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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 4/4] mm: Add merge page notifier
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On Mon, 2019-02-04 at 11:40 -0800, Dave Hansen wrote:
> > +void __arch_merge_page(struct zone *zone, struct page *page,
> > + unsigned int order)
> > +{
> > + /*
> > + * The merging logic has merged a set of buddies up to the
> > + * KVM_PV_UNUSED_PAGE_HINT_MIN_ORDER. Since that is the case, take
> > + * advantage of this moment to notify the hypervisor of the free
> > + * memory.
> > + */
> > + if (order != KVM_PV_UNUSED_PAGE_HINT_MIN_ORDER)
> > + return;
> > +
> > + /*
> > + * Drop zone lock while processing the hypercall. This
> > + * should be safe as the page has not yet been added
> > + * to the buddy list as of yet and all the pages that
> > + * were merged have had their buddy/guard flags cleared
> > + * and their order reset to 0.
> > + */
> > + spin_unlock(&zone->lock);
> > +
> > + kvm_hypercall2(KVM_HC_UNUSED_PAGE_HINT, page_to_phys(page),
> > + PAGE_SIZE << order);
> > +
> > + /* reacquire lock and resume freeing memory */
> > + spin_lock(&zone->lock);
> > +}
>
> Why do the lock-dropping on merge but not free? What's the difference?

The lock has not yet been acquired in the free path. The arch_free_page
call is made from free_pages_prepare, whereas the arch_merge_page call
is made from within __free_one_page which has the requirement that the
zone lock be taken before calling the function.

> This makes me really nervous. You at *least* want to document this at
> the arch_merge_page() call-site, and perhaps even the __free_one_page()
> call-sites because they're near where the zone lock is taken.

Okay, that makes sense. I would probably look at adding the
documentation to the arch_merge_page call-site.

> The place you are calling arch_merge_page() looks OK to me, today. But,
> it can't get moved around without careful consideration. That also
> needs to be documented to warn off folks who might move code around.

Agreed.

> The interaction between the free and merge hooks is also really
> implementation-specific. If an architecture is getting order-0
> arch_free_page() notifications, it's probably worth at least documenting
> that they'll *also* get arch_merge_page() notifications.

If an architecture is getting order-0 notifications then the merge
notifications would be pointless since all the pages would be already
hinted.

I can add documentation that explains that in the case where we are
only hinting on non-zero order pages then arch_merge_page should
provide hints for when a page is merged above that threshold.

> The reason x86 doesn't double-hypercall on those is not broached in the
> descriptions. That seems to be problematic.

I will add more documentation to address that.



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