Библиотека сайта или "Мой Linux Documentation Project"
The book is available and called simply "Understanding The Linux Virtual Memory Manager". There is a lot of additional material in the book that is not available here, including details on later 2.4 kernels, introductions to 2.6, a whole new chapter on the shared memory filesystem, coverage of TLB management, a lot more code commentary, countless other additions and clarifications and a CD with lots of cool stuff on it. This material (although now dated and lacking in comparison to the book) will remain available although I obviously encourge you to buy the book from your favourite book store :-) . As the book is under the Bruce Perens Open Book Series, it will be available 90 days after appearing on the book shelves which means it is not available right now. When it is available, it will be downloadable from http://www.phptr.com/perens so check there for more information.
To be fully clear, this webpage is not the actual book.
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It is impractical to statically initialise all the core kernel memory structures at compile time as there are simply far too many permutations of hardware configurations. Yet to set up even the basic structures requires memory as even the physical page allocator, discussed in the next chapter, needs to allocate memory to initialise itself. But how can the physical page allocator allocate memory to initialise itself?
To address this, a specialised allocator called the Boot Memory Allocator is used. It is based on the most basic of allocators, a First Fit allocator which uses a bitmap to represent memory [#!tanenbaum01!#] instead of linked lists of free blocks. If a bit is 1, the page is allocated and 0 if unallocated. To satisfy allocations of sizes smaller than a page, the allocator records the Page Frame Number (PFN) of the last allocation and the offset the allocation ended at. Subsequent small allocations are ``merged'' together and stored on the same page.
The reader may ask why this allocator is not used for the running system. One compelling reason is that although the first fit allocator does not suffer badly from fragmentation [#!johnstone98!#], memory frequently has to linearly searched to satisfy an allocation. As this is examining bitmaps, it gets very expensive, especially as the first fit algorithm tends to leave many small free blocks at the beginning of physical memory which still get scanned for large allocations, thus making the process very wasteful [#!wilson95!#].
There are two very similar but distinct APIs for the allocator. One is for UMA architectures, listed in Table 6.1 and the other is for NUMA, listed in Table 6.2. The principle difference is that the NUMA API must be supplied with the node affected by the operation but as the callers of these APIs exist in the architecture dependant layer, it is not a significant problem.
This chapter will begin with a description of the structure the allocator uses to describe the physical memory available for each node. We will then illustrate how the limits of physical memory and the sizes of each zone are discovered before talking about how the information is used to initialised the boot memory allocator structures. The allocation and free routines will then be discussed before finally talking about how the boot memory allocator is retired.
- 6.1 Representing the Boot Map
- 6.2 Initialising the Boot Memory Allocator
- 6.3 Allocating Memory
- 6.4 Freeing Memory
- 6.5 Retiring the Boot Memory Allocator
Next: 6.1 Representing the Boot Up: understand-html Previous: 5.7 Copying To/From Userspace   Contents   Index Mel 2004-02-15
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