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SubjectRe: [PATCH v35 1/5] mm: support to get hints of free page blocks
On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 2:21 AM Michal Hocko <> wrote:
> We already have an interface for that. alloc_pages(GFP_NOWAIT, MAX_ORDER -1).
> So why do we need any array based interface?

That was actually my original argument in the original thread - that
the only new interface people might want is one that just tells how
many of those MAX_ORDER-1 pages there are.

See the thread in v33 with the subject

"[PATCH v33 1/4] mm: add a function to get free page blocks"

and look for me suggesting just using


struct page *page = alloc_pages(GFP_MINFLAGS, MAX_ORDER-1);

for this all.

But I could also see an argument for "allocate N pages of size
MAX_ORDER-1", with some small N, simply because I can see the
advantage of not taking and releasing the locking and looking up the
zone individually N times.

If you want to get gigabytes of memory (or terabytes), doing it in
bigger chunks than one single maximum-sized page sounds fairly

I just don't think that "thousands of pages" is reasonable. But "tens
of max-sized pages" sounds fair enough to me, and it would certainly
not be a pain for the VM.

So I'm open to new interfaces. I just want those new interfaces to
make sense, and be low latency and simple for the VM to do. I'm
objecting to the incredibly baroque and heavy-weight one that can
return near-infinite amounts of memory.

The real advantage of jjuist the existing "alloc_pages()" model is
that I think the ballooning people can use that to *test* things out.
If it turns out that taking and releasing the VM locks is a big cost,
we can see if a batch interface that allows you to get tens of pages
at the same time is worth it.

So yes, I'd suggest starting with just the existing alloc_pages. Maybe
it's not enough, but it should be good enough for testing.

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