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SubjectRe: [PATCH] mm/thp: Correctly differentiate between mapped THP and PMD migration entry

On 10/16/2018 08:01 PM, Zi Yan wrote:
> On 15 Oct 2018, at 0:06, Anshuman Khandual wrote:
>> On 10/15/2018 06:23 AM, Zi Yan wrote:
>>> On 12 Oct 2018, at 4:00, Anshuman Khandual wrote:
>>>> On 10/10/2018 06:13 PM, Zi Yan wrote:
>>>>> On 10 Oct 2018, at 0:05, Anshuman Khandual wrote:
>>>>>> On 10/09/2018 07:28 PM, Zi Yan wrote:
>>>>>>> cc: Naoya Horiguchi (who proposed to use !_PAGE_PRESENT && !_PAGE_PSE for x86
>>>>>>> PMD migration entry check)
>>>>>>> On 8 Oct 2018, at 23:58, Anshuman Khandual wrote:
>>>>>>>> A normal mapped THP page at PMD level should be correctly differentiated
>>>>>>>> from a PMD migration entry while walking the page table. A mapped THP would
>>>>>>>> additionally check positive for pmd_present() along with pmd_trans_huge()
>>>>>>>> as compared to a PMD migration entry. This just adds a new conditional test
>>>>>>>> differentiating the two while walking the page table.
>>>>>>>> Fixes: 616b8371539a6 ("mm: thp: enable thp migration in generic path")
>>>>>>>> Signed-off-by: Anshuman Khandual <>
>>>>>>>> ---
>>>>>>>> On X86, pmd_trans_huge() and is_pmd_migration_entry() are always mutually
>>>>>>>> exclusive which makes the current conditional block work for both mapped
>>>>>>>> and migration entries. This is not same with arm64 where pmd_trans_huge()
>>>>>>> !pmd_present() && pmd_trans_huge() is used to represent THPs under splitting,
>>>>>> Not really if we just look at code in the conditional blocks.
>>>>> Yeah, I explained it wrong above. Sorry about that.
>>>>> In x86, pmd_present() checks (_PAGE_PRESENT | _PAGE_PROTNONE | _PAGE_PSE),
>>>>> thus, it returns true even if the present bit is cleared but PSE bit is set.
>>>> Okay.
>>>>> This is done so, because THPs under splitting are regarded as present in the kernel
>>>>> but not present when a hardware page table walker checks it.
>>>> Okay.
>>>>> For PMD migration entry, which should be regarded as not present, if PSE bit
>>>>> is set, which makes pmd_trans_huge() returns true, like ARM64 does, all
>>>>> PMD migration entries will be regarded as present
>>>> Okay to make pmd_present() return false pmd_trans_huge() has to return false
>>>> as well. Is there anything which can be done to get around this problem on
>>>> X86 ? pmd_trans_huge() returning true for a migration entry sounds logical.
>>>> Otherwise we would revert the condition block order to accommodate both the
>>>> implementation for pmd_trans_huge() as suggested by Kirill before or just
>>>> consider this patch forward.
>>>> Because I am not really sure yet about the idea of getting pmd_present()
>>>> check into pmd_trans_huge() on arm64 just to make it fit into this semantics
>>>> as suggested by Will. If a PMD is trans huge page or not should not depend on
>>>> whether it is present or not.
>>> In terms of THPs, we have three cases: a present THP, a THP under splitting,
>>> and a THP under migration. pmd_present() and pmd_trans_huge() both return true
>>> for a present THP and a THP under splitting, because they discover _PAGE_PSE bit
>> Then how do we differentiate between a mapped THP and a splitting THP.
> AFAIK, in x86, there is no distinction between a mapped THP and a splitting THP
> using helper functions.
> A mapped THP has _PAGE_PRESENT bit and _PAGE_PSE bit set, whereas a splitting THP
> has only _PAGE_PSE bit set. But both pmd_present() and pmd_trans_huge() return
> true as long as _PAGE_PSE bit is set.

I understand that. What I was wondering was since there is a need to differentiate
between a mapped THP and a splitting THP at various places in generic THP, we would
need to way to identify each of them unambiguously some how. Is that particular
assumption wrong ? Dont we need to differentiate between a mapped THP and THP under
splitting ?

