In this lab, you will write the memory management code for your operating system. Memory management has two components.
The first component is a physical memory allocator for the kernel, so that the kernel can allocate memory and later free it. Your allocator will operate in units of 4096 bytes, called pages. Your task will be to maintain data structures that record which physical pages are free and which are allocated, and how many processes are sharing each allocated page. You will also write the routines to allocate and free pages of memory.
The second component of memory management is virtual memory, which maps the virtual addresses used by kernel and user software to addresses in physical memory. The x86 hardware's memory management unit (MMU) performs the mapping when instructions use memory, consulting a set of page tables. You will modify JOS to set up the MMU's page tables according to a specification we provide.
In this and future labs you will progressively build up your kernel. We
will also provide you with some additional source. To fetch that source,
use Git to commit changes you've made since handing in lab 1 (if any),
fetch the latest version of the course repository, and then create a
local branch called
lab2 based on our lab2 branch,
athena% cd ~/6.828/lab athena% add git athena% git pull Already up-to-date. athena% git checkout -b lab2 origin/lab2 Branch lab2 set up to track remote branch refs/remotes/origin/lab2. Switched to a new branch "lab2" athena%
The git checkout -b command shown above actually does two things: it
first creates a local branch
lab2 that is based on the
branch provided by the course staff, and second, it changes the contents
lab directory to reflect the files stored on the
branch. Git allows switching between existing branches using git
checkout branch-name, though you should commit any outstanding changes
on one branch before switching to a different one.
You will now need to merge the changes you made in your
lab2 branch, as follows:
athena% git merge lab1 Merge made by recursive. kern/kdebug.c | 11 +++++++++-- kern/monitor.c | 19 +++++++++++++++++++ lib/printfmt.c | 7 +++---- 3 files changed, 31 insertions(+), 6 deletions(-) athena%
In some cases, Git may not be able to figure out how to merge your changes with the new lab assignment (e.g. if you modified some of the code that is changed in the second lab assignment). In that case, the git merge command will tell you which files are conflicted, and you should first resolve the conflict (by editing the relevant files) and then commit the resulting files with git commit -a.
Lab 2 contains the following new source files, which you should browse through:
memlayout.h describes the layout of the virtual address space that you
must implement by modifying
PageInfo structure that you'll use to keep track of which pages of
physical memory are free.
kclock.h manipulate the PC's
battery-backed clock and CMOS RAM hardware, in which the BIOS records
the amount of physical memory the PC contains, among other things. The
pmap.c needs to read this device hardware in order to figure
out how much physical memory there is, but that part of the code is done
for you: you do not need to know the details of how the CMOS hardware
Pay particular attention to
pmap.h, since this lab
requires you to use and understand many of the definitions they contain.
You may want to review
inc/mmu.h, too, as it also contains a number of
definitions that will be useful for this lab.
Before beginning the lab, don't forget to
add exokernel to get the 6.828
version of QEMU.
When you are ready to hand in your lab code and write-up, add your
answers-lab2.txt to the Git repository, commit your changes, and then
athena% git add answers-lab2.txt athena% git commit -am "my answer to lab2" [lab2 a823de9] my answer to lab2 4 files changed, 87 insertions(+), 10 deletions(-) athena% make handin
As before, we will be grading your solutions with a grading program. You
can run make grade in the
lab directory to test your kernel with the
grading program. You may change any of the kernel source and header
files you need to in order to complete the lab, but needless to say you
must not change or otherwise subvert the grading code.
The operating system must keep track of which parts of physical RAM are free and which are currently in use. JOS manages the PC's physical memory with page granularity so that it can use the MMU to map and protect each piece of allocated memory.
You'll now write the physical page allocator. It keeps track of which
pages are free with a linked list of
struct PageInfo objects, each
corresponding to a physical page. You need to write the physical page
allocator before you can write the rest of the virtual memory
implementation, because your page table management code will need to
allocate physical memory in which to store page tables.
In the file
kern/pmap.c, you must implement code for the following functions (probably in the order given).
mem_init()(only up to the call to
check_page_alloc()test your physical page allocator. You should boot JOS and see whether
check_page_alloc()reports success. Fix your code so that it passes. You may find it helpful to add your own
assert()s to verify that your assumptions are correct.
This lab, and all the 6.828 labs, will require you to do a bit of detective work to figure out exactly what you need to do. This assignment does not describe all the details of the code you'll have to add to JOS. Look for comments in the parts of the JOS source that you have to modify; those comments often contain specifications and hints. You will also need to look at related parts of JOS, at the Intel manuals, and perhaps at your 6.004 or 6.033 notes.
Before doing anything else, familiarize yourself with the x86's protected-mode memory management architecture: namely segmentation and page translation.
