TLB mode mechanism it is usually invoked whenever the kernel modifies a Page Table entry relative to the Kernel Mode address space
When some CPU starts running a kernel thread, the kernel sets it into lazy TLB mode. When requests are issued to clear some TLB entries, each CPU in lazy TLB mode does not flush the corresponding entries; however, the CPU remembers that its current process is running on a set of Page Tables whose TLB entries for the User Mode addresses are invalid. As soon as the CPU in lazy TLB mode switches to a regular process with a different set of Page Tables, the hardware automatically flushes the TLB entries, and the kernel sets the CPU back in nonlazy TLB mode. However, if a CPU in lazy TLB mode switches to a regular process that owns the same set of Page Tables used by the previously running kernel thread, then any deferred TLB invalidation must be effectively applied by the kernel; this "lazy" invalidation is effectively achieved by flushing all nonglobal TLB entries of the CPU.
Some extra data structures are needed to implement the lazy TLB mode. The cpu_tlbstate variable is a static array of nr_cpus structures (one for every CPU in the system) consisting of an active_mm field pointing to the memory descriptor of the current process (see Chapter 8) and a state flag that can assume only two values: tlbstate_ok (non-lazy TLB mode) or tlbstate_lazy (lazy TLB mode). Furthermore, each memory descriptor includes a cpu_vm_mask field that stores the indices of the CPUs that should receive Interprocessor Interrupts related to TLB flushing; this field is meaningful only when the memory descriptor belongs to a process currently in execution.
When a CPU starts executing a kernel thread, the kernel sets the state field of its cpu_tlbstate element to tlbstate_lazy; moreover, the cpu_vm_mask field of the active memory descriptor stores the indices of all CPUs in the system, including the one that is entering in lazy TLB mode. When another CPU wants to invalidate the TLB entries of all CPUs relative to a given set of Page Tables, it delivers an Interprocessor Interrupt to all CPUs whose indices are included in the cpu_vm_mask field of the corresponding memory descriptor.
When a CPU receives an Interprocessor Interrupt related to TLB flushing and verifies that it affects the set of Page Tables of its current process, it checks whether the state field of its cpu_tlbstate element is equal to tlbstate_lazy; in this case, the kernel refuses to invalidate the TLB entries and removes the CPU index from the cpu_vm_mask field of the memory descriptor. This has two consequences:
• Until the CPU remains in lazy TLB mode, it will not receive other Interprocessor Interrupts related to TLB flushing.
• If the CPU switches to another process that is using the same set of Page Tables as the kernel thread that is being replaced, the kernel invokes local_flush_tlb to invalidate all nonglobal TLB entries of the CPU.
I [email protected] RuBoard
I [email protected] RuBoard
Continue reading here: Processes
Was this article helpful?