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All about Linux’s memory model

Feb 23, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

IBM's DeveloperWorks Website has published a detailed, technical article about the Linux memory model. The article covers memory fundamentals, as well as specific approaches used in Linux. It focuses mainly on x86 architecture, but much material applies to other processor architectures as well.

Author Vikram Shukla calls a basic understanding of the Linux memory model “the first step to grasping Linux design and implementation on a grander scale.” He goes on to discuss:

  • x86 memory architecture, including logical, linear, and physical addresses
  • Segment control unit model, or how a base address and length value are mapped to physical addresses
  • Segment control unit in Linux, and how architecture portability and simple memory management are achieved
    • Segment descriptors under Linux
    • Calculating TASKS
  • Paging model in general
    • Fields used in paging
    • Extended paging
  • Paging model in Linux
    • Reserved page frame
    • How paging is enabled
  • Physical memory zone

Read the complete whitepaper here:

Explore the Linux memory model

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