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

On 10/18/2018 07:47 AM, Naoya Horiguchi wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 10:31:50AM -0400, 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.
>>>> 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).
> I think that the behavior of pmd_trans_huge() for non-present pmd is
> undefined by its nature. IOW, it's no use determining whether it's thp or
> not for non-existing pages because it does not exist :)>
> So I think that the right direction is to make sure that pmd_trans_huge() is
> never checked for non-present pmd, just like Kirill's suggestion. And maybe
> we have some room for engineering to ensure it (rather than just commenting it).

Agreed, pmd_trans_huge() does not make sense for a migration or a swap entry
and should not be checked on them.

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