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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/4] gcov: add gcov profiling infrastructure
Andrew Morton wrote:
> On Fri, 05 Jun 2009 11:23:04 +0200 Peter Oberparleiter <> wrote:
>> Amerigo Wang wrote:
>>> On Wed, Jun 03, 2009 at 05:26:22PM +0200, Peter Oberparleiter wrote:
>>>> Peter Oberparleiter wrote:
>>>>> Andrew Morton wrote:
>>>>>> On Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:44:02 +0200
>>>>>> Peter Oberparleiter <> wrote:
>>>>>>> + /* Duplicate gcov_info. */
>>>>>>> + active = num_counter_active(info);
>>>>>>> + dup = kzalloc(sizeof(struct gcov_info) +
>>>>>>> + sizeof(struct gcov_ctr_info) * active, GFP_KERNEL);
>>>>>> How large can this allocation be?
>>>>> Hm, good question. Having a look at my test system, I see coverage data
>>>>> files of up to 60kb size. With counters making up the largest part of
>>>>> those, I'd guess the allocation size can be around ~55kb. I assume that
>>>>> makes it a candidate for vmalloc?
>>>> A further run with debug output showed that the maximum size is
>>>> actually around 4k, so in my opinion, there is no need to switch
>>>> to vmalloc.
>>> Unless you want virtually continious memory, you don't need to
>>> bother vmalloc().
>>> kmalloc() and get_free_pages() are all fine for this.
>> kmalloc() requires contiguous pages to serve an allocation request
>> larger than a single page. The longer a kernel runs, the more fragmented
>> the pool of free pages gets and the probability to find enough
>> contiguous free pages is significantly reduced.
>> In this case (having had a 3rd look), I found allocations of up to
>> ~50kb, so to be sure, I'll switch that particular allocation to vmalloc().
> Well, vmalloc() isn't magic. It can suffer internal fragmentation of
> the fixed-sized virtual address arena.
> Is it possible to redo the data structures so that the large array
> isn't needed? Use a list, or move the data elsewhere or such?

Unfortunately not - the format of the data is dictated by gcc. Any
attempt to break it down into page-sized chunks would only imitate what
vmalloc() already does.

Note though that this function is not called very often - it's only used
to preserve coverage data for modules which are unloaded. And I only saw
the 50kb counter data size for one file: kernel/sched.c (using a
debugging patch).

So hm, I'm not sure about this anymore. I can also leave it at kmalloc()
- chances are slim that anyone will actually experience a problem and if
they do, they get an "order-n allocation failed" message so theres a
hint at the cause for the problem.

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