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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2.6.20-rc1 00/10] Kernel memory leak detector 0.13
On 18/12/06, Ingo Molnar <> wrote:
> * Catalin Marinas <> wrote:
> > >> [...] It could be so simple that it would never need to free any
> > >> pages, just grow the size as required and reuse the freed memleak
> > >> objects from a list.
> > >
> > >sounds good to me. Please make it a per-CPU pool.
> >
> > Isn't there a risk for the pools to become imbalanced? A lot of
> > allocations would initially happen on the first CPU.
> hm, what's the problem with imbalance? These are trees and imbalance
> isnt a big issue.

It could just be more available (freed) memleak_objects on one CPU
than on the others and use more memory. Not a big problem though.

> > > We'll have to fix the locking too, to be per-CPU - memleak_lock is
> > > quite a scalability problem right now.
> >
> > The memleak_lock is indeed too coarse (but it was easier to track the
> > locking dependencies). With a new allocator, however, I could do a
> > finer grain locking. It probably still needs a (rw)lock for the hash
> > table. Having per-CPU hash tables is inefficient as we would have to
> > look up all the tables at every freeing or scanning for the
> > corresponding memleak_object.
> at freeing we only have to look up the tree belonging to object->cpu.

At freeing, kmemleak only gets a pointer value which has to be looked
up in the hash table for the corresponding memleak_object. Only after
that, we can know memleak_object->cpu. That's why I think we only need
to have a global hash table. The hash table look-up can be RCU.

It would work with per-CPU hash tables but we still need to look-up
the other hash tables in case the freeing happened on a different CPU
(i.e. look-up the current hash table and, if it fails, look-up the
other per-CPU hashes). Freeing would need to remove the entry from the
hash table and acquire a lock but this would be per-CPU. I'm not sure
how often you get this scenario (allocation and freeing on different
CPUs) but it might introduce an overhead to the memory freeing.

Do you have a better solution here?

> > There is a global object_list as well covered by memleak_lock (only
> > for insertions/deletions as traversing is RCU). [...]
> yeah, that would have to become per-CPU too.

That's not that difficult but, as above, we need the hash table
look-up before we find which list it is on.

> > [...] List insertion/deletion is very small compared to the hash-table
> > look-up and it wouldn't introduce a scalability problem.
> it's a common misconception to think that 'small' critical sections are
> fine. That's not the issue. The pure fact of having globally modified
> resource is the problem, the lock cacheline would ping-pong, etc.

You are right but I didn't mean that small critical sections are
better, just that in case we need a critical section for the global
hash table look-up, extending this critical region with list
addition/deletion wouldn't make things any worse (than they are,
regarding scalability).

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