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SubjectRe: [PATCH 6/6] mm/gup: Documentation/vm/get_user_pages.rst, MAINTAINERS
Hi John,

On Sun, Feb 03, 2019 at 09:21:35PM -0800, john.hubbard@gmail.com wrote:
> From: John Hubbard <jhubbard@nvidia.com>
>
> 1. Added Documentation/vm/get_user_pages.rst
>
> 2. Added a GET_USER_PAGES entry in MAINTAINERS
>
> Cc: Dan Williams <dan.j.williams@intel.com>
> Cc: Jan Kara <jack@suse.cz>
> Signed-off-by: Jérôme Glisse <jglisse@redhat.com>
> Signed-off-by: John Hubbard <jhubbard@nvidia.com>
> ---
> Documentation/vm/get_user_pages.rst | 197 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Documentation/vm/index.rst | 1 +
> MAINTAINERS | 10 ++
> 3 files changed, 208 insertions(+)
> create mode 100644 Documentation/vm/get_user_pages.rst
>
> diff --git a/Documentation/vm/get_user_pages.rst b/Documentation/vm/get_user_pages.rst
> new file mode 100644
> index 000000000000..8598f20afb09
> --- /dev/null
> +++ b/Documentation/vm/get_user_pages.rst

It's great to see docs coming alone with the patches! :)

Yet, I'm a bit confused. The documentation here mostly describes the
existing problems that this patchset aims to solve, but the text here does
not describe the proposed solution.

