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Subject[PATCH RFC 2/4] mm/page_alloc: place pages to tail in __putback_isolated_page()
__putback_isolated_page() already documents that pages will be placed to
the tail of the freelist - this is, however, not the case for
"order >= MAX_ORDER - 2" (see buddy_merge_likely()) - which should be
the case for all existing users.

This change affects two users:
- free page reporting
- page isolation, when undoing the isolation.

This behavior is desireable for pages that haven't really been touched
lately, so exactly the two users that don't actually read/write page
content, but rather move untouched pages.

The new behavior is especially desirable for memory onlining, where we
allow allocation of newly onlined pages via undo_isolate_page_range()
in online_pages(). Right now, we always place them to the head of the
free list, resulting in undesireable behavior: Assume we add
individual memory chunks via add_memory() and online them right away to
the NORMAL zone. We create a dependency chain of unmovable allocations
e.g., via the memmap. The memmap of the next chunk will be placed onto
previous chunks - if the last block cannot get offlined+removed, all
dependent ones cannot get offlined+removed. While this can already be
observed with individual DIMMs, it's more of an issue for virtio-mem
(and I suspect also ppc DLPAR).

Note: If we observe a degradation due to the changed page isolation
behavior (which I doubt), we can always make this configurable by the
instance triggering undo of isolation (e.g., alloc_contig_range(),
memory onlining, memory offlining).

Cc: Andrew Morton <>
Cc: Alexander Duyck <>
Cc: Mel Gorman <>
Cc: Michal Hocko <>
Cc: Dave Hansen <>
Cc: Vlastimil Babka <>
Cc: Wei Yang <>
Cc: Oscar Salvador <>
Cc: Mike Rapoport <>
Cc: Scott Cheloha <>
Cc: Michael Ellerman <>
Signed-off-by: David Hildenbrand <>
mm/page_alloc.c | 10 +++++++++-
1 file changed, 9 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/mm/page_alloc.c b/mm/page_alloc.c
index 91cefb8157dd..bba9a0f60c70 100644
--- a/mm/page_alloc.c
+++ b/mm/page_alloc.c
@@ -89,6 +89,12 @@ typedef int __bitwise fop_t;
#define FOP_SKIP_REPORT_NOTIFY ((__force fop_t)BIT(0))

+ * Place the freed page to the tail of the freelist after buddy merging. Will
+ * get ignored with page shuffling enabled.
+ */
+#define FOP_TO_TAIL ((__force fop_t)BIT(1))
/* prevent >1 _updater_ of zone percpu pageset ->high and ->batch fields */
static DEFINE_MUTEX(pcp_batch_high_lock);
@@ -1040,6 +1046,8 @@ static inline void __free_one_page(struct page *page, unsigned long pfn,

if (is_shuffle_order(order))
to_tail = shuffle_pick_tail();
+ else if (fop_flags & FOP_TO_TAIL)
+ to_tail = true;
to_tail = buddy_merge_likely(pfn, buddy_pfn, page, order);

@@ -3289,7 +3297,7 @@ void __putback_isolated_page(struct page *page, unsigned int order, int mt)

/* Return isolated page to tail of freelist. */
__free_one_page(page, page_to_pfn(page), zone, order, mt,

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