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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH v1 3/5] KVM: Add paravirt kvm_flush_tlb_others
On Tue, May 01, 2012 at 06:16:46PM +0200, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> On Tue, 2012-05-01 at 18:36 +0300, Avi Kivity wrote:
>
> > > > What bounds the amount of memory waiting to be freed during an rcu grace
> > > > period?
> > >
> > > Most RCU implementations don't have limits, so that could be quite a
> > > lot. I think preemptible RCU has a batch limit at which point it tries
> > > rather hard to force a grace period, but I'm not sure if even that
> > > provides a hard limit.

All the TREE_RCU variants will get more aggressive about forcing grace
periods if any given CPU has more than 10,000 callbacks posted. When this
happens, the call_rcu() variants will try to push things ahead.

> > > Practically though, I haven't had reports of PPC/Sparc going funny
> > > because of this.
> >
> > It could be considered a DoS if a user is able to free page tables
> > faster than rcu is able to recycle them, possibly triggering the oom
> > killer (should that force a grace period before firing from the hip?)
>
> One would think that would be a good thing, yes. However I cannot seem
> to find anything like that in the current OOM killer. David, Paul, I
> seem to have vague recollections of a discussion about RCU vs OOM, what
> was the resolution (if anything) and would something like the below make
> sense?
>
> ---
> mm/oom_kill.c | 3 +++
> 1 file changed, 3 insertions(+)
>
> diff --git a/mm/oom_kill.c b/mm/oom_kill.c
> index 46bf2ed5..244a371 100644
> --- a/mm/oom_kill.c
> +++ b/mm/oom_kill.c
> @@ -607,6 +607,9 @@ int try_set_zonelist_oom(struct zonelist *zonelist, gfp_t gfp_mask)
> struct zone *zone;
> int ret = 1;
>
> + synchronize_sched();
> + synchronize_rcu();

This will wait for a grace period, but not for the callbacks, which are
the things that actually free the memory. Given that, should we instead
do something like:

rcu_barrier();

Note that rcu_barrier() and rcu_barrier_sched() are one and the same
for CONFIG_PREEMPT=n kernels, and there seems to be a lot more
call_rcu() than call_rcu_sched(), so I left out the rcu_barrier_sched().

That said, this does have the effect of delaying the startup of the OOM
killer, and it does nothing to tell RCU that accelerating grace periods
would be a good thing. If DoS attack is a theoretical possibility rather
than a real bug, is a pure wait on RCU the right approach.

Alternative approaches include:

1. OOM killer calls into RCU, which arranges to become more
aggressive about forcing grace periods. (For example, RCU
could set a flag that caused it to act as if there were
lots of callbacks posted.)

2. RCU provides an API that forces grace periods, perhaps
invoked from a separate kthread so that the OOM killer can
proceed in parallel with RCU's grace-period forcing.

3. Like #2, but invoke it a bit earlier than the OOM killer
would normally start running.

Thanx, Paul

> spin_lock(&zone_scan_lock);
> for_each_zone_zonelist(zone, z, zonelist, gfp_zone(gfp_mask)) {
> if (zone_is_oom_locked(zone)) {
>



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