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Re: [PATCH 1/2] mm: add context argument to shrinker callback

To: Dave Chinner <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/2] mm: add context argument to shrinker callback
From: Nick Piggin <npiggin@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 18:38:40 +1000
Cc: Christoph Hellwig <hch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linux-fsdevel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linux-mm@xxxxxxxxx, xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx, Andrew Morton <akpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
In-reply-to: <20100420004149.GA14744@dastard>
References: <1271118255-21070-1-git-send-email-david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <1271118255-21070-2-git-send-email-david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <20100418001514.GA26575@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <20100419140039.GQ5683@laptop> <20100420004149.GA14744@dastard>
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)
On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 10:41:49AM +1000, Dave Chinner wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 12:00:39AM +1000, Nick Piggin wrote:
> > On Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 08:15:14PM -0400, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > > Any chance we can still get this into 2.6.34?  It's really needed to fix
> > > a regression in XFS that would be hard to impossible to work around
> > > inside the fs.  While it touches quite a few places the changes are
> > > trivial and well understood.
> > 
> > Why do you even need this context argument?  Reclaim is not doing anything
> > smart about this, it would just call each call shrinker in turn.
> It's not being smart, but it is detemining how many objects to
> reclaim in each shrinker call based on memory pressure and the
> number of reclimable objects in the cache the shrinker works on.
> That's exactly the semantics I want for per-filesystem inode cache
> reclaim.

And you can easily do that in the filesystem code because either
way you have to know the number of objects you have.

> > Do you not have an easily traversable list of mountpoints?
> No, XFS does not have one, and I'm actively trying to remove any
> global state that crosses mounts that does exist (e.g. the global
> dquot caches and freelist).

The shrinker list is global state too, so it's not a big deal. A
simple list and an rwsem will work fine and be smaller than adding
the full shrinker structure in the mount point.

And that way you get a mountpoint list to potentially use for other
things. Wheras with the shrinker you still cannot.

> > Can you just
> > make a list of them? It would be cheaper than putting a whole shrinker
> > structure into them anyway.
> It's not cheaper or simpler. To make it work properly, I'd
> need to aggregate counters over all the filesystems in the list,
> work out how much to reclaim from each, etc. It is quite messy
> compared to deferecing the context to check one variable and either
> return or invoke the existing inode reclaim code.

It most definitely is cheaper, in terms of memory footprint. For
cost of doing the traversals, letting the shrinker code do it is
doing the *exact* same thing -- it's just traversing all your mount

> I also don't want to have a situation where i have to implement
> fairness heuristics to avoid reclaiming one filesystem too much or
> only end up reclaiming one or two inodes per filesystem per shrinker
> call because of the number of filesytems is similar to the shrinker
> batch size.  The high level shrinker code already does this reclaim
> proportioning and does it far better than can be done in the scope
> of a shrinker callback. IOWs, adding a context allows XFS to do
> inode reclaim far more efficiently than if it was implemented
> through global state and a single shrinker.

You would just do it proportionately with the size of each fliesystem,
simple, dumb, and exactly what the shrinker does.

> FWIW, we have this problem in the inode and dentry cache - we've got
> all sorts of complexity for being fair about reclaiming across all
> superblocks. I don't want to duplicate that complexity - instead I
> want to avoid it entirely.

The dcache pruning is not complex.

                if (prune_ratio != 1)
                        w_count = (sb->s_nr_dentry_unused / prune_ratio)
+ 1;
                        w_count = sb->s_nr_dentry_unused;

Inode pruning is the same.

> > The main reason I would be against proliferation of dynamic shrinker
> > registration would be that it could change reclaim behaviour depending
> > on how they get ordered (in the cache the caches are semi-dependent,
> > like inode cache and dentry cache).
> Adding a context does not change that implicit ordering based on
> registration order. Any filesystem based shrinker is going to be
> registered after the core infrastructure shrnikers, so they are not
> going to perturb the current ordering.
By definition the ordering changes based on the order of registration.
You can't argue with that.

> And if this is enough of a problem to disallow context based cache
> shrinkers, then lets fix the interface so that we encode the
> dependencies explicitly in the registration interface rather than
> doing it implicitly.
> IOWs, I don't think this is a valid reason for not allowing a
> context to be passed with a shrinker because it is easily fixed.

Well yeah you could do all that maybe. I think it would definitely be
required if we were to do context shrinkers like this. But AFAIKS there
is simply no need at all. Definitely it is not preventing XFS from
following more like the existing shrinker implementations.

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