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After this documentation was released in July 2003, I was approached by Prentice Hall and asked to write a book on the Linux VM under the Bruce Peren's Open Book Series.

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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Next: 10.3 Mapping High Memory Up: 10. High Memory Management Previous: 10.1 Managing the PKMap   Contents   Index


10.2 Mapping High Memory Pages

Figure 10.1: Call Graph: kmap()

The kmap pool is quite small so it is important that users of kmap() call kunmap() as quickly as possible because the pressure on this small window grows incrementally worse as the size of high memory grows in comparison to low memory. The API for mapping pages from high memory is described in Table 10.1.

Table 10.1: High Memory Mapping/Unmapping API
% latex2html id marker 10104
...s mapped atomically \\ \\\hline
\end{center} \end{table}

The kmap() function itself is fairly simple. It first checks to make sure an interrupt is not calling this function(as it may sleep) and calls out_of_line_bug() if true. An interrupt handler calling BUG() would panic the system so out_of_line_bug() prints out bug information and exits cleanly.

It then checks if the page is already in low memory and simply returns the address if it is. This way, users that need kmap() may use it unconditionally knowing that if it is already a low memory page, the function is still safe. If it is a high page to be mapped, kmap_high() is called to begin the real work.

The kmap_high() function begins with checking the page$\rightarrow$virtual field which is set if the page is already mapped. If it is NULL, map_new_virtual() provides a mapping for the page.

Creating a new virtual mapping with map_new_virtual() is a simple case of linearly scanning pkmap_count. The scan starts at last_pkmap_nr instead of 0 to prevent searching over the same areas repeatedly between kmap()s. When last_pkmap_nr wraps around to 0, flush_all_zero_pkmaps() is called to set all entries from 1 to 0 before flushing the TLB.

If, after another scan, an entry is still not found, the process sleeps on the pkmap_map_wait wait queue until it is woken up after the next kunmap().

Once a mapping has been created, the corresponding entry in the pkmap_count array is incremented and the virtual address in low memory returned.

10.2.1 Unmapping Pages

The kunmap() function, like its complement, performs two checks. The first is an identical check to kmap() for usage from interrupt context. The second is that the page is below highmem_start_page. If it is, the page already exists in low memory and needs no further handling. Once established that it is a page to be unmapped, kunmap_high() is called to perform the unmapping.

Figure 10.2: Call Graph: kunmap()

The kunmap_high() is simple in principle. It decrements the corresponding element for this page in pkmap_count. If it reaches 1 (remember this means no more users but a TLB flush is required), any process waiting on the pkmap_map_wait is woken up as a slot is now available. The page is not unmapped from the page tables then as that would require a TLB flush. It is delayed until flush_all_zero_pkmaps() is called.

next up previous contents index
Next: 10.3 Mapping High Memory Up: 10. High Memory Management Previous: 10.1 Managing the PKMap   Contents   Index
Mel 2004-02-15