Commit 4647706e authored by Mel Gorman's avatar Mel Gorman Committed by Linus Torvalds

mm: always flush VMA ranges affected by zap_page_range

Nadav Amit report zap_page_range only specifies that the caller protect
the VMA list but does not specify whether it is held for read or write
with callers using either.  madvise holds mmap_sem for read meaning that
a parallel zap operation can unmap PTEs which are then potentially
skipped by madvise which potentially returns with stale TLB entries
present.  While the API could be extended, it would be a difficult API
to use.  This patch causes zap_page_range() to always consider flushing
the full affected range.  For small ranges or sparsely populated
mappings, this may result in one additional spurious TLB flush.  For
larger ranges, it is possible that the TLB has already been flushed and
the overhead is negligible.  Either way, this approach is safer overall
and avoids stale entries being present when madvise returns.

This can be illustrated with the following program provided by Nadav
Amit and slightly modified.  With the patch applied, it has an exit code
of 0 indicating a stale TLB entry did not leak to userspace.


volatile int sync_step = 0;
volatile char *p;

static inline unsigned long rdtsc()
	unsigned long hi, lo;
	__asm__ __volatile__ ("rdtsc" : "=a"(lo), "=d"(hi));
	 return lo | (hi << 32);

static inline void wait_rdtsc(unsigned long cycles)
	unsigned long tsc = rdtsc();

	while (rdtsc() - tsc < cycles);

void *big_madvise_thread(void *ign)
	sync_step = 1;
	while (sync_step != 2);
	madvise((void*)p, PAGE_SIZE * N_PAGES, MADV_DONTNEED);

int main(void)
	pthread_t aux_thread;


	memset((void*)p, 8, PAGE_SIZE * N_PAGES);

	pthread_create(&aux_thread, NULL, big_madvise_thread, NULL);
	while (sync_step != 1);

	*p = 8;		// Cache in TLB
	sync_step = 2;
	madvise((void*)p, PAGE_SIZE, MADV_DONTNEED);
	printf("data: %d (%s)\n", *p, (*p == 8 ? "stale, broken" : "cleared, fine"));
	return *p == 8 ? -1 : 0;

Link: default avatarMel Gorman <>
Reported-by: default avatarNadav Amit <>
Cc: Andy Lutomirski <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarAndrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarLinus Torvalds <>
parent 9b19df29
......@@ -1513,8 +1513,20 @@ void zap_page_range(struct vm_area_struct *vma, unsigned long start,
tlb_gather_mmu(&tlb, mm, start, end);
mmu_notifier_invalidate_range_start(mm, start, end);
for ( ; vma && vma->vm_start < end; vma = vma->vm_next)
for ( ; vma && vma->vm_start < end; vma = vma->vm_next) {
unmap_single_vma(&tlb, vma, start, end, NULL);
* zap_page_range does not specify whether mmap_sem should be
* held for read or write. That allows parallel zap_page_range
* operations to unmap a PTE and defer a flush meaning that
* this call observes pte_none and fails to flush the TLB.
* Rather than adding a complex API, ensure that no stale
* TLB entries exist when this call returns.
flush_tlb_range(vma, start, end);
mmu_notifier_invalidate_range_end(mm, start, end);
tlb_finish_mmu(&tlb, start, end);
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