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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH] treewide: remove GFP_TEMPORARY allocation flag
On 07/28/2017 11:19 AM, Michal Hocko wrote:
> From: Michal Hocko <>
> GFP_TEMPORARY has been introduced by e12ba74d8ff3 ("Group short-lived
> and reclaimable kernel allocations") along with __GFP_RECLAIMABLE. It's
> primary motivation was to allow users to tell that an allocation is
> short lived and so the allocator can try to place such allocations close
> together and prevent long term fragmentation. As much as this sounds
> like a reasonable semantic it becomes much less clear when to use the
> highlevel GFP_TEMPORARY allocation flag. How long is temporary? Can
> the context holding that memory sleep? Can it take locks? It seems
> there is no good answer for those questions.
> The current implementation of GFP_TEMPORARY is basically
> GFP_KERNEL | __GFP_RECLAIMABLE which in itself is tricky because
> basically none of the existing caller provide a way to reclaim the
> allocated memory. So this is rather misleading and hard to evaluate for
> any benefits.
> I have checked some random users and none of them has added the flag
> with a specific justification. I suspect most of them just copied from
> other existing users and others just thought it might be a good idea
> to use without any measuring. This suggests that GFP_TEMPORARY just
> motivates for cargo cult usage without any reasoning.
> I believe that our gfp flags are quite complex already and especially
> those with highlevel semantic should be clearly defined to prevent from
> confusion and abuse. Therefore I propose dropping GFP_TEMPORARY and
> replace all existing users to simply use GFP_KERNEL. Please note that
> SLAB users with shrinkers will still get __GFP_RECLAIMABLE heuristic
> and so they will be placed properly for memory fragmentation prevention.
> I can see reasons we might want some gfp flag to reflect shorterm
> allocations but I propose starting from a clear semantic definition and
> only then add users with proper justification.
> Signed-off-by: Michal Hocko <>

Yes, it's best we remove it.

Acked-by: Vlastimil Babka <>

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