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SubjectRe: Need to take mmap_sem lock in move_pages.
On Wed, 4 Feb 2009 01:02:35 -0800
"Swamy Gowda" <> wrote:

> Hi,
> I believe that migrate_pages related race conditions were fixed as part
> of rcu_read_lock in unmap_and_move. But it seems we are still taking the
> mmap_sem lock in do_move_pages function, is this really required? If it
> is so why it is not needed in hot remove path?

Hmm , CC: to Christoph and Brice.

My understanding is following.

1. do_move_page_to_node_array() at el. needs mmap_sem (read-side) because it
scans page table and vma. While we have to scan vmas to find pages for
migration, it needs mmap_sem.

So, this part,
== do_move_page_to_node_array()
903 err = 0;
904 if (!list_empty(&pagelist))
905 err = migrate_pages(&pagelist, new_page_node,
906 (unsigned long)pm);
908 up_read(&mm->mmap_sem);
can be
903 err = 0;
904 up_read(&mm->mmap_sem);
905 if (!list_empty(&pagelist))
906 err = migrate_pages(&pagelist, new_page_node,
907 (unsigned long)pm);

But, by above move of semaphore, reliability of sys_migrate_page() goes down.
Assume 2 threads. Thread1 calls sys_move_pages(), thread2 does page fault,
touches pte under migraton.
Thread 1 Thread2

page fault => map new page.
end of migration.

What a user expects is move all pages within [start, end) moves to nodes specified.
And, if the page doesn't exist, "err = -ENOENT" is set to status buffer.

But, in above case, the page exists but not in place the user expected.
So, there are trade offs.

up_read(&mmap_sem) before migration will reduce period of lock.
sys_migrate_pages() at el. are not atomic anymore and return code is not

2. memory hotplug's migrate_page() finds the page by physical memory's memmap.
NO scans to any mm_struct or vmas. So, not necessary to take mmap_sem.
(The logic is same as to vmscan.c's logic)
It also moves pages which is not mapped.


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