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Re: [PATCH RFC 7/7] mm: better document PG_reserved




On Wed, Dec 05, 2018 at 01:28:51PM +0100, David Hildenbrand wrote:
> I don't see a reason why we have to document "Some of them might not even
> exist". If there is a user, we should document it. E.g. for balloon
> drivers we now use PG_offline to indicate that a page might currently
> not be backed by memory in the hypervisor. And that is independent from
> PG_reserved.

I think you're confused by the meaning of "some of them might not even
exist".  What this means is that there might not be memory there; maybe
writes to that memory will be discarded, or maybe they'll cause a machine
check.  Maybe reads will return ~0, or 0, or cause a machine check.
We just don't know what's there, and we shouldn't try touching the memory.

> +++ b/include/linux/page-flags.h
> @@ -17,8 +17,22 @@
>  /*
>   * Various page->flags bits:
>   *
> - * PG_reserved is set for special pages, which can never be swapped out. Some
> - * of them might not even exist...
> + * PG_reserved is set for special pages. The "struct page" of such a page
> + * should in general not be touched (e.g. set dirty) except by their owner.
> + * Pages marked as PG_reserved include:
> + * - Kernel image (including vDSO) and similar (e.g. BIOS, initrd)
> + * - Pages allocated early during boot (bootmem, memblock)
> + * - Zero pages
> + * - Pages that have been associated with a zone but are not available for
> + *   the page allocator (e.g. excluded via online_page_callback())
> + * - Pages to exclude from the hibernation image (e.g. loaded kexec images)
> + * - MMIO pages (communicate with a device, special caching strategy needed)
> + * - MCA pages on ia64 (pages with memory errors)
> + * - Device memory (e.g. PMEM, DAX, HMM)
> + * Some architectures don't allow to ioremap pages that are not marked
> + * PG_reserved (as they might be in use by somebody else who does not respect
> + * the caching strategy). Consequently, PG_reserved for a page mapped into
> + * user space can indicate the zero page, the vDSO, MMIO pages or device memory.

So maybe just add one more option to the list.