fi_mr man page

fi_mr — Memory region operations

fi_mr_reg / fi_mr_regv / fi_mr_regattr : Register local memory buffers for direct fabric access

fi_close : Deregister registered memory buffers.

fi_mr_desc : Return a local descriptor associated with a registered memory region

fi_mr_key : Return the remote key needed to access a registered memory region

fi_mr_raw_attr : Return raw memory region attributes.

fi_mr_map_raw : Converts a raw memory region key into a key that is usable for data transfer operations.

fi_mr_unmap_key : Releases a previously mapped raw memory region key.

fi_mr_bind : Associate a registered memory region with a completion counter.

fi_mr_refresh : Updates the memory pages associated with a memory region.

fi_mr_enable : Enables a memory region for use.


#include <rdma/fi_domain.h>

int fi_mr_reg(struct fid_domain *domain, const void *buf, size_t len,
    uint64_t access, uint64_t offset, uint64_t requested_key,
    uint64_t flags, struct fid_mr **mr, void *context);

int fi_mr_regv(struct fid_domain *domain, const struct iovec * iov,
    size_t count, uint64_t access, uint64_t offset, uint64_t requested_key,
    uint64_t flags, struct fid_mr **mr, void *context);

int fi_mr_regattr(struct fid_domain *domain, const struct fi_mr_attr *attr,
    uint64_t flags, struct fid_mr **mr);

int fi_close(struct fid *mr);

void * fi_mr_desc(struct fid_mr *mr);

uint64_t fi_mr_key(struct fid_mr *mr);

int fi_mr_raw_attr(struct fid_mr *mr, uint64_t *base_addr,
    uint8_t *raw_key, size_t *key_size, uint64_t flags);

int fi_mr_map_raw(struct fid_domain *domain, uint64_t base_addr,
    uint8_t *raw_key, size_t key_size, uint64_t *key, uint64_t flags);

int fi_mr_unmap_key(struct fid_domain *domain, uint64_t key);

int fi_mr_bind(struct fid_mr *mr, struct fid *bfid, uint64_t flags);

int fi_mr_refresh(struct fid_mr *mr, const struct iovec *iov, size, count,
    uint64_t flags)

int fi_mr_enable(struct fid_mr *mr);


domain : Resource domain

mr : Memory region

bfid : Fabric identifier of an associated resource.

context : User specified context associated with the memory region.

buf : Memory buffer to register with the fabric hardware

len : Length of memory buffer to register

iov : Vectored memory buffer.

count : Count of vectored buffer entries.

access : Memory access permissions associated with registration

offset : Optional specified offset for accessing specified registered buffers. This parameter is reserved for future use and must be 0.

requested_key : Optional requested remote key associated with registered buffers.

attr : Memory region attributes

flags : Additional flags to apply to the operation.


Registered memory regions associate memory buffers with permissions granted for access by fabric resources. A memory buffer must be registered with a resource domain before it can be used as the target of a remote RMA or atomic data transfer. Additionally, a fabric provider may require that data buffers be registered before being used in local transfers. Memory registration restrictions are controlled using a separate set of mode bits, specified through the domain attributes (mr_mode field).

The following apply to memory registration.

Scalable Memory Registration : By default, memory registration is considered scalable. (For library versions 1.4 and earlier, this is indicated by setting mr_mode to FI_MR_SCALABLE, with the fi_info mode bit FI_LOCAL_MR set to 0). For versions 1.5 and later, scalable is implied by the lack of any mr_mode bits being set. The setting of mr_mode bits therefore adjusts application behavior as described below. Default, scalable registration has several properties.

In scalable mode, registration occurs on memory address ranges. Because registration refers to memory regions, versus data buffers, the address ranges given for a registration request do not need to map to data buffers allocated by the application at the time the registration call is made. That is, an application can register any range of addresses in their virtual address space, whether or not those addresses are backed by physical pages or have been allocated.

The resulting memory regions are accessible by peers starting at a base address of 0. That is, the target address that is specified is a byte offset into the registered region.

The application also selects the access key associated with the MR. The key size is restricted to a maximum of 8 bytes.

With scalable registration, locally accessed data buffers are not registered. This includes source buffers for all transmit operations -- sends, tagged sends, RMA, and atomics -- as well as buffers posted for receive and tagged receive operations.

FI_MR_LOCAL : When the FI_MR_LOCAL mode bit is set, applications must register all data buffers that will be accessed by the local hardware and provide a valid mem_desc parameter into applicable data transfer operations. When FI_MR_LOCAL is zero, applications are not required to register data buffers before using them for local operations (e.g. send and receive data buffers), and the mem_desc parameter into data transfer operations is ignored.

