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Re: [patch 2/2/4] mm: try to distribute dirty pages fairly across zones

To: Johannes Weiner <jweiner@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [patch 2/2/4] mm: try to distribute dirty pages fairly across zones
From: Minchan Kim <minchan.kim@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 03:09:07 +0900
Cc: Andrew Morton <akpm@xxxxxxxxxx>, Mel Gorman <mgorman@xxxxxxx>, Christoph Hellwig <hch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Dave Chinner <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Wu Fengguang <fengguang.wu@xxxxxxxxx>, Jan Kara <jack@xxxxxxx>, Rik van Riel <riel@xxxxxxxxxx>, Chris Mason <chris.mason@xxxxxxxxxx>, "Theodore Ts'o" <tytso@xxxxxxx>, Andreas Dilger <adilger.kernel@xxxxxxxxx>, xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx, linux-btrfs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linux-ext4@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linux-mm@xxxxxxxxx, linux-fsdevel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Andrew Morton <akpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 09:11:54AM +0200, Johannes Weiner wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 02:56:40PM +0900, Minchan Kim wrote:
> > On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 04:42:48PM +0200, Johannes Weiner wrote:
> > > The maximum number of dirty pages that exist in the system at any time
> > > is determined by a number of pages considered dirtyable and a
> > > user-configured percentage of those, or an absolute number in bytes.
> > 
> > It's explanation of old approach.
> What do you mean?  This does not change with this patch.  We still
> have a number of dirtyable pages and a limit that is applied
> relatively to this number.
> > > This number of dirtyable pages is the sum of memory provided by all
> > > the zones in the system minus their lowmem reserves and high
> > > watermarks, so that the system can retain a healthy number of free
> > > pages without having to reclaim dirty pages.
> > 
> > It's a explanation of new approach.
> Same here, this aspect is also not changed with this patch!
> > > But there is a flaw in that we have a zoned page allocator which does
> > > not care about the global state but rather the state of individual
> > > memory zones.  And right now there is nothing that prevents one zone
> > > from filling up with dirty pages while other zones are spared, which
> > > frequently leads to situations where kswapd, in order to restore the
> > > watermark of free pages, does indeed have to write pages from that
> > > zone's LRU list.  This can interfere so badly with IO from the flusher
> > > threads that major filesystems (btrfs, xfs, ext4) mostly ignore write
> > > requests from reclaim already, taking away the VM's only possibility
> > > to keep such a zone balanced, aside from hoping the flushers will soon
> > > clean pages from that zone.
> > 
> > It's a explanation of old approach, again!
> > Shoudn't we move above phrase of new approach into below?
> Everything above describes the current behaviour (at the point of this
> patch, so respecting lowmem_reserve e.g. is part of the current
> behaviour by now) and its problems.  And below follows a description
> of how the patch tries to fix it.

It seems that it's not a good choice to use "old" and "new" terms.
Hannes, please ignore, it's not a biggie.

Kind regards,
Minchan Kim

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