Hi Robert, Ard,

Sorry for the delay in getting to this; I've been travelling a lot
lately and in the meantime this managed to get buried in my inbox.

On Thu, Oct 06, 2016 at 06:11:14PM +0200, Robert Richter wrote:
> On 06.10.16 11:00:33, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
> > On 6 October 2016 at 10:52, Robert Richter <rrich...@cavium.com> wrote:
> > > There is a memory setup problem on ThunderX systems with certain
> > > memory configurations. The symptom is
> > >
> > >  kernel BUG at mm/page_alloc.c:1848!
> > >
> > > This happens for some configs with 64k page size enabled. The bug
> > > triggers for page zones with some pages in the zone not assigned to
> > > this particular zone. In my case some pages that are marked as nomap
> > > were not reassigned to the new zone of node 1, so those are still
> > > assigned to node 0.
> > >
> > > The reason for the mis-configuration is a change in pfn_valid() which
> > > reports pages marked nomap as invalid:
> > >
> > >  68709f45385a arm64: only consider memblocks with NOMAP cleared for 
> > > linear mapping
> > 
> > These pages are owned by the firmware, which may map it with
> > attributes that conflict with the attributes we use for the linear
> > mapping. This means they should not be covered by the linear mapping.
> > 
> > > This causes pages marked as nomap being no long reassigned to the new
> > > zone in memmap_init_zone() by calling __init_single_pfn().

Why do we have pages for a nomap region? Given the region shouldn't be
in the linear mapping, and isn't suitable for general allocation, I
don't believe it makes sense to have a struct page for any part of it.

Am I missing some reason that we require a struct page?

e.g. is it just easier to allocate an unused struct page than to carve
it out?

> > This sounds like the root cause of your issue. Could we not fix that 
> > instead?
> Yes, this is proposal b) from my last mail that would work too: I
> implemented an arm64 private early_pfn_valid() function that uses
> memblock_is_memory() to setup all pages of a zone. Though, I think
> this is the wrong way and thus I prefer this patch instead. I see
> serveral reasons for this:
> Inconsistent use of struct *page, it is initialized but never used
> again.

As above, I don't believe we should have a struct page to initialise in
the first place.

> Other archs only do a basic range check in pfn_valid(), the default
> implementation just returns if the whole section is valid. As I
> understand the code, if the mem range is not aligned to the section,
> then there will be pfn's in the section that don't have physical mem
> attached. The page is then just initialized, it's not marked reserved
> nor the refcount is non-zero. It is then simply not used. This is how
> no-map pages should be handled too.
> I think pfn_valid() is just a quick check if the pfn's struct *page
> can be used. There is a good description for this in include/linux/
> mmzone.h. So there can be memory holes that have a valid pfn.

I take it you mean the comment in the CONFIG_ARCH_HAS_HOLES_MEMORYMODEL
ifdef (line 1266 in v4.9-rc1)?

I'm not sufficiently acquainted with the memmap code to follow; I'll
need to dig into that a bit further.

> If the no-map memory needs special handling, then additional checks
> need to be added to the particular code (as in ioremap.c). It's imo
> wrong to (mis-)use pfn_valid for that.
> Variant b) involves generic mm code to fix it for arm64, this patch is
> an arm64 change only. This makes it harder to get a fix for it.
> (Though maybe only a problem of patch logistics.)
> > > Fixing this by restoring the old behavior of pfn_valid() to use
> > > memblock_is_memory().
> > 
> > This is incorrect imo. In general, pfn_valid() means ordinary memory
> > covered by the linear mapping and the struct page array. Returning
> > reserved ranges that the kernel should not even touch only to please
> > the NUMA code seems like an inappropriate way to deal with this issue.
> As said above, it is not marked as reserved, it is treated like
> non-existing memory.

I think Ard was using "reserved" in the more general sense than the
Linux-specific meaning. NOMAP is distinct from the Linux concept of
"reserved" memory, but is "reserved" in some sense.

Memory with NOMAP is meant to be treated as non-existent for the purpose
of the linear mapping (and thus for the purpose of struct page).

> This has been observed for non-numa kernels too and can happen for
> each zone that is only partly initialized.
> I think the patch addresses your concerns. I can't see there the
> kernel uses memory marked as nomap in a wrong way.

I'll have to dig into this locally; I'm still not familiar enough with
this code to know what the right thing to do is.


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