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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 13/37] mm: implement speculative handling in __handle_mm_fault().
On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 08:34:56PM +0100, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 12:14:28PM -0700, Michel Lespinasse wrote:
> > On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 05:12:34PM +0100, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> > > One of the worst things we can do while holding a spinlock is take a
> > > cache miss because we then delay for several thousand cycles to wait for
> > > the cache line. That gives every other CPU a really long opportunity
> > > to slam into the spinlock and things go downhill fast at that point.
> > > We've even seen patches to do things like read A, take lock L, then read
> > > A to avoid the cache miss while holding the lock.
> >
> > I understand the effect your are describing, but I do not see how it
> > applies here - what cacheline are we likely to miss on when using
> > local_irq_disable() that we wouldn't touch if using rcu_read_lock() ?
> It's the same cache lines in both cases. The difference is that in one
> case we have interrupts disabled (and a spinlock held? i wasn't clear
> on that) and in the other case, we just have preemption disabled.

To add some context - the problem we are trying to solve here (and a
different instance of it in the next commit) is that we are trying to
map and/or lock the page table, but need to prevent it from being
freed while we are trying to do so. Disabling interrupts or taking an
rcu read lock are two mechanisms for preventing that race, but the
structures accessed are the same in either case.

> > > What sort of performance effect would it have to free page tables
> > > under RCU for all architectures? It's painful on s390 & powerpc because
> > > different tables share the same struct page, but I have to believe that's
> > > a solvable problem.
> >
> > I agree using RCU to free page tables would be a good thing to try.
> > I am afraid of adding that to this patchset though, as it seems
> > somewhate unrelated and adds risk. IMO we are most likely to find
> > justification for pushing this if/when we try accessing remote mm's without
> > taking the mmap lock, since disabling IPIs clearly wouldn't work there.
> I think that needs to happen _before_ this patchset. Creating a mess and
> then trying to clean it up later isn't a great way to do development.

Agree we don't want to create a mess... but I see that as an argument for
not hastily changing the way page tables are reclaimed...

Michel "walken" Lespinasse

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