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SubjectRe: [RFC Patch] fs: implement per-file drop caches
(5/31/12 8:11 AM), Cong Wang wrote:
> On Thu, 2012-05-31 at 02:30 -0400, KOSAKI Motohiro wrote:
>> (5/31/12 2:20 AM), Cong Wang wrote:
>>> On Wed, 2012-05-30 at 16:14 +0100, Pádraig Brady wrote:
>>>> On 05/30/2012 02:38 PM, Cong Wang wrote:
>>>>> This is a draft patch of implementing per-file drop caches.
>>>>> It introduces a new fcntl command F_DROP_CACHES to drop
>>>>> file caches of a specific file. The reason is that currently
>>>>> we only have a system-wide drop caches interface, it could
>>>>> cause system-wide performance down if we drop all page caches
>>>>> when we actually want to drop the caches of some huge file.
>>>> This is useful functionality.
>>>> Though isn't it already provided with POSIX_FADV_DONTNEED?
>>> Thanks for teaching this!
>>> However, from the source code of madvise_dontneed() it looks like it is
>>> using a totally different way to drop page caches, that is to invalidate
>>> the page mapping, and trigger a re-mapping of the file pages after a
>>> page fault. So, yeah, this could probably drop the page caches too (I am
>>> not so sure, haven't checked the code in details), but with my patch, it
>>> flushes the page caches directly, what's more, it can also prune
>>> dcache/icache of the file.
>> madvise should work. I don't think we need duplicate interface. Moreomover
>> madvise(2) is cleaner than fcntl(2).
> I think madvise(DONTNEED) attacks the problem in a different approach,
> it munmaps the file mapping and by the way drops the page caches, my
> approach is to drop the page caches directly similar to what sysctl
> drop_caches.
> What about private file mapping? Could madvise(DONTNEED) drop the page
> caches too even when the other process is doing the same private file
> mapping? At least my patch could do this.

Right. But a process can makes another mappings if a process have enough
permission. and if it doesn't, a process shouldn't be able to drop a shared

> I am not sure if fcntl() is a good interface either, this is why the
> patch is marked as RFC. :-D

But, if you can find certain usecase, I'm not against anymore.

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