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SubjectRe: [Bug #11342] Linux 2.6.27-rc3: kernel BUG at mm/vmalloc.c - bisected

* David Miller <davem@davemloft.net> wrote:

> From: Ingo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu>
> Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 09:22:20 +0200
>
> > And i guess the next generation of 4K CPUs support should just get away
> > from cpumask_t-on-kernel-stack model altogether, as the current model is
> > not maintainable. We tried the on-kernel-stack variant, and it really
> > does not work reliably. We can fix this in v2.6.28.
>
> I recenetly did some work on sparc64 to use cpumask pointers as much
> as possible.
>
> The only case that didn't work was due to a limitation in arch
> interfaces for the new generic smp_call_function() code. It passes a
> cpumask_t instead of a pointer to one via
> arch_send_call_function_ipi().
>
> But other than that, the whole sparc64 SMP stuff uses cpumask_t
> pointers only.

nice!

> What it comes down to is that you have to do the "self cpu" and other
> tests in the cross-call dispatch routines themselves, instead of at
> the top-level working on cpumask_t objects.
>
> Otherwise you have to modify cpumask_t objects and thus pluck them
> onto the stack where they take up silly amounts of space.

What we did was this: we added MAXSMP which just revs up all the SMP
tunables to the maximum, so that we can see any problems early in
testing.

And we triggered problems, and we fixed a couple of regressions all
around stack footprint. But we didnt catch all of them - some were gcc
version dependent and configuration dependent. So i think it's safe to
say that the whole concept of allowing such a large cpumask_t to be on
the stack is fragile.

Hence, i think the best way forward is to change the whole cpumask_t
concept and disallow explicit masks altogether. It's so easy to smack a
cpumask_t variable on the stack and nothing really warns about it, and
any function can become part of a nested call sequence.

So i think the dynamics of it has to be changed: we need a get/put API
and we need to make on-stack cpumask illegal on the build level (in
generic code at least). This has been Rusty's main argument early on i
think, and i now concur.

Ingo


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