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SubjectRe: [PATCH] fork failures on ix86
On Sat, Jul 11, 1998 at 12:59:43AM +0200, MOLNAR Ingo wrote:
> On Fri, 10 Jul 1998 wrote:
> > OK, then it has the same speed as before - maybe a bit slower because of
> > the additional redirection. The big advantage of the trick Bernd suggested
> > is that it makes the system much more reliable. It is very bad when Linux
> > stops forking because memory is fragmented.
> a 'bit' slower?? "current" is one of the most frequently used variables in
> the kernel. (in 2.1.108 it's used ~5780 times througout the kernel source)
> bloats code, uses up L1 cache.

I doubt that it is that bad. It needs one additional cache line to access
the bottom of the stack.

Assuming you allocate the task_struct with the slab allocator which does
proper L1 colouring and align on the most often used variable offset inside
task_struct then for most processes this one cache line is saved again
[the "fixed" alignment address at the bottom of the stack is bad for cache line
selection on not fully associative caches]. With some reordering in
task_struct it probably will be even faster.

Of course this is all speculation without benchmarks, I'll run some tests

> A 4k stack is not quite enough. it should be, but in RL it was pain and
> caused way too common 'ayiee, stack corrupted ..' crashes. The current 7k
> stack seems to be just about perfect, enough for all drivers/filesystems,
> and still doesnt waste a full second page, because we have the task
> structure there.

That would be a killer of course. I was assuming that most of them
were caused by "single offenders" like the aic7xxx driver putting lots
of internal state on the stack - these could be fixed. If it is a more
generic situation then it is not a good way.

> put yet another way, if we cannot allocate 8k pages more or less reliably,
> we are dead for NFS serving anyway ... and if we cannot allocate 8k pages
> in fork() [which can wait, unlike the IRQ handler] we are doing way too
> bad work too :(

The NFS server can be easily fixed here - fork only with lots of black
magic in the VM. Also it is reasonable to require lets say minimum 16MB
of memory for a nfs server, while fork() is a much more fundamental
operation that needs to work with minimum RAM reliable.


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