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From: Anshuman Khandual <>
To: Zi Yan <>, Andrea Arcangeli <>
	Naoya Horiguchi <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] mm/thp: Correctly differentiate between mapped THP and PMD migration entry
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:36:35 +0530	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On 10/15/2018 06:23 AM, Zi Yan wrote:
> On 12 Oct 2018, at 4:00, Anshuman Khandual wrote:
>> On 10/10/2018 06:13 PM, Zi Yan wrote:
>>> On 10 Oct 2018, at 0:05, Anshuman Khandual wrote:
>>>> On 10/09/2018 07:28 PM, Zi Yan wrote:
>>>>> cc: Naoya Horiguchi (who proposed to use !_PAGE_PRESENT && !_PAGE_PSE for x86
>>>>> PMD migration entry check)
>>>>> On 8 Oct 2018, at 23:58, Anshuman Khandual wrote:
>>>>>> A normal mapped THP page at PMD level should be correctly differentiated
>>>>>> from a PMD migration entry while walking the page table. A mapped THP would
>>>>>> additionally check positive for pmd_present() along with pmd_trans_huge()
>>>>>> as compared to a PMD migration entry. This just adds a new conditional test
>>>>>> differentiating the two while walking the page table.
>>>>>> Fixes: 616b8371539a6 ("mm: thp: enable thp migration in generic path")
>>>>>> Signed-off-by: Anshuman Khandual <>
>>>>>> ---
>>>>>> On X86, pmd_trans_huge() and is_pmd_migration_entry() are always mutually
>>>>>> exclusive which makes the current conditional block work for both mapped
>>>>>> and migration entries. This is not same with arm64 where pmd_trans_huge()
>>>>> !pmd_present() && pmd_trans_huge() is used to represent THPs under splitting,
>>>> Not really if we just look at code in the conditional blocks.
>>> Yeah, I explained it wrong above. Sorry about that.
>>> In x86, pmd_present() checks (_PAGE_PRESENT | _PAGE_PROTNONE | _PAGE_PSE),
>>> thus, it returns true even if the present bit is cleared but PSE bit is set.
>> Okay.
>>> This is done so, because THPs under splitting are regarded as present in the kernel
>>> but not present when a hardware page table walker checks it.
>> Okay.
>>> For PMD migration entry, which should be regarded as not present, if PSE bit
>>> is set, which makes pmd_trans_huge() returns true, like ARM64 does, all
>>> PMD migration entries will be regarded as present
>> Okay to make pmd_present() return false pmd_trans_huge() has to return false
>> as well. Is there anything which can be done to get around this problem on
>> X86 ? pmd_trans_huge() returning true for a migration entry sounds logical.
>> Otherwise we would revert the condition block order to accommodate both the
>> implementation for pmd_trans_huge() as suggested by Kirill before or just
>> consider this patch forward.
>> Because I am not really sure yet about the idea of getting pmd_present()
>> check into pmd_trans_huge() on arm64 just to make it fit into this semantics
>> as suggested by Will. If a PMD is trans huge page or not should not depend on
>> whether it is present or not.
> In terms of THPs, we have three cases: a present THP, a THP under splitting,
> and a THP under migration. pmd_present() and pmd_trans_huge() both return true
> for a present THP and a THP under splitting, because they discover _PAGE_PSE bit

Then how do we differentiate between a mapped THP and a splitting THP.

> is set for both cases, whereas they both return false for a THP under migration.
> You want to change them to make pmd_trans_huge() returns true for a THP under migration
> instead of false to help ARM64a??s support for THP migration.
I am just trying to understand the rationale behind this semantics and see where
it should be fixed.

I think the fundamental problem here is that THP under split has been difficult
to be re-presented through the available helper functions and in turn PTE bits.

The following checks

1) pmd_present()
2) pmd_trans_huge()

Represent three THP states

1) Mapped THP		(pmd_present && pmd_trans_huge)
2) Splitting THP	(pmd_present && pmd_trans_huge)
3) Migrating THP	(!pmd_present && !pmd_trans_huge)

The problem is if we make pmd_trans_huge() return true for all the three states
which sounds logical because they are all still trans huge PMD, then pmd_present()
can only represent two states not three as required.

> For x86, this change requires:
> 1. changing the condition in pmd_trans_huge(), so that it returns true for
> PMD migration entries;
> 2. changing the code, which calls pmd_trans_huge(), to match the new logic.
Can those be fixed with an additional check for pmd_present() as suggested here
in this patch ? Asking because in case we could not get common semantics for
these helpers on all arch that would be a fall back option for the moment.

> Another problem I see is that x86a??s pmd_present() returns true for a THP under
> splitting but ARM64a??s pmd_present() returns false for a THP under splitting.

But how did you conclude this ? I dont see any explicit helper for splitting
THP. Could you please point me in the code ?

> I do not know if there is any correctness issue with this. So I copy Andrea
> here, since he made x86a??s pmd_present() returns true for a THP under splitting
> as an optimization. I want to understand more about it and potentially make
> x86 and ARM64 (maybe all other architectures, too) return the same value
> for all three cases mentioned above.

I agree. Fixing the semantics is the right thing to do. I am kind of wondering if
it would be a good idea to have explicit helpers for (1) mapped THP, (2) splitting
THP like the one for (3) migrating THP (e.g is_pmd_migration_entry) and use them
in various conditional blocks instead of looking out for multiple checks like
pmd_trans_huge(), pmd_present() etc. It will help unify the semantics as well.

> Hi Andrea, what is the purpose/benefit of making x86a??s pmd_present() returns true
> for a THP under splitting? Does it cause problems when ARM64a??s pmd_present()
> returns false in the same situation?
>>> My concern is that if ARM64a??s pmd_trans_huge() returns true for migration
>>> entries, unlike x86, there might be bugs triggered in the kernel when
>>> THP migration is enabled in ARM64.
>> Right and that is exactly what we are trying to fix with this patch.
> I am not sure this patch can fix the problem in ARM64, because many other places
> in the kernel, pmd_trans_huge() still returns false for a THP under migration.
> We may need more comprehensive fixes for ARM64.
Are there more places where semantics needs to be fixed than what was originally
added through 616b8371539a ("mm: thp: enable thp migration in generic path").

  reply	other threads:[~2018-10-16  9:48 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 24+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2018-10-09  3:58 [PATCH] mm/thp: Correctly differentiate between mapped THP and PMD migration entry Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-09 13:04 ` Kirill A. Shutemov
2018-10-09 13:18   ` Will Deacon
2018-10-12  8:02     ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-15  8:32       ` Aneesh Kumar K.V
2018-10-16 13:16         ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-09 13:42   ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-09 13:58 ` Zi Yan
2018-10-10  4:05   ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-10 12:43     ` Zi Yan
2018-10-12  8:00       ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-15  0:53         ` Zi Yan
2018-10-15  4:06           ` Anshuman Khandual [this message]
2018-10-16 14:31             ` Zi Yan
2018-10-18  2:17               ` Naoya Horiguchi
2018-11-02  5:22                 ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-25  8:10               ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-25 18:45                 ` Zi Yan
2018-10-26  1:39                   ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-10-17  2:09           ` Andrea Arcangeli
2018-10-22 14:00             ` Zi Yan
2018-11-02  6:15             ` Anshuman Khandual
2018-11-06  0:35               ` Will Deacon
2018-11-06  9:51                 ` Anshuman Khandual

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