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    SubjectRe: [kvm-devel] [patch 2/6] mmu_notifier: Callbacks to invalidate address ranges
    On Wed, Jan 30, 2008 at 05:46:21PM -0800, Christoph Lameter wrote:
    > Well the GRU uses follow_page() instead of get_user_pages. Performance is
    > a major issue for the GRU.

    GRU is a external TLB, we have to allocate RAM instead but we do it
    through the regular userland paging mechanism. Performance is a major
    issue for kvm too, but the result of get_user_pages is used to fill a
    spte, so then the cpu will use the spte in hardware to fill its
    tlb, we won't have to keep calling follow_page in software to fill the
    tlb like GRU has to do, so you can imagine the difference in cpu
    utilization spent in those paths (plus our requirement to allocate

    > Hmmmm.. Could we go to a scheme where we do not have to increase the page
    > count? Modifications of the page struct require dirtying a cache line and

    I doubt the atomic_inc is measurable given the rest of overhead like
    building the rmap for each new spte.

    There's no technical reason for not wanting proper reference counting
    other than microoptimization. What will work for GRU will work for KVM
    too regardless of whatever reference counting. Each mmu-notifier user
    should be free to do what it think it's better/safer or more
    convenient (and for anybody calling get_user_pages having the
    refcounting on external references is natural and zero additional

    > it seems that we do not need an increased page count if we have an
    > invalidate_range_start() that clears all the external references
    > and stops the establishment of new ones and invalidate_range_end() that
    > reenables new external references?
    > Then we do not need the frequent invalidate_page() calls.

    The increased page count is _mandatory_ to safely use range_start/end
    called outside the locks with _end called after releasing the old
    page. sptes will build themself the whole time until the pte_clear is
    called on the main linux pte. We don't want to clutter the VM fast
    paths with additional locks to stop the kvm pagefault while the VM is
    in the _range_start/end critical section like xpmem has to do be
    safe. So you're contradicting yourself by suggesting not to use
    invalidate_page and not to use a increased page count at the same
    time. And I need invalidate_page anyway for rmap.c which can't be
    provided as an invalidate_range and it can't sleep either.

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