Re: Locking memory

Douglas Gilbert (
Tue, 03 Aug 1999 08:29:25 -0400

Peter Desnoyers wrote:
> wrote:
> >
> > Actually, I've been looking for a way to lock down chunks of user memory from
> > within the driver I'm writing without the permission check in mlock. Is there a
> > clean, exported interface to this?
> I have to do the same thing, and I'm doing it by incrementing the count
> in the page table with mem_map_inc_count(). Mlock takes the opposite
> approach, modifying the virtual memory areas. I'm not sure which is the
> right approach - I'm suspicious of the approach I've used as I end up
> having to do a read/write on each page to properly handle copy-on-write,
> but I don't know enough about VMAs to feel confident taking the mlock
> approach.
> I assume that the reason you're looking to do this is similar to mine -
> allowing the user to register a buffer which the hardware DMAs into, and
> which can then be read directly from user space. This is the opposite of
> the approach taken by the sound drivers I've skimmed through, which seem
> to allocate pages in the kernel, set the reserved bit in the page table,
> and then let the user code mmap them. That's probably partly because
> the sound cards need physically contiguous pages for DMA, while my device
> (and yours?) can do scatter/gather.

Stephen Tweedie's raw_io work is in 2.3.12 and does
a large amount of work in this area. Have a look at
include/linux/iobuf.h and the related files.

Doug Gilbert

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