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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/7] mm: introduce simple_malloc()/simple_free()
On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 7:51 AM, Arjan van de Ven <arjan@infradead.org> wrote:
> On Mon, 17 Nov 2008 07:39:55 +1000
> "Dave Airlie" <airlied@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 4:57 AM, Arjan van de Ven
>> <arjan@infradead.org> wrote:
>> > On Sun, 16 Nov 2008 00:19:26 -0800 (PST)
>> > David Miller <davem@davemloft.net> wrote:
>> >
>> >> From: Arjan van de Ven <arjan@infradead.org>
>> >> Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2008 20:52:29 -0800
>> >>
>> >> > On Sun, 16 Nov 2008 12:33:15 +0800
>> >> > Lai Jiangshan <laijs@cn.fujitsu.com> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> > >
>> >> > > some subsystem needs vmalloc() when required memory is large.
>> >> > > but current kernel has not APIs for this requirement.
>> >> > > this patch introduces simple_malloc() and simple_free().
>> >> >
>> >> > I kinda really don't like this approach. vmalloc() (and
>> >> > especially, vfree()) is a really expensive operation, and
>> >> > vmalloc()'d memory is also slower (due to tlb pressure).
>> >> > Realistically, people should try hard to use small datastructure
>> >> > instead....
>> >>
>> >> This is happening in many places, already, for good reason.
>> >>
>> >> There are lots of places where we can't (core hash tables, etc.)
>> >> and we want NUMA spreading and reliable allocation, and thus
>> >> vmalloc it is.
>> >
>> > vmalloc() isn't 100% evil; for truely long term stuff it's
>> > sometimes a quite reasonable solution.
>> >
>> > There are some issues with it still: the vmalloc() space is shared
>> > with ioremap, modules and others and it's not all that big on 32
>> > bit; on x86 you could well end up with only 64Mb total (after
>> > taking out the various ioremap's etc).
>> >
>> > Yes there's places where it's then totally fine to dip into this
>> > space at boot/init time. You mention a few very good users.
>> > (There's still the tlb miss cost on use but on modern cpus a tlb
>> > miss is actually quite cheap)
>> >
>> > But this doesn't make vmalloc() the magic bullet that solves the "oh
>> > Linux can't allocate large chunks of memory" problem. Specifically
>> > in driver space for things that get ported from other OSes.
>>
>> So we keep the duplicated code? or we just audit new callers.... I
>> think this patch
>> makes it easier to spot new callers doing something stupid. As davem
>> said we duplicate
>> this code all over the place, so for that reason along a simple
>> wrapper makes things a lot
>> easier, and also possibly a lot easier to change in the future to a
>> new non-sucky API.
>>
>> So I'm all for it maybe with a non simple name.
>>
>
> I would go further than this.
>
> Make the code just use vmalloc(). Period.
>
> But then make vmalloc() smart and try do a direct mapping allocation
> first, before falling back to a virtual mapping. (and based on size it
> wouldn't even try it for just big things

I seem to remember Christoph Lameter having something along these
lines before, did
vcompound do some of this type of thing...

Dave.


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