Commit 8edb08ca authored by Lee Schermerhorn's avatar Lee Schermerhorn Committed by Linus Torvalds
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mlock: downgrade mmap sem while populating mlocked regions

We need to hold the mmap_sem for write to initiatate mlock()/munlock()
because we may need to merge/split vmas.  However, this can lead to very
long lock hold times attempting to fault in a large memory region to mlock
it into memory.  This can hold off other faults against the mm
[multithreaded tasks] and other scans of the mm, such as via /proc.  To
alleviate this, downgrade the mmap_sem to read mode during the population
of the region for locking.  This is especially the case if we need to
reclaim memory to lock down the region.  We [probably?] don't need to do
this for unlocking as all of the pages should be resident--they're already

Now, the caller's of the mlock functions [mlock_fixup() and
mlock_vma_pages_range()] expect the mmap_sem to be returned in write mode.
 Changing all callers appears to be way too much effort at this point.
So, restore write mode before returning.  Note that this opens a window
where the mmap list could change in a multithreaded process.  So, at least
for mlock_fixup(), where we could be called in a loop over multiple vmas,
we check that a vma still exists at the start address and that vma still
covers the page range [start,end).  If not, we return an error, -EAGAIN,
and let the caller deal with it.

Return -EAGAIN from mlock_vma_pages_range() function and mlock_fixup() if
the vma at 'start' disappears or changes so that the page range
[start,end) is no longer contained in the vma.  Again, let the caller deal
with it.  Looks like only sys_remap_file_pages() [via mmap_region()]
should actually care.

With this patch, I no longer see processes like ps(1) blocked for seconds
or minutes at a time waiting for a large [multiple gigabyte] region to be
locked down.  However, I occassionally see delays while unlocking or
unmapping a large mlocked region.  Should we also downgrade the mmap_sem
for the unlock path?
Signed-off-by: default avatarLee Schermerhorn <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarRik van Riel <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarAndrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarLinus Torvalds <>
parent fa07e787
......@@ -318,6 +318,7 @@ static void __munlock_vma_pages_range(struct vm_area_struct *vma,
int mlock_vma_pages_range(struct vm_area_struct *vma,
unsigned long start, unsigned long end)
struct mm_struct *mm = vma->vm_mm;
int nr_pages = (end - start) / PAGE_SIZE;
BUG_ON(!(vma->vm_flags & VM_LOCKED));
......@@ -329,8 +330,19 @@ int mlock_vma_pages_range(struct vm_area_struct *vma,
if (!((vma->vm_flags & (VM_DONTEXPAND | VM_RESERVED)) ||
is_vm_hugetlb_page(vma) ||
vma == get_gate_vma(current)))
return __mlock_vma_pages_range(vma, start, end);
vma == get_gate_vma(current))) {
nr_pages = __mlock_vma_pages_range(vma, start, end);
/* vma can change or disappear */
vma = find_vma(mm, start);
/* non-NULL vma must contain @start, but need to check @end */
if (!vma || end > vma->vm_end)
return -EAGAIN;
return nr_pages;
* User mapped kernel pages or huge pages:
......@@ -424,13 +436,41 @@ success:
vma->vm_flags = newflags;
if (lock) {
* mmap_sem is currently held for write. Downgrade the write
* lock to a read lock so that other faults, mmap scans, ...
* while we fault in all pages.
ret = __mlock_vma_pages_range(vma, start, end);
if (ret > 0) {
mm->locked_vm -= ret;
ret = 0;
} else
* Need to reacquire mmap sem in write mode, as our callers
* expect this. We have no support for atomically upgrading
* a sem to write, so we need to check for ranges while sem
* is unlocked.
/* vma can change or disappear */
*prev = find_vma(mm, start);
/* non-NULL *prev must contain @start, but need to check @end */
if (!(*prev) || end > (*prev)->vm_end)
ret = -EAGAIN;
} else {
* TODO: for unlocking, pages will already be resident, so
* we don't need to wait for allocations/reclaim/pagein, ...
* However, unlocking a very large region can still take a
* while. Should we downgrade the semaphore for both lock
* AND unlock ?
__munlock_vma_pages_range(vma, start, end);
*prev = vma;
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