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    SubjectRe: What is a livelock? (was: [patch] sys_sync livelock fix)
    Olaf Dietsche wrote:
    > Andrew Morton <> writes:
    > > The get_request fairness patch exposed a livelock
    > > in the buffer layer. write_unlocked_buffers() will
    > > not terminate while other tasks are generating write traffic.
    > The subject says it: what is a livelock? How is it different
    > from a deadlock?


    /li:v'lok/ n. A situation in which some critical stage of a task is
    unable to finish because its clients perpetually create more work
    for it to do after they have been serviced but before it can clear its
    queue. Differs from {deadlock} in that the process is not blocked or
    waiting for anything, but has a virtually infinite amount of work to
    do and can never catch up.

    This exactly describes the sync problem. But we also use the
    term `livelock' to describe one of the Linux VM's favourite
    failure modes: madly spinning on page lists and not finding
    any useful work to do. Which is slightly different.

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      Last update: 2005-03-22 13:24    [W:0.021 / U:5.912 seconds]
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