What is hwpoison?
Upcoming Intel CPUs have support for recovering from some memory errors
(``MCA recovery''). This requires the OS to declare a page "poisoned",
kill the processes associated with it and avoid using it in the future.
This patchkit implements the necessary infrastructure in the VM.
To quote the overview comment:
* High level machine check handler. Handles pages reported by the
* hardware as being corrupted usually due to a 2bit ECC memory or cache
* This focusses on pages detected as corrupted in the background.
* When the current CPU tries to consume corruption the currently
* running process can just be killed directly instead. This implies
* that if the error cannot be handled for some reason it's safe to
* just ignore it because no corruption has been consumed yet. Instead
* when that happens another machine check will happen.
* Handles page cache pages in various states. The tricky part
* here is that we can access any page asynchronous to other VM
* users, because memory failures could happen anytime and anywhere,
* possibly violating some of their assumptions. This is why this code
* has to be extremely careful. Generally it tries to use normal locking
* rules, as in get the standard locks, even if that means the
* error handling takes potentially a long time.
* Some of the operations here are somewhat inefficient and have non
* linear algorithmic complexity, because the data structures have not
* been optimized for this case. This is in particular the case
* for the mapping from a vma to a process. Since this case is expected
* to be rare we hope we can get away with this.
The code consists of a the high level handler in mm/memory-failure.c,
a new page poison bit and various checks in the VM to handle poisoned
The main target right now is KVM guests, but it works for all kinds
of applications. KVM support requires a recent qemu-kvm release.
For the KVM use there was need for a new signal type so that
KVM can inject the machine check into the guest with the proper
address. This in theory allows other applications to handle
memory failures too. The expection is that near all applications
won't do that, but some very specialized ones might.
There are two (actually three) modi memory failure recovery can be in:
vm.memory_failure_recovery sysctl set to zero:
All memory failures cause a panic. Do not attempt recovery.
(on x86 this can be also affected by the tolerant level of the
(can be controlled globally and per process)
Send SIGBUS to the application as soon as the error is detected
This allows applications who can process memory errors in a gentle
way (e.g. drop affected object)
This is the mode used by KVM qemu.
Send SIGBUS when the application runs into the corrupted page.
This is best for memory error unaware applications and default
Note some pages are always handled as late kill.
Enable early kill mode globally
Set early/late kill mode/revert to system default
arg1: PR_MCE_KILL_CLEAR: Revert to system default
arg1: PR_MCE_KILL_SET: arg2 defines thread specific mode
PR_MCE_KILL_EARLY: Early kill
PR_MCE_KILL_LATE: Late kill
PR_MCE_KILL_DEFAULT: Use system global default
return current mode
Poison a page in the process for testing
hwpoison-inject module through debugfs
Inject hwpoison fault at PFN echoed into this file. This does
some early filtering to avoid corrupted unintended pages in test suites.
Software-unpoison page at PFN echoed into this file. This
way a page can be reused again.
This only works for Linux injected failures, not for real
Note these injection interfaces are not stable and might change between
Only handle memory failures to pages associated with the file system defined
by block device major/minor. -1U is the wildcard value.
This should be only used for testing with artificial injection.
Limit injection to pages owned by memgroup. Specified by inode number
of the memcg.
usemem -m 100 -s 1000 &
echo `jobs -p` > /sys/fs/cgroup/mem/hwpoison/tasks
memcg_ino=$(ls -id /sys/fs/cgroup/mem/hwpoison | cut -f1 -d' ')
echo $memcg_ino > /debug/hwpoison/corrupt-filter-memcg
page-types -p `pidof init` --hwpoison # shall do nothing
page-types -p `pidof usemem` --hwpoison # poison its pages
When specified, only poison pages if ((page_flags & mask) == value).
This allows stress testing of many kinds of pages. The page_flags
are the same as in /proc/kpageflags. The flag bits are defined in
include/linux/kernel-page-flags.h and documented in
Architecture specific MCE injector
x86 has mce-inject, mce-test
Some portable hwpoison test programs in mce-test, see blow.
Overview presentation from LinuxCon 09
Test suite (hwpoison specific portable tests in tsrc)
x86 specific injector
- Not all page types are supported and never will. Most kernel internal
objects cannot be recovered, only LRU pages for now.
- Right now hugepage support is missing.
Andi Kleen, Oct 2009