[PATCH v17 00/10] mm: introduce memfd_secret system call to create "secret" memory areas

David Hildenbrand david at redhat.com
Tue Feb 9 05:30:53 EST 2021

On 09.02.21 11:23, David Hildenbrand wrote:
>>>> A lot of unevictable memory is a concern regardless of CMA/ZONE_MOVABLE.
>>>> As I've said it is quite easy to land at the similar situation even with
>>>> tmpfs/MAP_ANON|MAP_SHARED on swapless system. Neither of the two is
>>>> really uncommon. It would be even worse that those would be allowed to
>>>> consume both CMA/ZONE_MOVABLE.
>>> IIRC, tmpfs/MAP_ANON|MAP_SHARED memory
>>> a) Is movable, can land in ZONE_MOVABLE/CMA
>>> b) Can be limited by sizing tmpfs appropriately
>>> AFAIK, what you describe is a problem with memory overcommit, not with zone
>>> imbalances (below). Or what am I missing?
>> It can be problem for both. If you have just too much of shm (do not
>> forget about MAP_SHARED|MAP_ANON which is much harder to size from an
>> admin POV) then migrateability doesn't really help because you need a
>> free memory to migrate. Without reclaimability this can easily become a
>> problem. That is why I am saying this is not really a new problem.
>> Swapless systems are not all that uncommon.
> I get your point, it's similar but still different. "no memory in the
> system" vs. "plenty of unusable free memory available in the system".
> In many setups, memory for user space applications can go to
> ZONE_MOVABLE just fine. ZONE_NORMAL etc. can be used for supporting user
> space memory (e.g., page tables) and other kernel stuff.
> Like, have 4GB of ZONE_MOVABLE with 2GB of ZONE_NORMAL. Have an
> application (database) that allocates 4GB of memory. Works just fine.
> The zone ratio ends up being a problem for example with many processes
> (-> many page tables).
> Not being able to put user space memory into the movable zone is a
> special case. And we are introducing yet another special case here
> (besides vfio, rdma, unmigratable huge pages like gigantic pages).
> With plenty of secretmem, looking at /proc/meminfo Total vs. Free can be
> a big lie of how your system behaves.
>>>> One has to be very careful when relying on CMA or movable zones. This is
>>>> definitely worth a comment in the kernel command line parameter
>>>> documentation. But this is not a new problem.
>>> I see the following thing worth documenting:
>>> Assume you have a system with 2GB of ZONE_NORMAL/ZONE_DMA and 4GB of
>>> Assume you make use of 1.5GB of secretmem. Your system might run into OOM
>>> any time although you still have plenty of memory on ZONE_MOVAVLE (and even
>>> swap!), simply because you are making excessive use of unmovable allocations
>>> (for user space!) in an environment where you should not make excessive use
>>> of unmovable allocations (e.g., where should page tables go?).
>> yes, you are right of course and I am not really disputing this. But I
>> would argue that 2:1 Movable/Normal is something to expect problems
>> already. "Lowmem" allocations can easily trigger OOM even without secret
>> mem in the picture. It all just takes to allocate a lot of GFP_KERNEL or
>> even GFP_{HIGH}USER. Really, it is CMA/MOVABLE that are elephant in the
>> room and one has to be really careful when relying on them.
> Right, it's all about what the setup actually needs. Sure, there are
> cases where you need significantly more GFP_KERNEL/GFP_{HIGH}USER such
> that a 2:1 ratio is not feasible. But I claim that these are corner cases.
> Secretmem gives user space the option to allocate a lot of
> GFP_{HIGH}USER memory. If I am not wrong, "ulimit -a" tells me that each
> application on F33 can allocate 16 GiB (!) of secretmem.

Got to learn to do my math. It's 16 MiB - so as a default it's less 
dangerous than I thought!


David / dhildenb

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