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SubjectRe: [PATCH 4/5] always lock the root (oldest) anon_vma
On 05/12/2010 05:55 PM, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> Wouldn't it be sufficient to do
>
> if (atomic_dec_and_test(&anon_vma->ksm_refcount)) {
> anon_vma_lock(anon_vma);
>
> instead? The "atomic_dec_and_lock()" semantics are _much_ stricter than a
> regular "decrement and test and then lock", and that strictness means that
> it's way more complicated and expensive. So if you don't need the
> semantics, you shouldn't use them.

I suspect the atomic_dec_and_lock in the KVM code is being used
to prevent the following race:

1) KSM code reduces the refcount to 0

2) munmap on other CPU frees the anon_vma

3) KSM code takes the anon_vma lock,
which now lives in freed memory

Am I totally confused by this and can we use a nicer approach?

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