A provider may hide local registration requirements from applications by making use of an internal registration cache or similar mechanisms. Such mechanisms, however, may negatively impact performance for some applications, notably those which manage their own network buffers. In order to support as broad range of applications as possible, without unduly affecting their performance, applications that wish to manage their own local memory registrations may do so by using the memory registration calls.

Note: the FI_MR_LOCAL mr_mode bit replaces the FI_LOCAL_MR fi_info mode bit. When FI_MR_LOCAL is set, FI_LOCAL_MR is ignored.

FI_MR_RAW : Raw memory regions are used to support providers with keys larger than 64-bits or require setup at the peer. When the FI_MR_RAW bit is set, applications must use fi_mr_raw_attr() locally and fi_mr_map_raw() at the peer before targeting a memory region as part of any data transfer request.

FI_MR_VIRT_ADDR : The FI_MR_VIRT_ADDR bit indicates that the provider references memory regions by virtual address, rather than a 0-based offset. Peers that target memory regions registered with FI_MR_VIRT_ADDR specify the destination memory buffer using the target's virtual address, with any offset into the region specified as virtual address + offset. Support of this bit typically implies that peers must exchange addressing data prior to initiating any RMA or atomic operation.

FI_MR_ALLOCATED : When set, all registered memory regions must be backed by physical memory pages at the time the registration call is made.

FI_MR_PROV_KEY : This memory region mode indicates that the provider does not support application requested MR keys. MR keys are returned by the provider. Applications that support FI_MR_PROV_KEY can obtain the provider key using fi_mr_key(), unless FI_MR_RAW is also set. The returned key should then be exchanged with peers prior to initiating an RMA or atomic operation.

FI_MR_MMU_NOTIFY : FI_MR_MMU_NOTIFY is typically set by providers that support memory registration against memory regions that are not necessarily backed by allocated physical pages at the time the memory registration occurs. (That is, FI_MR_ALLOCATED is typically 0). However, such providers require that applications notify the provider prior to the MR being accessed as part of a data transfer operation. This notification informs the provider that all necessary physical pages now back the region. The notification is necessary for providers that cannot hook directly into the operating system page tables or memory management unit. See fi_mr_refresh() for notification details.

FI_MR_RMA_EVENT : This mode bit indicates that the provider must configure memory regions that are associated with RMA events prior to their use. This includes all memory regions that are associated with completion counters. When set, applications must indicate if a memory region will be associated with a completion counter as part of the region's creation. This is done by passing in the FI_RMA_EVENT flag to the memory registration call.

Such memory regions will be created in a disabled state and must be associated with all completion counters prior to being enabled. To enable a memory region, the application must call fi_mr_enable(). After calling fi_mr_enable(), no further resource bindings may be made to the memory region.

FI_MR_ENDPOINT : This mode bit indicates that the provider associates memory regions with endpoints rather than domains. Memory regions that are registered with the provider are created in a disabled state and must be bound to an endpoint prior to being enabled. To bind the MR with an endpoint, the application must use fi_mr_bind(). To enable the memory region, the application must call fi_mr_enable().

Basic Memory Registration : Basic memory registration is indicated by the FI_MR_BASIC mr_mode bit. FI_MR_BASIC is maintained for backwards compatibility (libfabric version 1.4 or earlier). The behavior of basic registration is equivalent to setting the following mr_mode bits to one: FI_MR_VIRT_ADDR, FI_MR_ALLOCATED, and FI_MR_PROV_KEY. Additionally, providers that support basic registration usually required FI_MR_LOCAL. FI_MR_BASIC must either be set alone, or in conjunction with FI_MR_LOCAL. Other mr_mode bit pairings are invalid. Unlike other mr_mode bits, if FI_MR_BASIC is set on input to fi_getinfo(), it will not be cleared by the provider. That is, setting FI_MR_BASIC to one requests basic registration.

The registrations functions -- fi_mr_reg, fi_mr_regv, and fi_mr_regattr -- are used to register one or more memory regions with fabric resources. The main difference between registration functions are the number and type of parameters that they accept as input. Otherwise, they perform the same general function.

By default, memory registration completes synchronously. I.e. the registration call will not return until the registration has completed. Memory registration can complete asynchronous by binding the resource domain to an event queue using the FI_REG_MR flag. See fi_domain_bind. When memory registration is asynchronous, in order to avoid a race condition between the registration call returning and the corresponding reading of the event from the EQ, the mr output parameter will be written before any event associated with the operation may be read by the application. An asynchronous event will not be generated unless the registration call returns success (0).


The fi_mr_reg call registers the user-specified memory buffer with the resource domain. The buffer is enabled for access by the fabric hardware based on the provided access permissions. See the access field description for memory region attributes below.

