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SubjectRe: [Revert] Re: [PATCH] mm: sync vmalloc address space page tables in alloc_vm_area()
On 01/09/11 22:17, Andrew Morton wrote:
> On Thu, 01 Sep 2011 13:37:46 -0700
> Jeremy Fitzhardinge <> wrote:
>> On 09/01/2011 09:11 AM, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk wrote:
>>> On Thu, Sep 01, 2011 at 12:51:03PM +0100, David Vrabel wrote:
>>>> From: David Vrabel <>
>>> Andrew,
>>> I was wondering if you would be Ok with this patch for 3.1.
>>> It is a revert (I can prepare a proper revert if you would like
>>> that instead of this patch).
> David's patch looks better than a straight reversion.
> Problem is, I can't find David's original email anywhere. Someone's
> been playing games with To: headers?

Sorry, I should have Cc'd linux-kernel and others on the original patch.

From 6844ca07140e08f29454ca7b3fa459571c7ba428 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: David Vrabel <>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2011 11:42:50 +0100
Subject: [PATCH] mm: sync vmalloc address space page tables in

Xen backend drivers (e.g., blkback and netback) would sometimes fail
to map grant pages into the vmalloc address space allocated with
alloc_vm_area(). The GNTTABOP_map_grant_ref would fail because Xen
could not find the page (in the L2 table) containing the PTEs it
needed to update.

(XEN) mm.c:3846:d0 Could not find L1 PTE for address fbb42000

netback and blkback were making the hypercall from a kernel thread
where task->active_mm != &init_mm and alloc_vm_area() was only
updating the page tables for init_mm. The usual method of deferring
the update to the page tables of other processes (i.e., after taking a
fault) doesn't work as a fault cannot occur during the hypercall.

This would work on some systems depending on what else was using

Fix this by reverting ef691947d8a3d479e67652312783aedcf629320a
(vmalloc: remove vmalloc_sync_all() from alloc_vm_area()) and add a
comment to explain why it's needed.

Signed-off-by: David Vrabel <>
Cc: Jeremy Fitzhardinge <>
mm/vmalloc.c | 8 ++++++++
1 files changed, 8 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

diff --git a/mm/vmalloc.c b/mm/vmalloc.c
index 7ef0903..5016f19 100644
--- a/mm/vmalloc.c
+++ b/mm/vmalloc.c
@@ -2140,6 +2140,14 @@ struct vm_struct *alloc_vm_area(size_t size)
return NULL;

+ /*
+ * If the allocated address space is passed to a hypercall
+ * before being used then we cannot rely on a page fault to
+ * trigger an update of the page tables. So sync all the page
+ * tables here.
+ */
+ vmalloc_sync_all();
return area;

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