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Page Deallocation

  Allocating blocks of pages tends to fragment memory with larger blocks of free pages being broken down into smaller ones. The page deallocation code

recombines pages into larger blocks of free pages whenever it can. In fact the page block size is important as it allows for easy combination of blocks into larger blocks.

Whenever a block of pages is freed, the adjacent block of same size is checked to see if it is free. If it is, then it is combined with the newly freed block of pages to form a new free block of pages for the next size block of pages. Each time two blocks of pages are recombined into a bigger block of free pages the page deallocation code attempts to recombine that block into a yet larger one. In this way the blocks of free pages are as large as memory usage will allow.

For example, in Figure gif, if PFN 1 were to be freed, then that would be combined with the already free PFN 0 and queued onto element 1 of the free_area  as a free block of size 2 pages.

David A. Rusling