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SubjectRe: page fault fastpath patch v2: fix race conditions, stats for 8,32 and 512 cpu SMP
William Lee Irwin III wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 18, 2004 at 06:55:07PM +0100, Hugh Dickins wrote:
>> That's interesting, and disappointing.
>> The main lesson I took from your patch (I think wli was hinting at
>> the same) is that we ought now to question page_table_lock usage,
>> should be possible to cut it a lot.
>> I recall from exchanges with Dave McCracken 18 months ago that the
>> page_table_lock is _almost_ unnecessary in rmap.c, should be possible
>> to get avoid it there and in some other places.
>> We take page_table_lock when making absent present and when making
>> present absent: I like your observation that those are exclusive cases.
>> But you've found that narrowing the width of the page_table_lock
>> in a particular path does not help. You sound surprised, me too.
>> Did you find out why that was?
> It also protects against vma tree modifications in mainline, but rmap.c
> shouldn't need it for vmas anymore, as the vma is rooted to the spot by
> mapping->i_shared_lock for file pages and anon_vma->lock for anonymous.

If I am reading the code correctly, then without page_table_lock
in page_referenced_one(), we can race with exit_mmap() and page
table pages can be freed under us.

William Lee Irwin III wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 18, 2004 at 06:55:07PM +0100, Hugh Dickins wrote:
>> I do think this will be a more fruitful direction than pte locking:
>> just looking through the arches for spare bits puts me off pte locking.
> Fortunately, spare bits aren't strictly necessary, and neither is
> cmpxchg. A single invalid value can serve in place of a bitflag. When
> using such an invalid value, just xchg()'ing it and looping when the
> invalid value is seen should suffice. This holds more generally for all
> radix trees, not just pagetables, and happily xchg() or emulation
> thereof is required by core code for all arches.

Good point.

Another solution may be to use the unused bytes (->lru or
->private) in page table "struct page" as bit_spin_locks. We can
use a single bit to protect a small set of ptes (8, 16, or 32).


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