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+Execute-in-place for file mappings
+----------------------------------
+
+Motivation
+----------
+File mappings are performed by mapping page cache pages to userspace. In
+addition, read&write type file operations also transfer data from/to the page
+cache.
+
+For memory backed storage devices that use the block device interface, the page
+cache pages are in fact copies of the original storage. Various approaches
+exist to work around the need for an extra copy. The ramdisk driver for example
+does read the data into the page cache, keeps a reference, and discards the
+original data behind later on.
+
+Execute-in-place solves this issue the other way around: instead of keeping
+data in the page cache, the need to have a page cache copy is eliminated
+completely. With execute-in-place, read&write type operations are performed
+directly from/to the memory backed storage device. For file mappings, the
+storage device itself is mapped directly into userspace.
+
+This implementation was initially written for shared memory segments between
+different virtual machines on s390 hardware to allow multiple machines to
+share the same binaries and libraries.
+
+Implementation
+--------------
+Execute-in-place is implemented in three steps: block device operation,
+address space operation, and file operations.
+
+A block device operation named direct_access is used to retrieve a
+reference (pointer) to a block on-disk. The reference is supposed to be
+cpu-addressable, physical address and remain valid until the release operation
+is performed. A struct block_device reference is used to address the device,
+and a sector_t argument is used to identify the individual block. As an
+alternative, memory technology devices can be used for this.
+
+The block device operation is optional, these block devices support it as of
+today:
+- dcssblk: s390 dcss block device driver
+
+An address space operation named get_xip_mem is used to retrieve references
+to a page frame number and a kernel address. To obtain these values a reference
+to an address_space is provided. This function assigns values to the kmem and
+pfn parameters. The third argument indicates whether the function should allocate
+blocks if needed.
+
+This address space operation is mutually exclusive with readpage&writepage that
+do page cache read/write operations.
+The following filesystems support it as of today:
+- ext2: the second extended filesystem, see Documentation/filesystems/ext2.txt
+
+A set of file operations that do utilize get_xip_page can be found in
+mm/filemap_xip.c . The following file operation implementations are provided:
+- aio_read/aio_write
+- readv/writev
+- sendfile
+
+The generic file operations do_sync_read/do_sync_write can be used to implement
+classic synchronous IO calls.
+
+Shortcomings
+------------
+This implementation is limited to storage devices that are cpu addressable at
+all times (no highmem or such). It works well on rom/ram, but enhancements are
+needed to make it work with flash in read+write mode.
+Putting the Linux kernel and/or its modules on a xip filesystem does not mean
+they are not copied.