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SubjectRe: [RFC v4 0/3] mm: zap pages with read mmap_sem in munmap for large mapping

On 7/11/18 4:10 AM, Kirill A. Shutemov wrote:
> 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.

Yes, it looks so. But, a further question is all the vmas have been
removed, how zap_page_range could do its job? It depends on the vmas.

One approach is to save all the vmas on a separate list, then
zap_page_range does unmap with this list.


> 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?

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