Re: page table lock patch V15 [0/7]: overview

From: Christoph Lameter <>
Date: 2005-01-13 11:16:43
On Thu, 13 Jan 2005, Nick Piggin wrote:

> > Pointer operations and word size operations are atomic. So this is mostly
> > okay.
> >
> > The issue arises on architectures that have a large pte size than the
> > wordsize. This is only on i386 PAE mode and S/390. S/390 falls back to
> > the page table lock  for these operations. PAE mode should do the same and
> > not use atomic ops if they cannot be made to work in a reasonable manner.
> >
> Yep well you should be OK then. Your implementation has the advantage
> that it only instantiates previously clear ptes... hmm, no I'm wrong,
> your ptep_set_access_flags path modifies an existing pte. I think this
> can cause subtle races in copy_page_range, and maybe other places,
> can't it?

ptep_set_access_flags is only used after acquiring the page_table_lock and
does not clear a pte. That is safe. The only critical thing is if a pte
would be cleared while holding the page_table_lock. That used to occur in
the swapper code but we modified that.

There is still an issue as Hugh rightly observed. One cannot rely on a
read of a pte/pud/pmd being atomic if the pte is > word size. This occurs
for all higher levels in handle_mm_fault. Thus we would need to either
acuire the page_table_lock for some architectures or provide primitives
get_pgd, get_pud etc that take the page_table_lock on PAE mode. ARGH.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-ia64" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Received on Wed Jan 12 19:21:06 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 2005-08-02 09:20:34 EST