remap_file_pages - create a nonlinear file mapping
Note: this system call was marked as deprecated starting with Linux 3.16. In Linux 4.0, the implementation was replaced by a slower in-kernel emulation. Those few applications that use this system call should consider migrating to alternatives. This change was made because the kernel code for this system call was complex, and it is believed to be little used or perhaps even completely unused. While it had some use cases in database applications on 32-bit systems, those use cases don't exist on 64-bit systems.
The remap_file_pages() system call is used to create a nonlinear mapping, that is, a mapping in which the pages of the file are mapped into a nonsequential order in memory. The advantage of using remap_file_pages() over using repeated calls to mmap(2) is that the former approach does not require the kernel to create additional VMA (Virtual Memory Area) data structures.
To create a nonlinear mapping we perform the following steps:
Use mmap(2) to create a mapping (which is initially linear). This mapping must be created with the MAP_SHARED flag.
Use one or more calls to remap_file_pages() to rearrange the correspondence between the pages of the mapping and the pages of the file. It is possible to map the same page of a file into multiple locations within the mapped region.
size arguments specify the region of
the file that is to be relocated within the mapping:
pgoff is a
file offset in units of the system page size;
size is the
length of the region in bytes.
addr argument serves two purposes. First, it identifies
the mapping whose pages we want to rearrange. Thus,
be an address that falls within a region previously mapped by a call to
addr specifies the address at
which the file pages identified by
The values specified in
size should be
multiples of the system page size. If they are not, then the kernel
down to the nearest multiple of the
prot argument must be specified as 0.
flags argument has the same meaning as for
mmap(2), but all flags other than
MAP_NONBLOCK are ignored.
On success, remap_file_pages() returns 0. On error,
-1 is returned, and
errno is set appropriately.
addr does not refer to a valid mapping created with the
The remap_file_pages() system call appeared in Linux 2.5.46; glibc support was added in version 2.3.3.
Since Linux 2.6.23, remap_file_pages() creates non-linear mappings only on in-memory filesystems such as tmpfs(5), hugetlbfs or ramfs. On filesystems with a backing store, remap_file_pages() is not much more efficient than using mmap(2) to adjust which parts of the file are mapped to which addresses.
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