Registered memory is associated with a local memory descriptor and, optionally, a remote memory key. A memory descriptor is a provider specific identifier associated with registered memory. Memory descriptors often map to hardware specific indices or keys associated with the memory region. Remote memory keys provide limited protection against unwanted access by a remote node. Remote accesses to a memory region must provide the key associated with the registration.

Because MR keys must be provided by a remote process, an application can use the requested_key parameter to indicate that a specific key value be returned. Support for user requested keys is provider specific and is determined by the mr_mode domain attribute.

Remote RMA and atomic operations indicate the location within a registered memory region by specifying an address. The location is referenced by adding the offset to either the base virtual address of the buffer or to 0, depending on the mr_mode.

The offset parameter is reserved for future use and must be 0.

For asynchronous memory registration requests, the result will be reported to the user through an event queue associated with the resource domain. If successful, the allocated memory region structure will be returned to the user through the mr parameter. The mr address must remain valid until the registration operation completes. The context specified with the registration request is returned with the completion event.


The fi_mr_regv call adds support for a scatter-gather list to fi_mr_reg. Multiple memory buffers are registered as a single memory region. Otherwise, the operation is the same.


The fi_mr_regattr call is a more generic, extensible registration call that allows the user to specify the registration request using a struct fi_mr_attr (defined below).


Fi_close is used to release all resources associated with a registering a memory region. Once unregistered, further access to the registered memory is not guaranteed. Active or queued operations that reference a memory region being closed may fail or result in accesses to invalid memory. Applications are responsible for ensuring that a MR is no longer needed prior to closing it. Note that accesses to a closed MR from a remote peer will result in an error at the peer. The state of the local endpoint will be unaffected.

When closing the MR, there must be no opened endpoints or counters associated with the MR. If resources are still associated with the MR when attempting to close, the call will return -FI_EBUSY.


Obtains the local memory descriptor associated with a MR. The memory registration must have completed successfully before invoking this call.


Returns the remote protection key associated with a MR. The memory registration must have completed successfully before invoking this. The returned key may be used in data transfer operations at a peer. If the FI_RAW_MR mode bit has been set for the domain, then the memory key must be obtained using the fi_mr_raw_key function instead. A return value of FI_KEY_NOTAVAIL will be returned if the registration has not completed or a raw memory key is required.


Returns the raw, remote protection key and base address associated with a MR. The memory registration must have completed successfully before invoking this routine. Use of this call is required if the FI_RAW_MR mode bit has been set by the provider; however, it is safe to use this call with any memory region.

A raw key must be mapped by a peer before it can be used in data transfer operations. See fi_mr_map_raw below.


Raw protection keys must be mapped to a usable key value before they can be used for data transfer operations. The mapping is done by the peer that initiates the RMA or atomic operation. The mapping function takes as input the raw key and its size, and returns the mapped key. Use of the fi_mr_map_raw function is required if the peer has the FI_RAW_MR mode bit set, but this routine may be called on any valid key. All mapped keys must be freed by calling fi_mr_unmap_key when access to the peer memory region is no longer necessary.


This call releases any resources that may have been allocated as part of mapping a raw memory key. All mapped keys must be freed before the corresponding domain is closed.


The fi_mr_bind function associates a memory region with a counter or endpoint. Counter bindings are needed by providers that support the generation of completions based on fabric operations. Endpoint bindings are needed if the provider associates memory regions with endpoints (see FI_MR_ENDPOINT).

When binding with a counter, the type of events tracked against the memory region is based on the bitwise OR of the following flags.

FI_REMOTE_WRITE : Generates an event whenever a remote RMA write or atomic operation modifies the memory region. Use of this flag requires that the endpoint through which the MR is accessed be created with the FI_RMA_EVENT capability.

When binding the memory region to an endpoint, flags should be 0.


The use of this call is required to notify the provider of any change to the physical pages backing a registered memory region if the FI_MR_MMU_NOTIFY mode bit has been set. This call informs the provider that the page table entries associated with the region may have been modified, and the provider should verify and update the registered region accordingly. The iov parameter is optional and may be used to specify which portions of the registered region requires updating. Providers are only guaranteed to update the specified address ranges.

The refresh operation has the effect of disabling and re-enabling access to the registered region. Any operations from peers that attempt to access the region will fail while the refresh is occurring. Additionally, attempts to access the region by the local process through libfabric APIs may result in a page fault or other fatal operation.

The fi_mr_refresh call is only needed if the physical pages might have been updated after the memory region was created.


The enable call is used with memory registration associated with the FI_MR_RMA_EVENT mode bit. Memory regions created in the disabled state must be explicitly enabled after being fully configured by the application. Any resource bindings to the MR must be done prior to enabling the MR.

