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SubjectRe: Maybe a VM bug in 2.4.18-18 from RH 8.0?
On Thu, Dec 05, 2002 at 06:41:40PM -0800, William Lee Irwin III wrote:
>> No idea why there's not more support behind or interest in page
>> clustering. It's an optimization (not required) for 64-bit/saner arches.

On Fri, Dec 06, 2002 at 11:28:52PM +0100, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> softpagesize sounds a good idea to try for archs with a page size < 8k
> indeed, modulo a few places where the 4k pagesize is part of the
> userspace abi, for that reason on x86-64 Andi recently suggested to
> changed the abi to assume a bigger page size and I suggested to assume
> it to be 2M and not a smaller thing as originally suggested, that way we
> waste some more virtual space (not an issue on 64bit) and some cache
> color (not a big deal either, those caches are multiway associative even
> if not fully associative), so eventually in theory we could even switch
> the page size to 2M ;)

The patch I'm talking about introduces a distinction between the size
of an area mapped by a PTE or TLB entry (MMUPAGE_SIZE) and the kernel's
internal allocation unit (PAGE_SIZE), and does (AFAICT) properly
vectored PTE operations in the VM to support the system's native page
size, and does a whole kernel audit of drivers/ and fs/ PAGE_SIZE usage
so that the distinction between PAGE_SIZE and MMUPAGE_SIZE is understood.

On Fri, Dec 06, 2002 at 11:28:52PM +0100, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> however don't mistake softpagesize with the PAGE_CACHE_SIZE (the latter
> I think was completed some time ago by Hugh). I think PAGE_CACHE_SIZE
> is a broken idea (i'm talking about the PAGE_CACHE_SIZE at large, not
> about the implementation that may even be fine with Hugh's patch
> applied).

PAGE_CACHE_SIZE is mostly an fs thing, so there's not much danger of
confusion, at least not in my mind.

On Fri, Dec 06, 2002 at 11:28:52PM +0100, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> PAGE_CACHE_SIZE will never work well due the fragmentation problems it
> introduces. So I definitely vote for dropping PAGE_CACHE_SIZE and to
> experiment with a soft PAGE_SIZE, multiple of the hardware PAGE_SIZE.
> That means the allocator minimal granularity will return 8k. on x86 that
> breaks a bit the ABI. on x86-64 the softpagesize would breaks only the 32bit
> compatibilty mode abi a little so it would be even less severe. And I
> think the softpagesize should be a config option so it can be
> experimented without breaking the default config even on x86.

Hmm, from the appearances of the patch (my ability to test the patch
is severely hampered by its age) it should actually maintain hardware
pagesize mmap() granularity, ABI compatibility, etc.

On Fri, Dec 06, 2002 at 11:28:52PM +0100, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> the soft PAGE_SIZE will also decrease of an order of magnitude the page
> fault rate, the number of pte will be the same but we'll cluster the pte
> refills all served from the same I/O anyways (readhaead usually loads
> the next pages too anyways). So it's a kind of quite obvious design
> optimization to experiment with (maybe for 2.7?).

Sounds like the right timing for me.

A 16KB or 64KB kernel allocation unit would then annihilate
sizeof(mem_map) concerns on 3/1 splits. 720MB -> 180MB or 45MB.
Or on my home machine (768MB PC) 6MB -> 1.5MB or 384KB, which
is a substantial reduction in cache footprint and outright
memory footprint.

I think this is a perfect example of how the increased awareness of
space consumption highmem gives us helps us optimize all boxen.

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