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  1. JDK
  2. JDK-8292995

improve the SA page cache

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    • Enhancement
    • Resolution: Fixed
    • P4
    • 20
    • 20
    • hotspot
    • None
    • b13

    Description

      The page caching support in SA is woefully dated. I think it has stayed the same for over 20 years when it was originally done for solarix-x86. This code has been replicated for every port. Currently all ports only have a 16mb cache. They use 4k pages and there are 4k of them.

      I think the 4k page size is fine. The following comment appears in all the ports:

                  // ... This is a cache of 4096 4K pages, or 16 MB. The page
                  // size must be adjusted to be the hardware's page size.
                  // (FIXME: should pick this up from the debugger.)

      I disagree with this. Matching the possibly very large hardware page size (I think maybe they meant OS page size) would require the SA page cache to be very very large, using a lot of java heap space. It would also require a lot of unnecessary copying from the debuggee process's memory. There's no reason for the SA cache's page size to match the OS page size.

      However, 16mb seems very small. I tried 256mb and this gave about a 10% performance improvement in a heap dump, and is still fairly small, so I think it is a reasonable adjustment.

      Another comment you see in all the ports (copied from solaris-x86) is:

                  // FIXME: re-test necessity of cache on Linux, where data
                  // fetching is faster
                  // Cache portion of the remote process's address space.
                  // Fetching data over the socket connection to dbx is slow.
                  // Might be faster if we were using a binary protocol to talk to
                  // dbx, but would have to test. For now, this cache works best
                  // if it covers the entire heap of the remote process. FIXME: at

      At least on linux the cache is definitely needed. I turned it off and a heap dump took 9x longer. Also I think covering the entire heap is overkill, and I doubt was ever being done given how small the cache is. So I think this comment can just be removed.

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              cjplummer Chris Plummer
              cjplummer Chris Plummer
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