Look at chapters 5 and 6 of the Intel 80386 Reference Manual, if you haven't done so already. Read the sections about page translation and page-based protection closely (5.2 and 6.4). We recommend that you also skim the sections about segmentation; while JOS uses paging for virtual memory and protection, segment translation and segment-based protection cannot be disabled on the x86, so you will need a basic understanding of it.
In x86 terminology, a virtual address consists of a segment selector and an offset within the segment. A linear address is what you get after segment translation but before page translation. A physical address is what you finally get after both segment and page translation and what ultimately goes out on the hardware bus to your RAM.
Selector +--------------+ +-----------+ ---------->| | | | | Segmentation | | Paging | Software | |-------->| |----------> RAM Offset | Mechanism | | Mechanism | ---------->| | | | +--------------+ +-----------+ Virtual Linear Physical
A C pointer is the "offset" component of the virtual address. In
boot/boot.S, we installed a Global Descriptor Table (GDT) that
effectively disabled segment translation by setting all segment base
addresses to 0 and limits to
0xffffffff. Hence the "selector" has no
effect and the linear address always equals the offset of the virtual
address. In lab 3, we'll have to interact a little more with
segmentation to set up privilege levels, but as for memory translation,
we can ignore segmentation throughout the JOS labs and focus solely on
Recall that in part 3 of lab 1, we installed a simple page table so that
the kernel could run at its link address of
0xf0100000, even though it
is actually loaded in physical memory just above the ROM BIOS at
0x00100000. This page table mapped only 4MB of memory. In the virtual
memory layout you are going to set up for JOS in this lab, we'll expand
this to map the first 256MB of physical memory starting at virtual
0xf0000000 and to map a number of other regions of virtual
While GDB can only access QEMU's memory by virtual address, it's often useful to be able to inspect physical memory while setting up virtual memory. Review the QEMU monitor commands from the lab tools guide, especially the
xpcommand, which lets you inspect physical memory. To access the QEMU monitor, press Ctrl-a c in the terminal (the same binding returns to the serial console).
Use the xp command in the QEMU monitor and the x command in GDB to inspect memory at corresponding physical and virtual addresses and make sure you see the same data.
Our patched version of QEMU provides an
info pgcommand that may also prove useful: it shows a compact but detailed representation of the current page tables, including all mapped memory ranges, permissions, and flags. Stock QEMU also provides an info mem command that shows an overview of which ranges of virtual memory are mapped and with what permissions.
From code executing on the CPU, once we're in protected mode (which we
entered first thing in
boot/boot.S), there's no way to directly use a
linear or physical address. All memory references are interpreted as
virtual addresses and translated by the MMU, which means all pointers in
C are virtual addresses.
The JOS kernel often needs to manipulate addresses as opaque values or
as integers, without dereferencing them, for example in the physical
memory allocator. Sometimes these are virtual addresses, and sometimes
they are physical addresses. To help document the code, the JOS source
distinguishes the two cases: the type
uintptr_t represents opaque
virtual addresses, and
physaddr_t represents physical addresses. Both
these types are really just synonyms for 32-bit integers (
so the compiler won't stop you from assigning one type to another! Since
they are integer types (not pointers), the compiler will complain if
you try to dereference them.
The JOS kernel can dereference a
uintptr_t by first casting it to a
pointer type. In contrast, the kernel can't sensibly dereference a
physical address, since the MMU translates all memory references. If you
physaddr_t to a pointer and dereference it, you may be able to
load and store to the resulting address (the hardware will interpret it
as a virtual address), but you probably won't get the memory location
|C type||Address type|
- Assuming that the following JOS kernel code is correct, what type should variable
mystery_t x; char* value = return_a_pointer(); *value = 10; x = (mystery_t) value;
The JOS kernel sometimes needs to read or modify memory for which it
knows only the physical address. For example, adding a mapping to a page
table may require allocating physical memory to store a page directory
and then initializing that memory. However, the kernel, like any other
software, cannot bypass virtual memory translation and thus cannot
directly load and store to physical addresses. One reason JOS remaps of
all of physical memory starting from physical address 0 at virtual
0xf0000000 is to help the kernel read and write memory for which
it knows just the physical address. In order to translate a physical
address into a virtual address that the kernel can actually read and
write, the kernel must add
0xf0000000 to the physical address to find
its corresponding virtual address in the remapped region. You should use
KADDR(pa) to do that addition.
The JOS kernel also sometimes needs to be able to find a physical
address given the virtual address of the memory in which a kernel data
structure is stored. Kernel global variables and memory allocated by
boot_alloc() are in the region where the kernel was loaded, starting
0xf0000000, the very region where we mapped all of physical memory.
Thus, to turn a virtual address in this region into a physical address,
the kernel can simply subtract
0xf0000000. You should use
do that subtraction.