> @@ -0,0 +1,197 @@
> +.. _get_user_pages:
> +
> +==============
> +get_user_pages
> +==============
> +
> +.. contents:: :local:
> +
> +Overview
> +========
> +
> +Some kernel components (file systems, device drivers) need to access
> +memory that is specified via process virtual address. For a long time, the
> +API to achieve that was get_user_pages ("GUP") and its variations. However,
> +GUP has critical limitations that have been overlooked; in particular, GUP
> +does not interact correctly with filesystems in all situations. That means
> +that file-backed memory + GUP is a recipe for potential problems, some of
> +which have already occurred in the field.
> +
> +GUP was first introduced for Direct IO (O_DIRECT), allowing filesystem code
> +to get the struct page behind a virtual address and to let storage hardware
> +perform a direct copy to or from that page. This is a short-lived access
> +pattern, and as such, the window for a concurrent writeback of GUP'd page
> +was small enough that there were not (we think) any reported problems.
> +Also, userspace was expected to understand and accept that Direct IO was
> +not synchronized with memory-mapped access to that data, nor with any
> +process address space changes such as munmap(), mremap(), etc.
> +
> +Over the years, more GUP uses have appeared (virtualization, device
> +drivers, RDMA) that can keep the pages they get via GUP for a long period
> +of time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, ...). This long-term pinning makes
> +an underlying design problem more obvious.
> +
> +In fact, there are a number of key problems inherent to GUP:
> +
> +Interactions with file systems
> +==============================
> +
> +File systems expect to be able to write back data, both to reclaim pages,
> +and for data integrity. Allowing other hardware (NICs, GPUs, etc) to gain
> +write access to the file memory pages means that such hardware can dirty the
> +pages, without the filesystem being aware. This can, in some cases
> +(depending on filesystem, filesystem options, block device, block device
> +options, and other variables), lead to data corruption, and also to kernel
> +bugs of the form:
> +
> +::
> +
> + kernel BUG at /build/linux-fQ94TU/linux-4.4.0/fs/ext4/inode.c:1899!
> + backtrace:
> +
> + ext4_writepage
> + __writepage
> + write_cache_pages
> + ext4_writepages
> + do_writepages
> + __writeback_single_inode
> + writeback_sb_inodes
> + __writeback_inodes_wb
> + wb_writeback
> + wb_workfn
> + process_one_work
> + worker_thread
> + kthread
> + ret_from_fork
> +
> +...which is due to the file system asserting that there are still buffer
> +heads attached:
> +
> +::
> +
> + /* If we *know* page->private refers to buffer_heads */
> + #define page_buffers(page) \
> + ({ \
> + BUG_ON(!PagePrivate(page)); \
> + ((struct buffer_head *)page_private(page)); \
> + })
> + #define page_has_buffers(page) PagePrivate(page)
> +
> +Dave Chinner's description of this is very clear:
> +
> + "The fundamental issue is that ->page_mkwrite must be called on every
> + write access to a clean file backed page, not just the first one.
> + How long the GUP reference lasts is irrelevant, if the page is clean
> + and you need to dirty it, you must call ->page_mkwrite before it is
> + marked writeable and dirtied. Every. Time."
> +
> +This is just one symptom of the larger design problem: filesystems do not
> +actually support get_user_pages() being called on their pages, and letting
> +hardware write directly to those pages--even though that pattern has been
> +going on since about 2005 or so.
> +
> +Long term GUP
> +=============
> +
> +Long term GUP is an issue when FOLL_WRITE is specified to GUP (so, a
> +writeable mapping is created), and the pages are file-backed. That can lead
> +to filesystem corruption. What happens is that when a file-backed page is
> +being written back, it is first mapped read-only in all of the CPU page
> +tables; the file system then assumes that nobody can write to the page, and
> +that the page content is therefore stable. Unfortunately, the GUP callers
> +generally do not monitor changes to the CPU pages tables; they instead
> +assume that the following pattern is safe (it's not):
> +
> +::
> +
> + get_user_pages()
> +
> + Hardware then keeps a reference to those pages for some potentially
> + long time. During this time, hardware may write to the pages. Because
> + "hardware" here means "devices that are not a CPU", this activity
> + occurs without any interaction with the kernel's file system code.
> +
> + for each page:
> + set_page_dirty()
> + put_page()
> +
> +In fact, the GUP documentation even recommends that pattern.
> +
> +Anyway, the file system assumes that the page is stable (nothing is writing
> +to the page), and that is a problem: stable page content is necessary for
> +many filesystem actions during writeback, such as checksum, encryption,
> +RAID striping, etc. Furthermore, filesystem features like COW (copy on
> +write) or snapshot also rely on being able to use a new page for as memory
> +for that memory range inside the file.
> +
> +Corruption during write back is clearly possible here. To solve that, one
> +idea is to identify pages that have active GUP, so that we can use a bounce
> +page to write stable data to the filesystem. The filesystem would work
> +on the bounce page, while any of the active GUP might write to the
> +original page. This would avoid the stable page violation problem, but note
> +that it is only part of the overall solution, because other problems
> +remain.
> +
> +Other filesystem features that need to replace the page with a new one can
> +be inhibited for pages that are GUP-pinned. This will, however, alter and
> +limit some of those filesystem features. The only fix for that would be to
> +require GUP users monitor and respond to CPU page table updates. Subsystems
> +such as ODP and HMM do this, for example. This aspect of the problem is
> +still under discussion.
> +
> +Direct IO
> +=========
> +
> +Direct IO can cause corruption, if userspace does Direct-IO that writes to
> +a range of virtual addresses that are mmap'd to a file. The pages written
> +to are file-backed pages that can be under write back, while the Direct IO
> +is taking place. Here, Direct IO need races with a write back: it calls
> +GUP before page_mkclean() has replaced the CPU pte with a read-only entry.
> +The race window is pretty small, which is probably why years have gone by
> +before we noticed this problem: Direct IO is generally very quick, and
> +tends to finish up before the filesystem gets around to do anything with
> +the page contents. However, it's still a real problem. The solution is
> +to never let GUP return pages that are under write back, but instead,
> +force GUP to take a write fault on those pages. That way, GUP will
> +properly synchronize with the active write back. This does not change the
> +required GUP behavior, it just avoids that race.
> +
> +Measurement and visibility
> +==========================
> +
> +There are several /proc/vmstat items, in order to provide some visibility
> +into what get_user_pages() and put_user_page() are doing.
> +
> +After booting and running fio (https://github.com/axboe/fio)
> +a few times on an NVMe device, as a way to get lots of
> +get_user_pages_fast() calls, the counters look like this:
> +
> +::
> +
> + $ cat /proc/vmstat | grep gup
> + nr_gup_slow_pages_requested 21319
> + nr_gup_fast_pages_requested 11533792
> + nr_gup_fast_page_backoffs 0
> + nr_gup_page_count_overflows 0
> + nr_gup_pages_returned 11555104
> +
> +Interpretation of the above:
> +
> +::
> +
> + Total gup requests (slow + fast): 11555111
> + Total put_user_page calls: 11555104
> +
> +This shows 7 more calls to get_user_pages(), than to put_user_page().
> +That may, or may not, represent a problem worth investigating.
> +
> +Normally, those last two numbers should be equal, but a couple of things
> +may cause them to differ:
> +
> +1. Inherent race condition in reading /proc/vmstat values.
> +
> +2. Bugs at any of the get_user_pages*() call sites. Those
> +sites need to match get_user_pages() and put_user_page() calls.
> +
> +
> +
> diff --git a/Documentation/vm/index.rst b/Documentation/vm/index.rst
> index 2b3ab3a1ccf3..433aaf1996e6 100644
> --- a/Documentation/vm/index.rst
> +++ b/Documentation/vm/index.rst
> @@ -32,6 +32,7 @@ descriptions of data structures and algorithms.
> balance
> cleancache
> frontswap
> + get_user_pages
> highmem
> hmm
> hwpoison
> diff --git a/MAINTAINERS b/MAINTAINERS
> index 8c68de3cfd80..1e8f91b8ce4f 100644
> --- a/MAINTAINERS
> +++ b/MAINTAINERS
> @@ -6384,6 +6384,16 @@ M: Frank Haverkamp <haver@linux.ibm.com>
> S: Supported
> F: drivers/misc/genwqe/
>
> +GET_USER_PAGES
> +M: Dan Williams <dan.j.williams@intel.com>
> +M: Jan Kara <jack@suse.cz>
> +M: Jérôme Glisse <jglisse@redhat.com>
> +M: John Hubbard <jhubbard@nvidia.com>
> +L: linux-mm@kvack.org
> +S: Maintained
> +F: mm/gup.c
> +F: Documentation/vm/get_user_pages.rst
> +
> GET_MAINTAINER SCRIPT
> M: Joe Perches <joe@perches.com>
> S: Maintained
> --
> 2.20.1
>

--
Sincerely yours,
Mike.

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