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SubjectRe: [RFC v4 0/3] mm: zap pages with read mmap_sem in munmap for large mapping
On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 07:34:06AM +0800, Yang Shi wrote:
> Background:
> Recently, when we ran some vm scalability tests on machines with large memory,
> we ran into a couple of mmap_sem scalability issues when unmapping large memory
> space, please refer to and
> History:
> Then akpm suggested to unmap large mapping section by section and drop mmap_sem
> at a time to mitigate it (see
> V1 patch series was submitted to the mailing list per Andrew's suggestion
> (see Then I received a lot great feedback
> and suggestions.
> Then this topic was discussed on LSFMM summit 2018. In the summit, Michal Hocko
> suggested (also in the v1 patches review) to try "two phases" approach. Zapping
> pages with read mmap_sem, then doing via cleanup with write mmap_sem (for
> discussion detail, see
> Approach:
> Zapping pages is the most time consuming part, according to the suggestion from
> Michal Hocko [1], zapping pages can be done with holding read mmap_sem, like
> what MADV_DONTNEED does. Then re-acquire write mmap_sem to cleanup vmas.
> But, we can't call MADV_DONTNEED directly, since there are two major drawbacks:
> * The unexpected state from PF if it wins the race in the middle of munmap.
> It may return zero page, instead of the content or SIGSEGV.
> * Can’t handle VM_LOCKED | VM_HUGETLB | VM_PFNMAP and uprobe mappings, which
> is a showstopper from akpm
> And, some part may need write mmap_sem, for example, vma splitting. So, the
> design is as follows:
> acquire write mmap_sem
> lookup vmas (find and split vmas)
> set VM_DEAD flags
> deal with special mappings
> downgrade_write
> zap pages
> release mmap_sem
> retake mmap_sem exclusively
> cleanup vmas
> release mmap_sem
> Define large mapping size thresh as PUD size, just zap pages with read mmap_sem
> for mappings which are >= PUD_SIZE. So, unmapping less than PUD_SIZE area still
> goes with the regular path.
> All vmas which will be zapped soon will have VM_DEAD flag set. Since PF may race
> with munmap, may just return the right content or SIGSEGV before the optimization,
> but with the optimization, it may return a zero page. Here use this flag to mark
> PF to this area is unstable, will trigger SIGSEGV, in order to prevent from the
> unexpected 3rd state.
> If the vma has VM_LOCKED | VM_HUGETLB | VM_PFNMAP or uprobe, they are considered
> as special mappings. They will be dealt with before zapping pages with write
> mmap_sem held. Basically, just update vm_flags. The actual unmapping is still
> done with read mmap_sem.
> And, since they are also manipulated by unmap_single_vma() which is called by
> zap_page_range() with read mmap_sem held in this case, to prevent from updating
> vm_flags in read critical section and considering the complexity of coding, just
> check if VM_DEAD is set, then skip any VM_DEAD area since they should be handled
> before.
> When cleaning up vmas, just call do_munmap() without carrying vmas from the above
> to avoid race condition, since the address space might be already changed under
> our feet after retaking exclusive lock.
> For the time being, just do this in munmap syscall path. Other vm_munmap() or
> do_munmap() call sites (i.e mmap, mremap, etc) remain intact for stability reason.
> And, make this 64 bit only explicitly per akpm's suggestion.

I still see VM_DEAD as unnecessary complication. We should be fine without it.
But looks like I'm in the minority :/

It's okay. I have another suggestion that also doesn't require VM_DEAD
trick too :)

1. Take mmap_sem for write;
2. Adjust VMA layout (split/remove). After the step all memory we try to
unmap is outside any VMA.
3. Downgrade mmap_sem to read.
4. Zap the page range.
5. Drop mmap_sem.

I believe it should be safe.

The pages in the range cannot be re-faulted after step 3 as find_vma()
will not see the corresponding VMA and deliver SIGSEGV.

New VMAs cannot be created in the range before step 5 since we hold the
semaphore at least for read the whole time.

Do you see problem in this approach?

Kirill A. Shutemov

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