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SubjectRe: [RFC-PATCH 2/4] mm: Add __rcu_alloc_page_lockless() func.
On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 05:47:41PM +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
> On Fri 25-09-20 17:31:29, Uladzislau Rezki wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > All good points!
> > > > > >
> > > > > > On the other hand, duplicating a portion of the allocator functionality
> > > > > > within RCU increases the amount of reserved memory, and needlessly most
> > > > > > of the time.
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > But it's very similar to what mempools are for.
> > > > >
> > > > As for dynamic caching or mempools. It requires extra logic on top of RCU
> > > > to move things forward and it might be not efficient way. As a side
> > > > effect, maintaining of the bulk arrays in the separate worker thread
> > > > will introduce other drawbacks:
> > >
> > > This is true but it is also true that it is RCU to require this special
> > > logic and we can expect that we might need to fine tune this logic
> > > depending on the RCU usage. We definitely do not want to tune the
> > > generic page allocator for a very specific usecase, do we?
> > >
> > I look at it in scope of GFP_ATOMIC/GFP_NOWAIT issues, i.e. inability
> > to provide a memory service for contexts which are not allowed to
> > sleep, RCU is part of them. Both flags used to provide such ability
> > before but not anymore.
> >
> > Do you agree with it?
>
> Yes this sucks. But this is something that we likely really want to live
> with. We have to explicitly _document_ that really atomic contexts in RT
> cannot use the allocator. From the past discussions we've had this is
> likely the most reasonable way forward because we do not really want to
> encourage anybody to do something like that and there should be ways
> around that. The same is btw. true also for !RT. The allocator is not
> NMI safe and while we should be able to make it compatible I am not
> convinced we really want to.
>
> Would something like this be helpful wrt documentation?
>
> diff --git a/include/linux/gfp.h b/include/linux/gfp.h
> index 67a0774e080b..9fcd47606493 100644
> --- a/include/linux/gfp.h
> +++ b/include/linux/gfp.h
> @@ -238,7 +238,9 @@ struct vm_area_struct;
> * %__GFP_FOO flags as necessary.
> *
> * %GFP_ATOMIC users can not sleep and need the allocation to succeed. A lower
> - * watermark is applied to allow access to "atomic reserves"
> + * watermark is applied to allow access to "atomic reserves".
> + * The current implementation doesn't support NMI and other non-preemptive context
> + * (e.g. raw_spin_lock).

I think documenting is useful.

Could it be more explicit in what the issue is? Something like:

* Even with GFP_ATOMIC, calls to the allocator can sleep on PREEMPT_RT
systems. Therefore, the current low-level allocator implementation does not
support being called from special contexts that are atomic on RT - such as
NMI and raw_spin_lock. Due to these constraints and considering calling code
usually has no control over the PREEMPT_RT configuration, callers of the
allocator should avoid calling the allocator from these cotnexts even in
non-RT systems.

thanks!

- Joel


> *
> * %GFP_KERNEL is typical for kernel-internal allocations. The caller requires
> * %ZONE_NORMAL or a lower zone for direct access but can direct reclaim.
>
> [...]
> --
> Michal Hocko
> SUSE Labs

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