What is the difference between vm_insert_page () and remap_pfn_range ()?

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I want to map device memory (NIC) to the kernel space memory region by using ioremap_wc(). And then I want to remap memory region from kernel space to user space, and I can use 2 functions for this: vm_insert_page() and remap_pfn_range()

POSIX mmap(3) usually use the second: remap_pfn_range()

What is the difference between vm_insert_page() and remap_pfn_range(), and when do I need to use vm_insert_page() instead of remap_pfn_range()?


vm_insert_page() allows drivers to insert individual pages they've allocated into a user vma. The page has to be allocate within the kernel independently. It requires the page be an order-zero allocation obtained for this purpose. It does not put out warnings, and does not require that PG_reserved be set.

Traditionally, this was done with remap_pfn_range() which took an arbitrary page protection parameter. vm_insert_page() doesn't allow that. Your vma protection will have to be set up correctly, which means that if you want a shared writeable mapping, you'd better ask for a shared writeable mapping!

remap_pfn_range() is used for mapping or remapping a group of pages into the memory.

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