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Date:   Thu, 12 Oct 2023 17:30:34 +0200
From:   David Hildenbrand <>
To:     Naoya Horiguchi <>
Cc:, Andrew Morton <>,
        Matthew Wilcox <>,
        "Kirill A. Shutemov" <>,
        Mike Kravetz <>,
        Miaohe Lin <>,
        Vlastimil Babka <>,
        Muchun Song <>,
        Naoya Horiguchi <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v1 0/5] mm, kpageflags: support folio and fix output for
 compound pages

On 12.10.23 17:02, Naoya Horiguchi wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 12, 2023 at 10:33:04AM +0200, David Hildenbrand wrote:
>> On 10.10.23 16:27, Naoya Horiguchi wrote:
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> This patchset addresses 2 issues in /proc/kpageflags.
>>>     1. We can't easily tell folio from thp, because currently both pages are
>>>        judged as thp, and
>>>     2. we see some garbage data in records of compound tail pages because
>>>        we use tail pages to store some internal data.
>>> These issues require userspace programs to do additional work to understand
>>> the page status, which makes situation more complicated.
>>> This patchset tries to solve these by defining KPF_FOLIO for issue 1., and
>>> by hiding part of page flag info on tail pages of compound pages for issue 2.
>>> I think that technically some compound pages like thp/hugetlb/slab could be
>>> considered as folio, but in this version KPF_FOLIO is set only on folios
>> At least thp+hugetlb are most certainly folios. Regarding slab, I suspect we
>> no longer call them folios (cannot be mapped to user space). But Im not sure
>> about the type hierarchy.
> I'm not sure about the exact definition of "folio", and I think it's better
> to make KPF_FOLIO set based on the definition.

Me neither. But in any case a THP *is* a folio. So you'd have to set 
that flag in any case.

And any order-0 page (i.e., anon, pagecache) is also a folio. What you 
seem to imply with folio is "large folio". So KPF_FOLIO is really wrong 
as far as I can tell.

> "being mapped to userspace" can be one possible criteria for the definition.
> But reading source code, folio_slab() and slab_folio() convert between
> struct slab and struct folio, so I feel that someone might think a slab is
> a kind of folio.

I keep forgetting if "folio" is just the generic term for any order-0 or 
compound page, or only for some of them. I usually live in the "anon" 
world, so I don't get reminded that often :)

>>> in pagecache (so "folios in narrower meaning").  I'm not confident about
>>> this choice, so if you have any idea about this, please let me know.
>> It does sound inconsistent. What exactly do you want to tell user space with
>> the new flag?
> The current most problematic behavior is to report folio as thp (order-2
> pagecache page is definitely a folio but not a thp), and this is what the
> new flag is intended to tell.

We are currently considering calling these sub-PMD sized THPs 
"small-sized THP". [1] Arguably, we're starting with the anon part where 
we won't get around exposing them to the user in sysfs.

So I wouldn't immediately say that these things are not THPs. They are 
not PMD-sized THP. A slab/hugetlb is certainly not a thp but a folio. 
Whereby slabs can also be order-0 folios, but hugetlb can't.

Looking at other interfaces, we do expose:

include/uapi/linux/kernel-page-flags.h:#define KPF_COMPOUND_HEAD        15
include/uapi/linux/kernel-page-flags.h:#define KPF_COMPOUND_TAIL        16

So maybe we should just continue talking about compound pages or do we 
have to use both terms here in this interface?



David / dhildenb

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