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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 3/5] mm, memory_hotplug: allocate memmap from the added memory range for sparse-vmemmap
On Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 10:33:31AM +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
> From: Michal Hocko <>
> Physical memory hotadd has to allocate a memmap (struct page array) for
> the newly added memory section. kmalloc is currantly used for those
> allocations.
> This has some disadvantages a) an existing memory is consumed for
> that purpose (~2MB per 128MB memory section) and b) if the whole node
> is movable then we have off-node struct pages which has performance
> drawbacks.
> a) has turned out to be a problem for memory hotplug based ballooning
> because the userspace might not react in time to online memory while
> to memory consumed during physical hotadd consumes enough memory to push
> system to OOM. 31bc3858ea3e ("memory-hotplug: add automatic onlining
> policy for the newly added memory") has been added to workaround that
> problem.
> We can do much better when CONFIG_SPARSEMEM_VMEMMAP=y because vmemap
> page tables can map arbitrary memory. That means that we can simply
> use the beginning of each memory section and map struct pages there.
> struct pages which back the allocated space then just need to be treated
> carefully so that we know they are not usable.
> Add {_Set,_Clear}PageVmemmap helpers to distinguish those pages in pfn
> walkers. We do not have any spare page flag for this purpose so use the
> combination of PageReserved bit which already tells that the page should
> be ignored by the core mm code and store VMEMMAP_PAGE (which sets all
> bits but PAGE_MAPPING_FLAGS) into page->mapping.
> On the memory hotplug front reuse vmem_altmap infrastructure to override
> the default allocator used by __vmemap_populate. Once the memmap is
> allocated we need a way to mark altmap pfns used for the allocation
> and this is done by a new vmem_altmap::flush_alloc_pfns callback.
> mark_vmemmap_pages implementation then simply __SetPageVmemmap all
> struct pages backing those pfns. The callback is called from
> sparse_add_one_section after the memmap has been initialized to 0.
> We also have to be careful about those pages during online and offline
> operations. They are simply ignored.
> Finally __ClearPageVmemmap is called when the vmemmap page tables are
> torn down.
> Please note that only the memory hotplug is currently using this
> allocation scheme. The boot time memmap allocation could use the same
> trick as well but this is not done yet.

Which kernel are these patches based on? I tried linux-next and Linus'
vanilla tree, however the series does not apply.

In general I do like your idea, however if I understand your patches
correctly we might have an ordering problem on s390: it is not possible to
access hot-added memory on s390 before it is online (MEM_GOING_ONLINE

On MEM_GOING_ONLINE we ask the hypervisor to back the potential available
hot-added memory region with physical pages. Accessing those ranges before
that will result in an exception.

However with your approach the memory is still allocated when add_memory()
is being called, correct? That wouldn't be a change to the current
behaviour; except for the ordering problem outlined above.
Just trying to make sure I get this right :)

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