[dpdk-dev] [PATCH] eal: add option to not store segment fd's

Burakov, Anatoly anatoly.burakov at intel.com
Fri Mar 29 13:05:32 CET 2019

On 29-Mar-19 11:34 AM, Thomas Monjalon wrote:
> 29/03/2019 11:33, Burakov, Anatoly:
>> On 29-Mar-19 9:50 AM, David Marchand wrote:
>>> On Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 6:12 PM Anatoly Burakov
>>> <anatoly.burakov at intel.com <mailto:anatoly.burakov at intel.com>> wrote:
>>>      Due to internal glibc limitations [1], DPDK may exhaust internal
>>>      file descriptor limits when using smaller page sizes, which results
>>>      in inability to use system calls such as select() by user
>>>      applications.
>>>      While the problem can be worked around using --single-file-segments
>>>      option, it does not work if --legacy-mem mode is also used. Add a
>>>      (yet another) EAL flag to disable storing fd's internally. This
>>>      will sacrifice compability with Virtio with vhost-backend, but
>>>      at least select() and friends will work.
>>>      [1] https://mails.dpdk.org/archives/dev/2019-February/124386.html
>>> Sorry, I am a bit lost and I never took the time to look in the new
>>> memory allocation system.
>>> This gives the impression that we are accumulating workarounds, between
>>> legacy-mem, single-file-segments, now no-seg-fds.
>> Yep. I don't like this any more than you do, but i think there are users
>> of all of these, so we can't just drop them willy-nilly. My great hope
>> was that by now everyone would move on to use VFIO so legacy mem
>> wouldn't be needed (the only reason it exists is to provide
>> compatibility for use cases where lots of IOVA-contiguous memory is
>> required, and VFIO cannot be used), but apparently that is too much to
>> ask :/
>>> Iiuc, everything revolves around the need for per page locks.
>>> Can you summarize why we need them?
>> The short answer is multiprocess. We have to be able to map and unmap
>> pages individually, and for that we need to be sure that we can, in
>> fact, remove a page because no one else uses it. We also need to store
>> fd's because virtio with vhost-user backend needs them to work, because
>> it relies on sharing memory between processes using fd's.
> It's a pity adding an option to workaround a limitation of a corner case.
> It adds complexity that we will have to support forever,
> and it's even not perfect because of vhost.
> Might there be another solution?

If there is one, i'm all ears. I don't see any solutions aside from 
adding limitations.

For example, we could drop the single/multi file segments mode and just 
make single file segments a default and the only available mode, but 
this has certain risks because older kernels do not support fallocate() 
on hugetlbfs.

We could further draw a line in the sand, and say that, for example, 
19.11 (or 20.11) will not have legacy mem mode, and everyone should use 
VFIO by now and if you don't it's your own fault.

We could also cut down on the number of fd's we use in single-file 
segments mode by not using locks and simply deleting pages in the 
primary, but yanking out hugepages from under secondaries' feet makes me 
feel uneasy, even if technically by the time that happens, they're not 
supposed to be used anyway. This could mean that the patch is no longer 
necessary because we don't use that many fd's any more.

However, if we are to support all that we support now, the only option 
here is to pile on more workarounds.


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