Commit 285b2c4f authored by Hugh Dickins's avatar Hugh Dickins Committed by Linus Torvalds

tmpfs: demolish old swap vector support

The maximum size of a shmem/tmpfs file has been limited by the maximum
size of its triple-indirect swap vector.  With 4kB page size, maximum
filesize was just over 2TB on a 32-bit kernel, but sadly one eighth of
that on a 64-bit kernel.  (With 8kB page size, maximum filesize was just
over 4TB on a 64-bit kernel, but 16TB on a 32-bit kernel,
MAX_LFS_FILESIZE being then more restrictive than swap vector layout.)

It's a shame that tmpfs should be more restrictive than ramfs, and this
limitation has now been noticed.  Add another level to the swap vector?
No, it became obscure and hard to maintain, once I complicated it to
make use of highmem pages nine years ago: better choose another way.

Surely, if 2.4 had had the radix tree pagecache introduced in 2.5, then
tmpfs would never have invented its own peculiar radix tree: we would
have fitted swap entries into the common radix tree instead, in much the
same way as we fit swap entries into page tables.

And why should each file have a separate radix tree for its pages and
for its swap entries? The swap entries are required precisely where and
when the pages are not.  We want to put them together in a single radix
tree: which can then avoid much of the locking which was needed to
prevent them from being exchanged underneath us.

This also avoids the waste of memory devoted to swap vectors, first in
the shmem_inode itself, then at least two more pages once a file grew
beyond 16 data pages (pages accounted by df and du, but not by memcg).
Allocated upfront, to avoid allocation when under swapping pressure, but
pure waste when CONFIG_SWAP is not set - I have never spattered around
the ifdefs to prevent that, preferring this move to sharing the common
radix tree instead.

There are three downsides to sharing the radix tree.  One, that it binds
tmpfs more tightly to the rest of mm, either requiring knowledge of swap
entries in radix tree there, or duplication of its code here in shmem.c.
I believe that the simplications and memory savings (and probable higher
performance, not yet measured) justify that.

Two, that on HIGHMEM systems with SWAP enabled, it's the lowmem radix
nodes that cannot be freed under memory pressure - whereas before it was
the less precious highmem swap vector pages that could not be freed.
I'm hoping that 64-bit has now been accessible for long enough, that the
highmem argument has grown much less persuasive.

Three, that swapoff is slower than it used to be on tmpfs files, since
it's using a simple generic mechanism not tailored to it: I find this
noticeable, and shall want to improve, but maybe nobody else will

So...  now remove most of the old swap vector code from shmem.c.  But,
for the moment, keep the simple i_direct vector of 16 pages, with simple
accessors shmem_put_swap() and shmem_get_swap(), as a toy implementation
to help mark where swap needs to be handled in subsequent patches.
Signed-off-by: default avatarHugh Dickins <>
Acked-by: default avatarRik van Riel <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarAndrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarLinus Torvalds <>
parent a2c16d6c
......@@ -17,9 +17,7 @@ struct shmem_inode_info {
unsigned long flags;
unsigned long alloced; /* data pages alloced to file */
unsigned long swapped; /* subtotal assigned to swap */
unsigned long next_index; /* highest alloced index + 1 */
struct shared_policy policy; /* NUMA memory alloc policy */
struct page *i_indirect; /* top indirect blocks page */
union {
swp_entry_t i_direct[SHMEM_NR_DIRECT]; /* first blocks */
char inline_symlink[SHMEM_SYMLINK_INLINE_LEN];
This diff is collapsed.
Markdown is supported
0% or .
You are about to add 0 people to the discussion. Proceed with caution.
Finish editing this message first!
Please register or to comment