Based on kernel version 3.9. Page generated on 2013-05-02 23:12 EST.
1 ============================= 2 NO-MMU MEMORY MAPPING SUPPORT 3 ============================= 4 5 The kernel has limited support for memory mapping under no-MMU conditions, such 6 as are used in uClinux environments. From the userspace point of view, memory 7 mapping is made use of in conjunction with the mmap() system call, the shmat() 8 call and the execve() system call. From the kernel's point of view, execve() 9 mapping is actually performed by the binfmt drivers, which call back into the 10 mmap() routines to do the actual work. 11 12 Memory mapping behaviour also involves the way fork(), vfork(), clone() and 13 ptrace() work. Under uClinux there is no fork(), and clone() must be supplied 14 the CLONE_VM flag. 15 16 The behaviour is similar between the MMU and no-MMU cases, but not identical; 17 and it's also much more restricted in the latter case: 18 19 (*) Anonymous mapping, MAP_PRIVATE 20 21 In the MMU case: VM regions backed by arbitrary pages; copy-on-write 22 across fork. 23 24 In the no-MMU case: VM regions backed by arbitrary contiguous runs of 25 pages. 26 27 (*) Anonymous mapping, MAP_SHARED 28 29 These behave very much like private mappings, except that they're 30 shared across fork() or clone() without CLONE_VM in the MMU case. Since 31 the no-MMU case doesn't support these, behaviour is identical to 32 MAP_PRIVATE there. 33 34 (*) File, MAP_PRIVATE, PROT_READ / PROT_EXEC, !PROT_WRITE 35 36 In the MMU case: VM regions backed by pages read from file; changes to 37 the underlying file are reflected in the mapping; copied across fork. 38 39 In the no-MMU case: 40 41 - If one exists, the kernel will re-use an existing mapping to the 42 same segment of the same file if that has compatible permissions, 43 even if this was created by another process. 44 45 - If possible, the file mapping will be directly on the backing device 46 if the backing device has the BDI_CAP_MAP_DIRECT capability and 47 appropriate mapping protection capabilities. Ramfs, romfs, cramfs 48 and mtd might all permit this. 49 50 - If the backing device device can't or won't permit direct sharing, 51 but does have the BDI_CAP_MAP_COPY capability, then a copy of the 52 appropriate bit of the file will be read into a contiguous bit of 53 memory and any extraneous space beyond the EOF will be cleared 54 55 - Writes to the file do not affect the mapping; writes to the mapping 56 are visible in other processes (no MMU protection), but should not 57 happen. 58 59 (*) File, MAP_PRIVATE, PROT_READ / PROT_EXEC, PROT_WRITE 60 61 In the MMU case: like the non-PROT_WRITE case, except that the pages in 62 question get copied before the write actually happens. From that point 63 on writes to the file underneath that page no longer get reflected into 64 the mapping's backing pages. The page is then backed by swap instead. 65 66 In the no-MMU case: works much like the non-PROT_WRITE case, except 67 that a copy is always taken and never shared. 68 69 (*) Regular file / blockdev, MAP_SHARED, PROT_READ / PROT_EXEC / PROT_WRITE 70 71 In the MMU case: VM regions backed by pages read from file; changes to 72 pages written back to file; writes to file reflected into pages backing 73 mapping; shared across fork. 74 75 In the no-MMU case: not supported. 76 77 (*) Memory backed regular file, MAP_SHARED, PROT_READ / PROT_EXEC / PROT_WRITE 78 79 In the MMU case: As for ordinary regular files. 80 81 In the no-MMU case: The filesystem providing the memory-backed file 82 (such as ramfs or tmpfs) may choose to honour an open, truncate, mmap 83 sequence by providing a contiguous sequence of pages to map. In that 84 case, a shared-writable memory mapping will be possible. It will work 85 as for the MMU case. If the filesystem does not provide any such 86 support, then the mapping request will be denied. 87 88 (*) Memory backed blockdev, MAP_SHARED, PROT_READ / PROT_EXEC / PROT_WRITE 89 90 In the MMU case: As for ordinary regular files. 91 92 In the no-MMU case: As for memory backed regular files, but the 93 blockdev must be able to provide a contiguous run of pages without 94 truncate being called. The ramdisk driver could do this if it allocated 95 all its memory as a contiguous array upfront. 96 97 (*) Memory backed chardev, MAP_SHARED, PROT_READ / PROT_EXEC / PROT_WRITE 98 99 In the MMU case: As for ordinary regular files. 