[PATCH 05/12] powerpc: add pte_free_defer() for pgtables sharing page

Hugh Dickins hughd at google.com
Fri Jun 2 16:38:30 AEST 2023

On Thu, 1 Jun 2023, Gerald Schaefer wrote:
> On Mon, 29 May 2023 07:36:40 -0700 (PDT)
> Hugh Dickins <hughd at google.com> wrote:
> > On Mon, 29 May 2023, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> > > On Sun, May 28, 2023 at 11:20:21PM -0700, Hugh Dickins wrote:  
> > > > +void pte_free_defer(struct mm_struct *mm, pgtable_t pgtable)
> > > > +{
> > > > +	struct page *page;
> > > > +
> > > > +	page = virt_to_page(pgtable);
> > > > +	call_rcu(&page->rcu_head, pte_free_now);
> > > > +}  
> > > 
> > > This can't be safe (on ppc).  IIRC you might have up to 16x4k page
> > > tables sharing one 64kB page.  So if you have two page tables from the
> > > same page being defer-freed simultaneously, you'll reuse the rcu_head
> > > and I cannot imagine things go well from that point.  
> > 
> > Oh yes, of course, thanks for catching that so quickly.
> > So my s390 and sparc implementations will be equally broken.
> > 
> > > 
> > > I have no idea how to solve this problem.  
> > 
> > I do: I'll have to go back to the more complicated implementation we
> > actually ran with on powerpc - I was thinking those complications just
> > related to deposit/withdraw matters, forgetting the one-rcu_head issue.
> > 
> > It uses large (0x10000) increments of the page refcount, avoiding
> > call_rcu() when already active.
> > 
> > It's not a complication I had wanted to explain or test for now,
> > but we shall have to.  Should apply equally well to sparc, but s390
> > more of a problem, since s390 already has its own refcount cleverness.
> Yes, we have 2 pagetables in one 4K page, which could result in same
> rcu_head reuse. It might be possible to use the cleverness from our
> page_table_free() function, e.g. to only do the call_rcu() once, for
> the case where both 2K pagetable fragments become unused, similar to
> how we decide when to actually call __free_page().

Yes, I expect that it will be possible to mesh in with s390's cleverness
there; but I may not be clever enough to do so myself - it was easier to
get right by going my own way - except that the multiply-used rcu_head
soon showed that I'd not got it right at all :-(

> However, it might be much worse, and page->rcu_head from a pagetable
> page cannot be used at all for s390, because we also use page->lru
> to keep our list of free 2K pagetable fragments. I always get confused
> by struct page unions, so not completely sure, but it seems to me that
> page->rcu_head would overlay with page->lru, right?

However, I believe you are right that it's worse.  I'm glad to hear
that you get confused by the struct page unions, me too, I preferred the
old pre-union days when we could see at a glance which fields overlaid.
(Perhaps I'm nostalgically exaggerating that "see at a glance" ease.)

But I think I remember the discussions when rcu_head, and compound_head
at lru.next, came in: with the agreement that rcu_head.next would at
least be 2-aligned to avoid PageTail - ah, it's even commented in the
fundamental include/linux/types.h.

Sigh.  I don't at this moment know what to do for s390:
it is frustrating to be held up by just the one architecture.
But big thanks to you, Gerald, for bringing this to light.


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