[PATCH 00/23] arch: allow pte_offset_map[_lock]() to fail

Hugh Dickins hughd at google.com
Thu May 11 14:35:44 AEST 2023

On Wed, 10 May 2023, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> On Tue, May 09, 2023 at 09:39:13PM -0700, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> > Two: pte_offset_map() will need to do an rcu_read_lock(), with the
> > corresponding rcu_read_unlock() in pte_unmap().  But most architectures
> > never supported CONFIG_HIGHPTE, so some don't always call pte_unmap()
> > after pte_offset_map(), or have used userspace pte_offset_map() where
> > pte_offset_kernel() is more correct.  No problem in the current tree,
> > but a problem once an rcu_read_unlock() will be needed to keep balance.
> Hi Hugh,
> I shall have to spend some time looking at these patches, but at LSFMM
> just a few hours ago, I proposed and nobody objected to removing
> CONFIG_HIGHPTE.  I don't intend to take action on that consensus
> immediately, so I can certainly wait until your patches are applied, but
> if this information simplifies what you're doing, feel free to act on it.

Thanks a lot, Matthew: very considerate, as usual.

Yes, I did see your "Whither Highmem?" (wither highmem!) proposal on the
list, and it did make me think, better get these patches and preview out
soon, before you get to vanish pte_unmap() altogether.  HIGHMEM or not,
HIGHPTE or not, I think pte_offset_map() and pte_unmap() still have an
important role to play.

I don't really understand why you're going down a remove-CONFIG_HIGHPTE
route: I thought you were motivated by the awkardness of kmap on large
folios; but I don't see how removing HIGHPTE helps with that at all
(unless you have a "large page tables" effort in mind, but I doubt it).

But I've no investment in CONFIG_HIGHPTE if people think now is the
time to remove it: I disagree, but wouldn't miss it myself - so long
as you leave pte_offset_map() and pte_unmap() (under whatever names).

I don't think removing CONFIG_HIGHPTE will simplify what I'm doing.
For a moment it looked like it would: the PAE case is nasty (and our
data centres have not been on PAE for a long time, so it wasn't a
problem I had to face before); and knowing pmd_high must be 0 for a
page table looked like it would help, but now I'm not so sure of that
(hmm, I'm changing my mind again as I write).

Peter's pmdp_get_lockless() does rely for complete correctness on
interrupts being disabled, and I suspect that I may be forced in the
PAE case to do so briefly; but detest that notion.  For now I'm just
deferring it, hoping for a better idea before third series finalized.

I mention this (and Cc Peter) in passing: don't want this arch thread
to go down into that rabbit hole: we can start a fresh thread on it if
you wish, but right now my priority is commit messages for the second
series, rather than solving (or even detailing) the PAE problem.


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