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-Execute-in-place for file mappings
-----------------------------------
-
-Motivation
-----------
-File mappings are performed by mapping page cache pages to userspace. In
-addition, read&write type file operations also transfer data from/to the page
-cache.
-
-For memory backed storage devices that use the block device interface, the page
-cache pages are in fact copies of the original storage. Various approaches
-exist to work around the need for an extra copy. The ramdisk driver for example
-does read the data into the page cache, keeps a reference, and discards the
-original data behind later on.
-
-Execute-in-place solves this issue the other way around: instead of keeping
-data in the page cache, the need to have a page cache copy is eliminated
-completely. With execute-in-place, read&write type operations are performed
-directly from/to the memory backed storage device. For file mappings, the
-storage device itself is mapped directly into userspace.
-
-This implementation was initially written for shared memory segments between
-different virtual machines on s390 hardware to allow multiple machines to
-share the same binaries and libraries.
-
-Implementation
---------------
-Execute-in-place is implemented in three steps: block device operation,
-address space operation, and file operations.
-
-A block device operation named direct_access is used to retrieve a
-reference (pointer) to a block on-disk. The reference is supposed to be
-cpu-addressable, physical address and remain valid until the release operation
-is performed. A struct block_device reference is used to address the device,
-and a sector_t argument is used to identify the individual block. As an
-alternative, memory technology devices can be used for this.
-
-The block device operation is optional, these block devices support it as of
-today:
-- dcssblk: s390 dcss block device driver
-
-An address space operation named get_xip_mem is used to retrieve references
-to a page frame number and a kernel address. To obtain these values a reference
-to an address_space is provided. This function assigns values to the kmem and
-pfn parameters. The third argument indicates whether the function should allocate
-blocks if needed.
-
-This address space operation is mutually exclusive with readpage&writepage that
-do page cache read/write operations.
-The following filesystems support it as of today:
-- ext2: the second extended filesystem, see Documentation/filesystems/ext2.txt
-
-A set of file operations that do utilize get_xip_page can be found in
-mm/filemap_xip.c . The following file operation implementations are provided:
-- aio_read/aio_write
-- readv/writev
-- sendfile
-
-The generic file operations do_sync_read/do_sync_write can be used to implement
-classic synchronous IO calls.
-
-Shortcomings
-------------
-This implementation is limited to storage devices that are cpu addressable at
-all times (no highmem or such). It works well on rom/ram, but enhancements are
-needed to make it work with flash in read+write mode.
-Putting the Linux kernel and/or its modules on a xip filesystem does not mean
-they are not copied.