[PATCH] mm, kasan: don't poison boot memory

David Hildenbrand david at redhat.com
Thu Feb 18 03:55:07 EST 2021

On 17.02.21 21:56, Andrey Konovalov wrote:
> During boot, all non-reserved memblock memory is exposed to the buddy
> allocator. Poisoning all that memory with KASAN lengthens boot time,
> especially on systems with large amount of RAM. This patch makes
> page_alloc to not call kasan_free_pages() on all new memory.
> __free_pages_core() is used when exposing fresh memory during system
> boot and when onlining memory during hotplug. This patch adds a new
> FPI_SKIP_KASAN_POISON flag and passes it to __free_pages_ok() through
> free_pages_prepare() from __free_pages_core().
> This has little impact on KASAN memory tracking.
> Assuming that there are no references to newly exposed pages before they
> are ever allocated, there won't be any intended (but buggy) accesses to
> that memory that KASAN would normally detect.
> However, with this patch, KASAN stops detecting wild and large
> out-of-bounds accesses that happen to land on a fresh memory page that
> was never allocated. This is taken as an acceptable trade-off.
> All memory allocated normally when the boot is over keeps getting
> poisoned as usual.
> Signed-off-by: Andrey Konovalov <andreyknvl at google.com>
> Change-Id: Iae6b1e4bb8216955ffc14af255a7eaaa6f35324d

Not sure this is the right thing to do, see


Reversing the order in which memory gets allocated + used during boot 
(in a patch by me) might have revealed an invalid memory access during boot.

I suspect that that issue would no longer get detected with your patch, 
as the invalid memory access would simply not get detected. Now, I 
cannot prove that :)


David / dhildenb

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