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SubjectRe: [RFC] iov_iter_get_pages() semantics
On Wed, Apr 01, 2015 at 11:26:38AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 11:08 AM, Al Viro <> wrote:
> >
> > IOW, do you have a problem with obtaining a pointer to kernel page and
> > immediately shoving it into scatterlist?
> And just to clarify, yes I do. Why the f*ck wasn't it a struct page to
> begin with? And why do you think that a scatter-list is somehow "safe"
> and guarantees people won't be playing (invalid and completely broken)
> games with page counters etc that you cannot play for those things?

Point taken. What do you think about sg_set_buf() and sg_init_one()?

> If this is just about finit_module(), then dammit, why the f*ck does
> it even try to do zero-copy in the first place?

Mostly because there's no way to tell the filesystem that we don't want
zero-copy deep in the bowels of underlying driver...

> But if that's the only
> use, maybe we can improve on kernel_read() to do some aio-read on the
> raw pages instead. And change the "info->hdr" thing to not just do a
> blind vmalloc, but actually do the page allocations and then do
> vmap_page_range() to map in the end result after IO etc.

Can do, but that would depend on 9p getting converted to read_iter/write_iter
in a sane way ;-) (and that's worth doing for a lot of other reasons, which
is what had brought me to net/9p in the first place).

That might actually be a good idea - for ITER_BVEC we know that page is
a normal one (not many originators of such - __swap_writepage() and
pipe_buffer ones), so making iov_iter_get_pages() work for those wouldn't
be a problem...

kernel_read() is a wrong helper, though - it should just use vfs_read_iter().
We are -><- that close to making it work on all "normal files" - the only
exceptions right now are ncpfs (fixed in local tree), coda (ditto) and 9p.

> IOW, it's fine to do IO on 'struct page', but it should be
> *controlled* and you damn well need to _own_ that struct page and its
> lifetime, no just "look up random struct page from some kernel
> address".

I certainly agree that throwing pointers to weird pages around is generally
a bad idea, but lifetime is not an issue, AFAICS - if somebody manages to do
vfree() the destination of your read right under you, you are already very
deep in trouble.

Speaking of weird pages, some of vmalloc_to_page() users look very strange -
netlink_mmap(), in particular...

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