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Kernel Memory Layout on ARM Linux
Russell King <>
November 17, 2005 (2.6.15)
This document describes the virtual memory layout which the Linux
kernel uses for ARM processors. It indicates which regions are
free for platforms to use, and which are used by generic code.
The ARM CPU is capable of addressing a maximum of 4GB virtual memory
space, and this must be shared between user space processes, the
kernel, and hardware devices.
As the ARM architecture matures, it becomes necessary to reserve
certain regions of VM space for use for new facilities; therefore
this document may reserve more VM space over time.
=============== =============== ===============================================
Start End Use
=============== =============== ===============================================
ffff8000 ffffffff copy_user_page / clear_user_page use.
For SA11xx and Xscale, this is used to
setup a minicache mapping.
ffff4000 ffffffff cache aliasing on ARMv6 and later CPUs.
ffff1000 ffff7fff Reserved.
Platforms must not use this address range.
ffff0000 ffff0fff CPU vector page.
The CPU vectors are mapped here if the
CPU supports vector relocation (control
register V bit.)
fffe0000 fffeffff XScale cache flush area. This is used
in proc-xscale.S to flush the whole data
cache. (XScale does not have TCM.)
fffe8000 fffeffff DTCM mapping area for platforms with
DTCM mounted inside the CPU.
fffe0000 fffe7fff ITCM mapping area for platforms with
ITCM mounted inside the CPU.
ffc80000 ffefffff Fixmap mapping region. Addresses provided
by fix_to_virt() will be located here.
ffc00000 ffc7ffff Guard region
ff800000 ffbfffff Permanent, fixed read-only mapping of the
firmware provided DT blob
fee00000 feffffff Mapping of PCI I/O space. This is a static
mapping within the vmalloc space.
VMALLOC_START VMALLOC_END-1 vmalloc() / ioremap() space.
Memory returned by vmalloc/ioremap will
be dynamically placed in this region.
Machine specific static mappings are also
located here through iotable_init().
VMALLOC_START is based upon the value
of the high_memory variable, and VMALLOC_END
is equal to 0xff800000.
PAGE_OFFSET high_memory-1 Kernel direct-mapped RAM region.
This maps the platforms RAM, and typically
maps all platform RAM in a 1:1 relationship.
PKMAP_BASE PAGE_OFFSET-1 Permanent kernel mappings
One way of mapping HIGHMEM pages into kernel
MODULES_VADDR MODULES_END-1 Kernel module space
Kernel modules inserted via insmod are
placed here using dynamic mappings.
TASK_SIZE MODULES_VADDR-1 KASAn shadow memory when KASan is in use.
The range from MODULES_VADDR to the top
of the memory is shadowed here with 1 bit
per byte of memory.
00001000 TASK_SIZE-1 User space mappings
Per-thread mappings are placed here via
the mmap() system call.
00000000 00000fff CPU vector page / null pointer trap
CPUs which do not support vector remapping
place their vector page here. NULL pointer
dereferences by both the kernel and user
space are also caught via this mapping.
=============== =============== ===============================================
Please note that mappings which collide with the above areas may result
in a non-bootable kernel, or may cause the kernel to (eventually) panic
at run time.
Since future CPUs may impact the kernel mapping layout, user programs
must not access any memory which is not mapped inside their 0x0001000
to TASK_SIZE address range. If they wish to access these areas, they
must set up their own mappings using open() and mmap().