100 101 In the no-MMU case: The character device driver may choose to honour 102 the mmap() by providing direct access to the underlying device if it 103 provides memory or quasi-memory that can be accessed directly. Examples 104 of such are frame buffers and flash devices. If the driver does not 105 provide any such support, then the mapping request will be denied. 106 107 108 ============================ 109 FURTHER NOTES ON NO-MMU MMAP 110 ============================ 111 112 (*) A request for a private mapping of a file may return a buffer that is not 113 page-aligned. This is because XIP may take place, and the data may not be 114 paged aligned in the backing store. 115 116 (*) A request for an anonymous mapping will always be page aligned. If 117 possible the size of the request should be a power of two otherwise some 118 of the space may be wasted as the kernel must allocate a power-of-2 119 granule but will only discard the excess if appropriately configured as 120 this has an effect on fragmentation. 121 122 (*) The memory allocated by a request for an anonymous mapping will normally 123 be cleared by the kernel before being returned in accordance with the 124 Linux man pages (ver 2.22 or later). 125 126 In the MMU case this can be achieved with reasonable performance as 127 regions are backed by virtual pages, with the contents only being mapped 128 to cleared physical pages when a write happens on that specific page 129 (prior to which, the pages are effectively mapped to the global zero page 130 from which reads can take place). This spreads out the time it takes to 131 initialize the contents of a page - depending on the write-usage of the 132 mapping. 133 134 In the no-MMU case, however, anonymous mappings are backed by physical 135 pages, and the entire map is cleared at allocation time. This can cause 136 significant delays during a userspace malloc() as the C library does an 137 anonymous mapping and the kernel then does a memset for the entire map. 138 139 However, for memory that isn't required to be precleared - such as that 140 returned by malloc() - mmap() can take a MAP_UNINITIALIZED flag to 141 indicate to the kernel that it shouldn't bother clearing the memory before 142 returning it. Note that CONFIG_MMAP_ALLOW_UNINITIALIZED must be enabled 143 to permit this, otherwise the flag will be ignored. 144 145 uClibc uses this to speed up malloc(), and the ELF-FDPIC binfmt uses this 146 to allocate the brk and stack region. 147 148 (*) A list of all the private copy and anonymous mappings on the system is 149 visible through /proc/maps in no-MMU mode. 150 151 (*) A list of all the mappings in use by a process is visible through 152 /proc/<pid>/maps in no-MMU mode. 153 154 (*) Supplying MAP_FIXED or a requesting a particular mapping address will 155 result in an error. 156 157 (*) Files mapped privately usually have to have a read method provided by the 158 driver or filesystem so that the contents can be read into the memory 159 allocated if mmap() chooses not to map the backing device directly. An 160 error will result if they don't. This is most likely to be encountered 161 with character device files, pipes, fifos and sockets. 162 163 164 ========================== 165 INTERPROCESS SHARED MEMORY 166 ========================== 167 168 Both SYSV IPC SHM shared memory and POSIX shared memory is supported in NOMMU 169 mode. The former through the usual mechanism, the latter through files created 170 on ramfs or tmpfs mounts. 171 172 173 ======= 174 FUTEXES 175 ======= 176 177 Futexes are supported in NOMMU mode if the arch supports them. An error will 178 be given if an address passed to the futex system call lies outside the 179 mappings made by a process or if the mapping in which the address lies does not 180 support futexes (such as an I/O chardev mapping). 181 182 183 ============= 184 NO-MMU MREMAP 185 ============= 186 187 The mremap() function is partially supported. It may change the size of a 188 mapping, and may move it[*] if MREMAP_MAYMOVE is specified and if the new size 189 of the mapping exceeds the size of the slab object currently occupied by the 190 memory to which the mapping refers, or if a smaller slab object could be used. 191 192 MREMAP_FIXED is not supported, though it is ignored if there's no change of 193 address and the object does not need to be moved. 194 195 Shared mappings may not be moved. Shareable mappings may not be moved either, 196 even if they are not currently shared. 197 198 The mremap() function must be given an exact match for base address and size of 199 a previously mapped object. It may not be used to create holes in existing 200 mappings, move parts of existing mappings or resize parts of mappings. It must 201 act on a complete mapping. 