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Date:   Fri, 15 Oct 2021 18:39:49 +0200
From:   David Hildenbrand <>
To:     Suren Baghdasaryan <>
Cc:     Michal Hocko <>, Kees Cook <>,
        Pavel Machek <>,
        Rasmus Villemoes <>,
        John Hubbard <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        Colin Cross <>,
        Sumit Semwal <>,
        Dave Hansen <>,
        Matthew Wilcox <>,
        "Kirill A . Shutemov" <>,
        Vlastimil Babka <>,
        Johannes Weiner <>,
        Jonathan Corbet <>,
        Al Viro <>,
        Randy Dunlap <>,
        Kalesh Singh <>,
        Peter Xu <>,,
        Peter Zijlstra <>,
        Catalin Marinas <>,,
        Chinwen Chang (張錦文) 
        Axel Rasmussen <>,
        Andrea Arcangeli <>,
        Jann Horn <>,,
        Yu Zhao <>, Will Deacon <>,,,
        Hugh Dickins <>,,
        Jason Gunthorpe <>, Roman Gushchin <>,
        Thomas Gleixner <>,,
        Chris Hyser <>,
        Peter Collingbourne <>,
        "Eric W. Biederman" <>,
        Jens Axboe <>,,
        Rolf Eike Beer <>,
        Cyrill Gorcunov <>,
        Muchun Song <>,
        Viresh Kumar <>,
        Thomas Cedeno <>,,, LKML <>,,,
        linux-mm <>,
        kernel-team <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v10 3/3] mm: add anonymous vma name refcounting

>>> 1. Forking a process with anonymous vmas named using memfd is 5-15%
>>> slower than with prctl (depends on the number of VMAs in the process
>>> being forked). Profiling shows that i_mmap_lock_write() dominates
>>> dup_mmap(). Exit path is also slower by roughly 9% with
>>> free_pgtables() and fput() dominating exit_mmap(). Fork performance is
>>> important for Android because almost all processes are forked from
>>> zygote, therefore this limitation already makes this approach
>>> prohibitive.
>> Interesting, naturally I wonder if that can be optimized.
> Maybe but it looks like we simply do additional things for file-backed
> memory, which seems natural. The call to i_mmap_lock_write() is from
> here:
>>> 2. mremap() usage to grow the mapping has an issue when used with memfds:
>>> fd = memfd_create(name, MFD_ALLOW_SEALING);
>>> ftruncate(fd, size_bytes);
>>> ptr = mmap(NULL, size_bytes, prot, MAP_PRIVATE, fd, 0);
>>> close(fd);
>>> ptr = mremap(ptr, size_bytes, size_bytes * 2, MREMAP_MAYMOVE);
>>> touch_mem(ptr, size_bytes * 2);
>>> This would generate a SIGBUS in touch_mem(). I believe it's because
>>> ftruncate() specified the size to be size_bytes and we are accessing
>>> more than that after remapping. prctl() does not have this limitation
>>> and we do have a usecase for growing a named VMA.
>> Can't you simply size the memfd much larger? I mean, it doesn't really
>> cost much, does it?
> If we know beforehand what the max size it can reach then that would
> be possible. I would really hate to miscalculate here and cause a
> simple memory access to generate signals. Tracking such corner cases
> in the field is not an easy task and I would rather avoid the
> possibility of it.

The question would be if you cannot simply add some extremely large
number, because the file size itself doesn't really matter for memfd IIRC.

Having that said, without trying it out, I wouldn't know from the top of
my head if memremap would work that way on an already closed fd that ahs
a sufficient size :/ If you have the example still somewhere, I would be
interested if that would work in general.


>>> 4. There is a usecase in the Android userspace where vma naming
>>> happens after memory was allocated. Bionic linker does in-memory
>>> relocations and then names some relocated sections.
>> Would renaming a memfd be an option or is that "too late" ?
> My understanding is that linker allocates space to load and relocate
> the code, performs the relocations in that space and then names some
> of the regions after that. Whether it can be redesigned to allocate
> multiple named regions and perform the relocation between them I did
> not really try since it would be a project by itself.
> TBH, at some point I just look at the amount of required changes (both
> kernel and userspace) and new limitations that userspace has to adhere
> to for fitting memfds to my usecase, and I feel that it's just not
> worth it. In the end we end up using the same refcounted strings with
> vma->vm_file->f_count as the refcount and name stored in
> vma->vm_file->f_path->dentry but with more overhead.

Yes, but it's glued to files which naturally have names :)

Again, I appreciate that you looked into alternatives! I can see the
late renaming could be the biggest blocker if user space cannot be
adjusted easily to be compatible with that using memfds.


David / dhildenb

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