virtual.
> > > The only time you need physically-adjacent pages is
> > > if you
> > > are doing DMA that is more than a page-length at a
> > > time. The
> > > kernel keeps a bunch of those pages around for just
> > > that
> > > purpose.
> > >
> > > So, if you are making a "memory defragmenter", it is
> > > a CPU time-sink.
> > > That's all.
> >
> > What if the external fragmentation increases so much
> > that it is not possible to find a large sized block?
> > Then, is it not better to defragment rather than swap
> > or fail?
> >
> > -Alok
>
> All "blocks" are the same size, i.e., PAGE_SIZE. When RAM
> is tight the content of a page is written to the swap-file
> according to a least-recently-used protocol. This frees
> a page. Pages are allocated to a process only one page at
> a time. This prevents some hog from grabbing all the memory
> in the machine. Memory allocation and physical page allocation
> are two different things, I can malloc() a gigabyte of RAM on
> a machine. It only gets allocated when an attempt is made
> to access a page.

Alok is right. kernel needs to do kmalloc(8K) from time to time. And
notice that kernel uses 4M tables.
Pavel
--
When do you have a heart between your knees?
[Johanka's followup: and *two* hearts?]
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