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Re: [PATCH 1/8] mm: vmscan: Do not writeback filesystem pages in direct

To: Mel Gorman <mgorman@xxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/8] mm: vmscan: Do not writeback filesystem pages in direct reclaim
From: Minchan Kim <minchan.kim@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2011 00:06:06 +0900
Cc: Linux-MM <linux-mm@xxxxxxxxx>, LKML <linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, XFS <xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx>, Dave Chinner <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Christoph Hellwig <hch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Johannes Weiner <jweiner@xxxxxxxxxx>, Wu Fengguang <fengguang.wu@xxxxxxxxx>, Jan Kara <jack@xxxxxxx>, Rik van Riel <riel@xxxxxxxxxx>
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On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 05:28:43PM +0100, Mel Gorman wrote:
> From: Mel Gorman <mel@xxxxxxxxx>
> 
> When kswapd is failing to keep zones above the min watermark, a process
> will enter direct reclaim in the same manner kswapd does. If a dirty
> page is encountered during the scan, this page is written to backing
> storage using mapping->writepage.
> 
> This causes two problems. First, it can result in very deep call
> stacks, particularly if the target storage or filesystem are complex.
> Some filesystems ignore write requests from direct reclaim as a result.
> The second is that a single-page flush is inefficient in terms of IO.
> While there is an expectation that the elevator will merge requests,
> this does not always happen. Quoting Christoph Hellwig;
> 
>       The elevator has a relatively small window it can operate on,
>       and can never fix up a bad large scale writeback pattern.
> 
> This patch prevents direct reclaim writing back filesystem pages by
> checking if current is kswapd. Anonymous pages are still written to
> swap as there is not the equivalent of a flusher thread for anonymous
> pages. If the dirty pages cannot be written back, they are placed
> back on the LRU lists. There is now a direct dependency on dirty page
> balancing to prevent too many pages in the system being dirtied which
> would prevent reclaim making forward progress.
> 
> Signed-off-by: Mel Gorman <mgorman@xxxxxxx>
Reviewed-by: Minchan Kim <minchan.kim@xxxxxxxxx>

Nitpick.
We can change description of should_reclaim_stall.

"Returns true if the caller should wait to clean dirty/writeback pages"
->
"Returns true if direct reclaimer should wait to clean writeback pages"

-- 
Kind regards,
Minchan Kim

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