202 203 [*] Not currently supported. 204 205 206 ============================================ 207 PROVIDING SHAREABLE CHARACTER DEVICE SUPPORT 208 ============================================ 209 210 To provide shareable character device support, a driver must provide a 211 file->f_op->get_unmapped_area() operation. The mmap() routines will call this 212 to get a proposed address for the mapping. This may return an error if it 213 doesn't wish to honour the mapping because it's too long, at a weird offset, 214 under some unsupported combination of flags or whatever. 215 216 The driver should also provide backing device information with capabilities set 217 to indicate the permitted types of mapping on such devices. The default is 218 assumed to be readable and writable, not executable, and only shareable 219 directly (can't be copied). 220 221 The file->f_op->mmap() operation will be called to actually inaugurate the 222 mapping. It can be rejected at that point. Returning the ENOSYS error will 223 cause the mapping to be copied instead if BDI_CAP_MAP_COPY is specified. 224 225 The vm_ops->close() routine will be invoked when the last mapping on a chardev 226 is removed. An existing mapping will be shared, partially or not, if possible 227 without notifying the driver. 228 229 It is permitted also for the file->f_op->get_unmapped_area() operation to 230 return -ENOSYS. This will be taken to mean that this operation just doesn't 231 want to handle it, despite the fact it's got an operation. For instance, it 232 might try directing the call to a secondary driver which turns out not to 233 implement it. Such is the case for the framebuffer driver which attempts to 234 direct the call to the device-specific driver. Under such circumstances, the 235 mapping request will be rejected if BDI_CAP_MAP_COPY is not specified, and a 236 copy mapped otherwise. 237 238 IMPORTANT NOTE: 239 240 Some types of device may present a different appearance to anyone 241 looking at them in certain modes. Flash chips can be like this; for 242 instance if they're in programming or erase mode, you might see the 243 status reflected in the mapping, instead of the data. 244 245 In such a case, care must be taken lest userspace see a shared or a 246 private mapping showing such information when the driver is busy 247 controlling the device. Remember especially: private executable 248 mappings may still be mapped directly off the device under some 249 circumstances! 250 251 252 ============================================== 253 PROVIDING SHAREABLE MEMORY-BACKED FILE SUPPORT 254 ============================================== 255 256 Provision of shared mappings on memory backed files is similar to the provision 257 of support for shared mapped character devices. The main difference is that the 258 filesystem providing the service will probably allocate a contiguous collection 259 of pages and permit mappings to be made on that. 260 261 It is recommended that a truncate operation applied to such a file that 262 increases the file size, if that file is empty, be taken as a request to gather 263 enough pages to honour a mapping. This is required to support POSIX shared 264 memory. 265 266 Memory backed devices are indicated by the mapping's backing device info having 267 the memory_backed flag set. 268 269 270 ======================================== 271 PROVIDING SHAREABLE BLOCK DEVICE SUPPORT 272 ======================================== 273 274 Provision of shared mappings on block device files is exactly the same as for 275 character devices. If there isn't a real device underneath, then the driver 276 should allocate sufficient contiguous memory to honour any supported mapping. 277 278 279 ================================= 280 ADJUSTING PAGE TRIMMING BEHAVIOUR 281 ================================= 282 283 NOMMU mmap automatically rounds up to the nearest power-of-2 number of pages 284 when performing an allocation. This can have adverse effects on memory 285 fragmentation, and as such, is left configurable. The default behaviour is to 286 aggressively trim allocations and discard any excess pages back in to the page 287 allocator. In order to retain finer-grained control over fragmentation, this 288 behaviour can either be disabled completely, or bumped up to a higher page 289 watermark where trimming begins. 290 291 Page trimming behaviour is configurable via the sysctl `vm.nr_trim_pages'.