[RFC PATCH v2 1/3] mm/gup: fix gup_fast with dynamic page table folding

John Hubbard jhubbard at nvidia.com
Thu Sep 10 17:22:37 EDT 2020

On 9/10/20 11:13 AM, Jason Gunthorpe wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 10, 2020 at 10:35:38AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 10, 2020 at 2:40 AM Alexander Gordeev
>> <agordeev at linux.ibm.com> wrote:
>>> It is only gup_fast case that exposes the issue. It hits because
>>> pointers to stack copies are passed to gup_pXd_range iterators, not
>>> pointers to real page tables itself.
>> Can we possibly change fast-gup to not do the stack copies?
>> I'd actually rather do something like that, than the "addr_end" thing.
>> As you say, none of the other page table walking code does what the
>> GUP code does, and I don't think it's required.
> As I understand it, the requirement is because fast-gup walks without
> the page table spinlock, or mmap_sem held so it must READ_ONCE the
> *pXX.
> It then checks that it is a valid page table pointer, then calls
> pXX_offset().
> The arch implementation of pXX_offset() derefs again the passed pXX
> pointer. So it defeats the READ_ONCE and the 2nd load could observe
> something that is no longer a page table pointer and crash.

Just to be clear, though, that makes it sound a little wilder and
reckless than it really is, right?

Because actually, the page tables cannot be freed while gup_fast is
walking them, due to either IPI blocking during the walk, or the moral
equivalent (MMU_GATHER_RCU_TABLE_FREE) for non-IPI architectures. So the
pages tables can *change* underneath gup_fast, and for example pages can
be unmapped. But they remain valid page tables, it's just that their
contents are unstable. Even if pXd_none()==true.

Or am I way off here, and it really is possible (aside from the current
s390 situation) to observe something that "is no longer a page table"?

John Hubbard

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