In future labs you will often have the same physical page mapped at
multiple virtual addresses simultaneously (or in the address spaces of
multiple environments). You will keep a count of the number of
references to each physical page in the
pp_ref field of the
struct PageInfo corresponding to the physical page. When this count
goes to zero for a physical page, that page can be freed because it is
no longer used. In general, this count should equal to the number of
times the physical page appears below
UTOP in all page tables (the
UTOP are mostly set up at boot time by the kernel and
should never be freed, so there's no need to reference count them).
We'll also use it to keep track of the number of pointers we keep to the
page directory pages and, in turn, of the number of references the page
directories have to page table pages.
Be careful when using
page_alloc. The page it returns will always have
a reference count of 0, so
pp_ref should be incremented as soon as
you've done something with the returned page (like inserting it into a
page table). Sometimes this is handled by other functions (for example,
page_insert) and sometimes the function calling
page_alloc must do
Now you'll write a set of routines to manage page tables: to insert and remove linear-to-physical mappings, and to create page table pages when needed.
In the file
kern/pmap.c, you must implement code for the following functions.
check_page(), called from
mem_init(), tests your page table management routines. You should make sure it reports success before proceeding.
JOS divides the processor's 32-bit linear address space into two parts.
User environments (processes), which we will begin loading and running
in lab 3, will have control over the layout and contents of the lower
part, while the kernel always maintains complete control over the upper
part. The dividing line is defined somewhat arbitrarily by the symbol
inc/memlayout.h, reserving approximately 256MB of virtual
address space for the kernel. This explains why we needed to give the
kernel such a high link address in lab 1: otherwise there would not be
enough room in the kernel's virtual address space to map in a user
environment below it at the same time.
You'll find it helpful to refer to the JOS memory layout diagram in
inc/memlayout.h both for this part and for later labs.
Since kernel and user memory are both present in each environment's address space, we will have to use permission bits in our x86 page tables to allow user code access only to the user part of the address space. Otherwise bugs in user code might overwrite kernel data, causing a crash or more subtle malfunction; user code might also be able to steal other environments' private data.
The user environment will have no permission to any of the memory above
ULIM, while the kernel will be able to read and write this memory. For
the address range
[UTOP,ULIM), both the kernel and the user
environment have the same permission: they can read but not write this
address range. This range of address is used to expose certain kernel
data structures read-only to the user environment. Lastly, the address
UTOP is for the user environment to use; the user
environment will set permissions for accessing this memory.
Now you'll set up the address space above
UTOP: the kernel part of the
inc/memlayout.h shows the layout you should use. You'll
use the functions you just wrote to set up the appropriate linear to
Fill in the missing code in
mem_init()after the call to
Your code should now pass the
What entries (rows) in the page directory have been filled in at this point? What addresses do they map and where do they point? In other words, fill out this table as much as possible:
Entry Base Virtual Address Points to (logically): 1023 ? Page table for top 4MB of phys memory 1022 ? ? . ? ? . ? ? . ? ? 2 0x00800000 ? 1 0x00400000 ? 0 0x00000000 [see next question]
(From Lecture 3) We have placed the kernel and user environment in the same address space. Why will user programs not be able to read or write the kernel's memory? What specific mechanisms protect the kernel memory?
What is the maximum amount of physical memory that this operating system can support? Why?
How much space overhead is there for managing memory, if we actually had the maximum amount of physical memory? How is this overhead broken down?
Revisit the page table setup in
kern/entrypgdir.c. Immediately after we turn on paging, EIP is still a low number (a little over 1MB). At what point do we transition to running at an EIP above KERNBASE? What makes it possible for us to continue executing at a low EIP between when we enable paging and when we begin running at an EIP above KERNBASE? Why is this transition necessary?
The address space layout we use in JOS is not the only one possible. An operating system might map the kernel at low linear addresses while leaving the upper part of the linear address space for user processes. x86 kernels generally do not take this approach, however, because one of the x86's backward-compatibility modes, known as virtual 8086 mode, is "hard-wired" in the processor to use the bottom part of the linear address space, and thus cannot be used at all if the kernel is mapped there.
It is even possible, though much more difficult, to design the kernel so as not to have to reserve any fixed portion of the processor's linear or virtual address space for itself, but instead effectively to allow allow user-level processes unrestricted use of the entire 4GB of virtual address space - while still fully protecting the kernel from these processes and protecting different processes from each other!
Generalize the kernel's memory allocation system to support pages of a variety of power-of-two allocation unit sizes from 4KB up to some reasonable maximum of your choice. Be sure you have some way to divide larger allocation units into smaller ones on demand, and to coalesce multiple small allocation units back into larger units when possible. Think about the issues that might arise in such a system.
This completes the lab. Make sure you pass all of the make grade
tests and don't forget to write up your answers to the questions in
answers-lab2.txt. Commit your changes (including adding
answers-lab2.txt) and type
make handin in the
lab directory to
hand in your lab.