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SubjectRe: mmap, the language go, problems with the linux kernel
On Tue, 2011-02-08 at 08:23 -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 4:37 AM, martin capitanio <> wrote:
> >
> > There popped up a serious problem by implementing a fast memory
> > management for the language go. Maybe some experienced kernel hacker
> > could join the discussion and help to find the best linux solution for
> > the "mmap fiasco" problem.
> >
> >!msg/golang-dev/EpUlHQXWykg/LN2o9fV6R3wJ
> And quite frankly, I think your "use a big array" in go is a mistake.
> You may think it's clever and simple, and that "hey, the OS won't
> allocate pages we don't touch", but it's still a serious mistake. And
> it's not a mistake because of RLIMIT_AS - that's just a secondary or
> tertiary symptom of you being lazy and not doing the right thing.

So, I hope I managed now to put all the involved on the cc list. Here
are the relevant responses I've got from the other ml. I think
there is still a confusion what the mmap syscall actually should
do in the case of PROT_NONE (Data cannot be accessed)

On Wed, 2011-02-09 at 09:57 -0500, Russ Cox wrote:
Thanks for posting the LKML response.
> Most of what Linus says is true but probably not
> crucial enough to avoid laziness for now. We can
> always change the strategy later if it becomes a
> problem.
> The comment about large pages would be the most
> important reason not to do what we're doing but sounds
> more like a kernel bug than our fault. We're being
> very up front with the kernel about which memory we
> are and are not using: what we're not using has prot==0.
> If Linux sees a 16 GB prot==0 mapping and decides to
> dedicate >0 bytes of memory to backing it, then that's
> not our problem.
> Other tools like Native Client use enormous prot==0
> mappings. I doubt Linux would ever make the mistake
> of giving them real amounts of physical memory.

On Tue, 2011-02-08 at 13:26 +0000, Alan Cox wrote:
> Linux implements virtual address space limits, and enforces them. The go
> language stuff wants to allocate huge amounts of virtual space so you
> need to tell the OS you want to allow it to do crazy stuff, which you can
> do so. But virtual address space is not free - it has to be tracked and
> if the application suddenely tries to fill all of it what will happen ?
> You'll hit problems if the kernel is running with vm overcommit disabled
> (as well configured servers do),
> There are of course ways and means - you can provide your own mmap to
> override the libc one for example and manage the address space yourself -
> within limits by allocating addresses and doing the syscall giving an
> address request.
> You'll be ok I suspect on Linux on x86 but there are platforms with very
> complicated aliasing rules where the OS tries very hard to map certain
> things at certain addresses to avoid cache aliasing work and big slow
> downs. There are good reasons why mmap works the way it does.

On Wed, 2011-02-09 at 07:26 -0800, Albert Strasheim wrote:
> I'm a bit concerned about Alan Cox's comment:
> "You'll hit problems if the kernel is running with vm overcommit
> disabled (as well configured servers do)."
> We are planning to do exactly that, on a server that will be running
> many, many Go processes.
> But maybe virtual memory with prot==0 doesn't factor into the
> overcommit accounting?

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