Memory Region Attributes

Memory regions are created using the following attributes. The struct fi_mr_attr is passed into fi_mr_regattr, but individual fields also apply to other memory registration calls, with the fields passed directly into calls as function parameters.

struct fi_mr_attr {
    const struct iovec *mr_iov;
    size_t             iov_count;
    uint64_t           access;
    uint64_t           requested_key;
    void               *context;
    size_t             auth_key_size;
    uint8_t            *auth_key;


This is an IO vector of addresses that will represent a single memory region. The number of entries in the iovec is specified by iov_count.


The number of entries in the mr_iov array. The maximum number of memory buffers that may be associated with a single memory region is specified as the mr_iov_limit domain attribute. See fi_domain(3).


Indicates the type of access that the local or a peer endpoint has to the registered memory region. Supported access permissions are the bitwise OR of the following flags:

FI_SEND : The memory buffer may be used in outgoing message data transfers. This includes fi_msg and fi_tagged operations.

FI_RECV : The memory buffer may be used to receive inbound message transfers. This includes fi_msg and fi_tagged operations.

FI_READ : The memory buffer may be used as the result buffer for RMA read and atomic operations on the initiator side.

FI_WRITE : The memory buffer may be used as the source buffer for RMA write and atomic operations on the initiator side.

FI_REMOTE_READ : The memory buffer may be used as the source buffer of an RMA read operation on the target side.

FI_REMOTE_WRITE : The memory buffer may be used as the target buffer of an RMA write or atomic operation.


An application specified access key associated with the memory region. The MR key must be provided by a remote process when performing RMA or atomic operations to a memory region. Applications can use the requested_key field to indicate that a specific key be used by the provider. This allows applications to use well known key values, which can avoid applications needing to exchange and store keys. Support for user requested keys is provider specific and is determined by the mr_mode domain attribute.


Application context associated with asynchronous memory registration operations. This value is returned as part of any asynchronous event associated with the registration. This field is ignored for synchronous registration calls.


The size of key referenced by the auth_key field in bytes, or 0 if no authorization key is given. This field is ignored unless the fabric is opened with API version 1.5 or greater.


Indicates the key to associate with this memory registration. Authorization keys are used to limit communication between endpoints. Only peer endpoints that are programmed to use the same authorization key may access the memory region. The domain authorization key will be used if the auth_key_size provided is 0. This field is ignored unless the fabric is opened with API version 1.5 or greater.


Direct access to an application's memory by a remote peer requires that the application register the targeted memory buffer(s). This is typically done by calling one of the fi_mr_reg* routines. For FI_MR_PROV_KEY, the provider will return a key that must be used by the peer when accessing the memory region. The application is responsible for transferring this key to the peer. If FI_MR_RAW mode has been set, the key must be retrieved using the fi_mr_raw_attr function.

FI_RAW_MR allows support for providers that require more than 8-bytes for their protection keys or need additional setup before a key can be used for transfers. After a raw key has been retrieved, it must be exchanged with the remote peer. The peer must use fi_mr_map_raw to convert the raw key into a usable 64-bit key. The mapping must be done even if the raw key is 64-bits or smaller.

The raw key support functions are usable with all registered memory regions, even if FI_MR_RAW has not been set. It is recommended that portable applications target using those interfaces; however, their use does carry extra message and memory footprint overhead, making it less desirable for highly scalable apps.


The follow flag may be specified to any memory registration call.

FI_RMA_EVENT : This flag indicates that the specified memory region will be associated with a completion counter used to count RMA operations that access the MR.

FI_RMA_PMEM : This flag indicates that the underlying memory region is backed by persistent memory and will be used in RMA operations. It must be specified if persistent completion semantics or persistent data transfers are required when accessing the registered region.

Return Values

Returns 0 on success. On error, a negative value corresponding to fabric errno is returned.

Fabric errno values are defined in rdma/fi_errno.h.


-FI_ENOKEY : The requested_key is already in use.

-FI_EKEYREJECTED : The requested_key is not available. They key may be out of the range supported by the provider, or the provider may not support user-requested memory registration keys.

-FI_ENOSYS : Returned by fi_mr_bind if the provider does not support reporting events based on access to registered memory regions.

-FI_EBADFLAGS : Returned if the specified flags are not supported by the provider.

See Also

fi_getinfo(3), fi_endpoint(3), fi_domain(3), fi_rma(3), fi_msg(3), fi_atomic(3)



Referenced By

fabric(7), fi_domain(3), fi_getinfo(3).

The man pages fi_mr_bind(3), fi_mr_desc(3), fi_mr_key(3), fi_mr_reg(3), fi_mr_regattr(3) and fi_mr_regv(3) are aliases of fi_mr(3).

2018-02-13 Libfabric Programmer's Manual Libfabric v1.6.0