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Subject[RFC PATCH] userfaultfd: Add feature to request for a signal delivery
In some cases, userfaultfd mechanism should just deliver a SIGBUS signal
to the faulting process, instead of the page-fault event. Dealing with
page-fault event using a monitor thread can be an overhead in these
cases. For example applications like the database could use the signaling
mechanism for robustness purpose.

Database uses hugetlbfs for performance reason. Files on hugetlbfs
filesystem are created and huge pages allocated using fallocate() API.
Pages are deallocated/freed using fallocate() hole punching support.
These files are mmapped and accessed by many processes as shared memory.
The database keeps track of which offsets in the hugetlbfs file have
pages allocated.

Any access to mapped address over holes in the file, which can occur due
to bugs in the application, is considered invalid and expect the process
to simply receive a SIGBUS. However, currently when a hole in the file is
accessed via the mapped address, kernel/mm attempts to automatically
allocate a page at page fault time, resulting in implicitly filling the
hole in the file. This may not be the desired behavior for applications
like the database that want to explicitly manage page allocations of
hugetlbfs files.

Using userfaultfd mechanism, with this support to get a signal, database
application can prevent pages from being allocated implicitly when
processes access mapped address over holes in the file.

This patch adds the feature to request for a SIGBUS signal to userfaultfd

See following for previous discussion about the database requirement
leading to this proposal as suggested by Andrea.

Signed-off-by: Prakash <>
fs/userfaultfd.c | 5 +++++
include/uapi/linux/userfaultfd.h | 10 +++++++++-
2 files changed, 14 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/fs/userfaultfd.c b/fs/userfaultfd.c
index 1d622f2..5686d6d2 100644
--- a/fs/userfaultfd.c
+++ b/fs/userfaultfd.c
@@ -371,6 +371,11 @@ int handle_userfault(struct vm_fault *vmf, unsigned
long reason)
VM_BUG_ON(!(reason & VM_UFFD_MISSING) ^ !!(reason & VM_UFFD_WP));

+ if (ctx->features & UFFD_FEATURE_SIGBUS) {
+ goto out;
+ }
* If it's already released don't get it. This avoids to loop
* in __get_user_pages if userfaultfd_release waits on the
diff --git a/include/uapi/linux/userfaultfd.h
index 3b05953..d39d5db 100644
--- a/include/uapi/linux/userfaultfd.h
+++ b/include/uapi/linux/userfaultfd.h
@@ -23,7 +23,8 @@
((__u64)1 << _UFFDIO_REGISTER | \
(__u64)1 << _UFFDIO_UNREGISTER | \
@@ -153,6 +154,12 @@ struct uffdio_api {
* UFFD_FEATURE_MISSING_SHMEM works the same as
* UFFD_FEATURE_MISSING_HUGETLBFS, but it applies to shmem
* (i.e. tmpfs and other shmem based APIs).
+ *
+ * UFFD_FEATURE_SIGBUS feature means no page-fault
+ * (UFFD_EVENT_PAGEFAULT) event will be delivered, instead
+ * a SIGBUS signal will be sent to the faulting process.
+ * The application process can enable this behavior by adding
+ * it to uffdio_api.features.
@@ -161,6 +168,7 @@ struct uffdio_api {
+#define UFFD_FEATURE_SIGBUS (1<<7)
__u64 features;

__u64 ioctls;
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