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    SubjectNew lockless pagecache
    There were a number of problems with the old lockless pagecache:

    - page_count of free pages was unstable, which meant an extra atomic
    operation when allocating a new page (had to use get_page instead
    of set_page_count).

    - This meant a new page flag PG_free had to be introduced.

    - Also needed a spin loop and memory barriers added to the page
    allocator to prevent a free page with a speculative reference on
    it from being allocated.

    - This introduced the requirement that interrupts be disabled in
    page_cache_get_speculative to prevent deadlock, which was very

    - Too complex.

    - To cap it off, there was an "unsolvable" race whereby a second
    page_cache_get_speculative would not be able to detect it had
    picked up a free page, and try to free it again.

    The elegant solution was right under my nose the whole time.
    I introduced an atomic_cmpxchg and use that to ensure we don't
    touch ->_count of a free page. This solves all the above problems.

    I think this is getting pretty stable. No guarantees of course,
    but it would be great if anyone gave it a test.

    SUSE Labs, Novell Inc.

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      Last update: 2005-09-02 08:28    [W:0.025 / U:0.584 seconds]
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