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SubjectRe: [PATCH] virtio-balloon spec: provide a version of the "silent deflate" feature that works
On Fri, Sep 07, 2012 at 04:04:13PM +0200, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
> Il 07/09/2012 14:44, Michael S. Tsirkin ha scritto:
> >> Well, according to your reading of the spec.
> >>
> >> In the spec I'm reading "Host must be told before pages from the balloon
> >> are used". Doesn't say anything about the guest.
> >
> > No? How is host told then? By divine force?
> For a simple madvise-based implementation such as the one in QEMU, the
> host doesn't need to be told about anything (except periodic updating of
> the "actual" field, or the statsq).
> The guest doesn't need at all to use the deflateq in fact.
> >> Now, indeed a very free interpretation is "Guest will tell host before
> >> pages from the balloon are used". It turns out that it's exactly what
> >> guests have been doing, hence that's exactly what I'm proposing now:
> >> rename the feature to VIRTIO_BALLOON_F_WILL_TELL_HOST.
> >
> > Rename is fine.
> Cool.
> >> Yes, that part we agree on I think. We disagree that (after the rename)
> >> QEMU should start always proposing VIRTIO_BALLOON_F_WILL_TELL_HOST.
> >
> > Not always. It must be off if compatibility with old qemu is disabled.
> Yes, of course.
> >> _Plus_ adding the new feature bit, which is needed to actually tell the
> >
> > This part I do not get. What is silent deflate, why is it useful
> > and what it has to do with what we are discussing here?
> Silent deflate is deflating just by using the page, without using the
> deflateq at all. So it can be done even from GFP_ATOMIC context.

BTW I don't see a need to avoid deflateq.
Without MUST_TELL_HOST you can just deflate and then
bounce telling the host out to a thread.

> But knowing that the guest will _not_ deflate silently also benefits the
> host. This is the cause of unpinning ballooned pages and pinning them
> again upon deflation. This allows cooperative memory overcommit even if
> the guests' memory is pinned, similar to what Xen did before it
> supported overcommit. This is the second feature bit.

This is the MUST_TELL_HOST.

> There are three cases:
> * guest will never do silent deflation: current Linux driver. Host may
> do munlock/mlock dance. Negotiates VIRTIO_BALLOON_F_WILL_TELL_HOST
> * guest will always do silent deflation: current Windows driver.

Not exactly. It is not silent. It tells host
just after use.

> Negotiates nothing, or if it cares it can negotiate
> VIRTIO_BALLOON_F_SILENT_DEFLATE. Host mustn't do munlock/mlock dance.
> * guest may do silent deflation if available: combo of Linux driver +
> Frank's driver. Negotiates both features, looks at
> VIRTIO_BALLOON_F_SILENT_DEFLATE host feature to decide how to behave:
> ** If PCI passthrough, the host will not negotiate
> VIRTIO_BALLOON_F_SILENT_DEFLATE. The driver will behave as the
> current Linux driver, the host can do the munlock/mlock dance.

So this case is just existing interface. OK.

> ** If no PCI passthrough, the host will negotiate
> VIRTIO_BALLOON_F_SILENT_DEFLATE, and the driver can balloon more
> aggressively and not use the deflateq.
> Paolo

This last trickery confuses me. It just does not make sense to set both
SILENT and TELL: either you are silent or you tell.

What is the benefit of avoiding host notification?
It seems cleaner for the host to know the state.


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