Messages in this thread | | | Date | Tue, 14 Jul 1998 14:23:56 -0700 (PDT) | From | Linus Torvalds <> | Subject | Re: Strange interrupt behaviour |
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On Tue, 14 Jul 1998, Alex Buell wrote: > > Ok, we get the point. I've just had a thought - what if the problems we've > been seeing with the memory allocation/defragmentation issues are unique > to low memory machines? If that is the case, then maybe we should have a > _different_ algorithm for handling these low memory machines (use 2.0.x > algorithms?), and keep the existing one for boxes with plenty of memory.
Yes.
This is actually one thing that surprised me when I did the math myself. My own intuition had actually been that it shouldn't matter how much memory you have, as long as you keep some fixed percentage "x" free of that memory.
And I think this is what tripped me, and it was very illuminating for me to look at the actual numbers. They showed clearly that the likelihood for finding consecutive pages was _not_ a function of the percentage of free pages. It's very sensitive indeed to how much memory you have total, and it's fairly non-linear.
It makes perfect sense when I actually look at the math, but I had gone purely on intuition, and I think this is partly why I've been so happy with 2.1.x, but others have been trying to patch around things in it to hide problems they had on smaller memory machines. So trying to convince others that buddy and random is ok definitely showed a hole in my own intuition also.
Just in case you're interested, I'll append my generated table. The percentage number is the probability for not finding a 8kB allocation with those particular parameters..
Anyway, looking at the table it is fairly obvious why machines with much memory don't tend to have problems..
Linus
----- [torvalds@penguin torvalds]$ ./a.out X = 1024, Y = 20 ( 4MB, 2% free) = 68.6673% X = 1024, Y = 51 ( 4MB, 5% free) = 7.6047% X = 1024, Y = 81 ( 4MB, 8% free) = 0.1245% X = 2048, Y = 40 ( 8MB, 2% free) = 46.2224% X = 2048, Y = 102 ( 8MB, 5% free) = 0.5488% X = 2048, Y = 163 ( 8MB, 8% free) = 0.0001%
X = 4096, Y = 81 ( 16MB, 2% free) = 20.1256% X = 4096, Y = 204 ( 16MB, 5% free) = 0.0029% X = 4096, Y = 327 ( 16MB, 8% free) = 0.0000% X = 8192, Y = 163 ( 32MB, 2% free) = 3.8125% X = 8192, Y = 409 ( 32MB, 5% free) = 0.0000% X = 8192, Y = 655 ( 32MB, 8% free) = 0.0000% X = 16384, Y = 327 ( 64MB, 2% free) = 0.1368% X = 16384, Y = 819 ( 64MB, 5% free) = 0.0000% X = 16384, Y = 1310 ( 64MB, 8% free) = 0.0000% X = 32768, Y = 655 (128MB, 2% free) = 0.0002% X = 32768, Y = 1638 (128MB, 5% free) = 0.0000% X = 32768, Y = 2621 (128MB, 8% free) = 0.0000% X = 65536, Y = 1310 (256MB, 2% free) = 0.0000% X = 65536, Y = 3276 (256MB, 5% free) = 0.0000% X = 65536, Y = 5242 (256MB, 8% free) = 0.0000%
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