>>> is set for both cases, whereas they both return false for a THP under migration.
>>> You want to change them to make pmd_trans_huge() returns true for a THP under migration
>>> instead of false to help ARM64’s support for THP migration.
>> I am just trying to understand the rationale behind this semantics and see where
>> it should be fixed.
>> I think the fundamental problem here is that THP under split has been difficult
>> to be re-presented through the available helper functions and in turn PTE bits.
>> The following checks
>> 1) pmd_present()
>> 2) pmd_trans_huge()
>> Represent three THP states
>> 1) Mapped THP (pmd_present && pmd_trans_huge)
>> 2) Splitting THP (pmd_present && pmd_trans_huge)
>> 3) Migrating THP (!pmd_present && !pmd_trans_huge)
>> The problem is if we make pmd_trans_huge() return true for all the three states
>> which sounds logical because they are all still trans huge PMD, then pmd_present()
>> can only represent two states not three as required.
> We are on the same page about representing three THP states in x86.
> I also agree with you that it is logical to use three distinct representations
> for these three states, i.e. splitting THP could be changed to (!pmd_present && pmd_trans_huge

Right. Also we need clear wrapper around them in line with is_pmd_migration_entry() to
represent three states all of which calling pmd_present() and pmd_trans_huge() which
are exported by various architectures with exact same semantics without any ambiguity.

1) is_pmd_mapped_entry()
2) is_pmd_splitting_entry()
3) is_pmd_migration_entry()

>>> For x86, this change requires:
>>> 1. changing the condition in pmd_trans_huge(), so that it returns true for
>>> PMD migration entries;
>>> 2. changing the code, which calls pmd_trans_huge(), to match the new logic.
>> Can those be fixed with an additional check for pmd_present() as suggested here
>> in this patch ? Asking because in case we could not get common semantics for
>> these helpers on all arch that would be a fall back option for the moment.
> It would be OK for x86, since pmd_trans_huge() implies pmd_present() and hence
> adding pmd_present() to pmd_trans_huge() makes no difference. But for ARM64,
> from my understanding of the code described below, adding pmd_present() to
> pmd_trans_huge() seems to exclude splitting THPs from the original semantic.
>>> Another problem I see is that x86’s pmd_present() returns true for a THP under
>>> splitting but ARM64’s pmd_present() returns false for a THP under splitting.
>> But how did you conclude this ? I dont see any explicit helper for splitting
>> THP. Could you please point me in the code ?
> From the code I read for ARM64
> (
> and,
> pmd_present() only checks _PAGE_PRESENT and _PAGE_PROTONE. During a THP splitting,

These are PTE_VALID and PTE_PROT_NONE instead on arm64. But yes, they are equivalent
to __PAGE_PRESENT and __PAGE_PROTNONE on other archs.

#define pmd_present(pmd) pte_present(pmd_pte(pmd))
#define pte_present(pte) (!!(pte_val(pte) & (PTE_VALID | PTE_PROT_NONE)))

> pmdp_invalidate() clears _PAGE_PRESENT ( So pmd_present() returns false in ARM64. Let me know
> if I got anything wrong.

old_pmd = pmdp_invalidate(vma, haddr, pmd);

__split_huge_pmd_locked -> pmdp_invalidate (the above mentioned instance)
pmdp_invalidate -> pmd_mknotpresent

#define pmd_mknotpresent(pmd) (__pmd(pmd_val(pmd) & ~PMD_SECT_VALID)

Generic pmdp invalidation removes PMD_SECT_VALID from a mapped PMD entry.
PMD_SECT_VALID is similar to PTE_VALID through identified separately. So you
are right, on arm64 pmd_present() return false for THP under splitting.

>>> I do not know if there is any correctness issue with this. So I copy Andrea
>>> here, since he made x86’s pmd_present() returns true for a THP under splitting
>>> as an optimization. I want to understand more about it and potentially make
>>> x86 and ARM64 (maybe all other architectures, too) return the same value
>>> for all three cases mentioned above.
>> I agree. Fixing the semantics is the right thing to do. I am kind of wondering if
>> it would be a good idea to have explicit helpers for (1) mapped THP, (2) splitting
>> THP like the one for (3) migrating THP (e.g is_pmd_migration_entry) and use them
>> in various conditional blocks instead of looking out for multiple checks like
>> pmd_trans_huge(), pmd_present() etc. It will help unify the semantics as well.
> I agree that explicit and distinct helpers for all three THP states would be helpful.


>>> Hi Andrea, what is the purpose/benefit of making x86’s pmd_present() returns true
>>> for a THP under splitting? Does it cause problems when ARM64’s pmd_present()
>>> returns false in the same situation?
>>>>> My concern is that if ARM64’s pmd_trans_huge() returns true for migration
>>>>> entries, unlike x86, there might be bugs triggered in the kernel when
>>>>> THP migration is enabled in ARM64.
>>>> Right and that is exactly what we are trying to fix with this patch.
>>> I am not sure this patch can fix the problem in ARM64, because many other places
>>> in the kernel, pmd_trans_huge() still returns false for a THP under migration.
>>> We may need more comprehensive fixes for ARM64.
>> Are there more places where semantics needs to be fixed than what was originally
>> added through 616b8371539a ("mm: thp: enable thp migration in generic path").
> I guess not, but it would be safer to grep for all pmd_trans_huge() and pmd_present().

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