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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 00/28] Removing struct page from P2PDMA
On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 12:34 PM Jason Gunthorpe <> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 11:45:38AM -0700, Dan Williams wrote:
> > > Previously, there have been multiple attempts[1][2] to replace
> > > struct page usage with pfn_t but this has been unpopular seeing
> > > it creates dangerous edge cases where unsuspecting code might
> > > run accross pfn_t's they are not ready for.
> >
> > That's not the conclusion I arrived at because pfn_t is specifically
> > an opaque type precisely to force "unsuspecting" code to throw
> > compiler assertions. Instead pfn_t was dealt its death blow here:
> >
> >
> >
> > ...and I think that feedback also reads on this proposal.
> I read through Linus's remarks and it he seems completely right that
> anything that touches a filesystem needs a struct page, because FS's
> rely heavily on that.
> It is much less clear to me why a GPU BAR or a NVME CMB that never
> touches a filesystem needs a struct page.. The best reason I've seen
> is that it must have struct page because the block layer heavily
> depends on struct page.
> Since that thread was so DAX/pmem centric (and Linus did say he liked
> the __pfn_t), maybe it is worth checking again, but not for DAX/pmem
> users?
> This P2P is quite distinct from DAX as the struct page* would point to
> non-cacheable weird memory that few struct page users would even be
> able to work with, while I understand DAX use cases focused on CPU
> cache coherent memory, and filesystem involvement.

What I'm poking at is whether this block layer capability can pick up
users outside of RDMA, more on this below...

> > My primary concern with this is that ascribes a level of generality
> > that just isn't there for peer-to-peer dma operations. "Peer"
> > addresses are not "DMA" addresses, and the rules about what can and
> > can't do peer-DMA are not generically known to the block layer.
> ?? The P2P infrastructure produces a DMA bus address for the
> initiating device that is is absolutely a DMA address. There is some
> intermediate CPU centric representation, but after mapping it is the
> same as any other DMA bus address.

Right, this goes back to the confusion caused by the hardware / bus /
address that a dma-engine would consume directly, and Linux "DMA"
address as a device-specific translation of host memory.

Is the block layer representation of this address going to go through
a peer / "bus" address translation when it reaches the RDMA driver? In
other words if we tried to use this facility with other drivers how
would the driver know it was passed a traditional Linux DMA address,
vs a peer bus address that the device may not be able to handle?

> The map function can tell if the device pair combination can do p2p or
> not.

Ok, if this map step is still there then reduce a significant portion
of my concern and it becomes a quibble about the naming and how a
non-RDMA device driver might figure out if it was handled an address
it can't handle.

> > Again, what are the benefits of plumbing this RDMA special case?
> It is not just RDMA, this is interesting for GPU and vfio use cases
> too. RDMA is just the most complete in-tree user we have today.
> ie GPU people wouuld really like to do read() and have P2P
> transparently happen to on-GPU pages. With GPUs having huge amounts of
> memory loading file data into them is really a performance critical
> thing.

A direct-i/o read(2) into a page-less GPU mapping? Through a regular
file or a device special file?

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