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SubjectRe: [PATCH v1 1/2] mm/page_idle: Add support for per-pid page_idle using virtual indexing
[Cc linux-api - please always do CC this list when introducing a user
visible API]

On Mon 22-07-19 17:32:04, Joel Fernandes (Google) wrote:
> The page_idle tracking feature currently requires looking up the pagemap
> for a process followed by interacting with /sys/kernel/mm/page_idle.
> This is quite cumbersome and can be error-prone too. If between
> accessing the per-PID pagemap and the global page_idle bitmap, if
> something changes with the page then the information is not accurate.
> More over looking up PFN from pagemap in Android devices is not
> supported by unprivileged process and requires SYS_ADMIN and gives 0 for
> the PFN.
> This patch adds support to directly interact with page_idle tracking at
> the PID level by introducing a /proc/<pid>/page_idle file. This
> eliminates the need for userspace to calculate the mapping of the page.
> It follows the exact same semantics as the global
> /sys/kernel/mm/page_idle, however it is easier to use for some usecases
> where looking up PFN is not needed and also does not require SYS_ADMIN.
> It ended up simplifying userspace code, solving the security issue
> mentioned and works quite well. SELinux does not need to be turned off
> since no pagemap look up is needed.
> In Android, we are using this for the heap profiler (heapprofd) which
> profiles and pin points code paths which allocates and leaves memory
> idle for long periods of time.
> Documentation material:
> The idle page tracking API for virtual address indexing using virtual page
> frame numbers (VFN) is located at /proc/<pid>/page_idle. It is a bitmap
> that follows the same semantics as /sys/kernel/mm/page_idle/bitmap
> except that it uses virtual instead of physical frame numbers.
> This idle page tracking API can be simpler to use than physical address
> indexing, since the pagemap for a process does not need to be looked up
> to mark or read a page's idle bit. It is also more accurate than
> physical address indexing since in physical address indexing, address
> space changes can occur between reading the pagemap and reading the
> bitmap. In virtual address indexing, the process's mmap_sem is held for
> the duration of the access.

I didn't get to read the actual code but the overall idea makes sense to
me. I can see this being useful for userspace memory management (along

Normally I would object that a cumbersome nature of the existing
interface can be hidden in a userspace but I do agree that rowhammer has
made this one close to unusable for anything but a privileged process.

I do not think you can make any argument about accuracy because
the information will never be accurate. Sure the race window is smaller
in principle but you can hardly say anything about how much or whether
at all.

Michal Hocko

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