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SubjectRe: [PATCH] oom killer (Core)
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On Fri, 2004-12-03 at 00:35 +0100, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> Fork eventually failing is very reasonable if you're executing a fork
> loop.

Yes, it's reasonable, but the effect that any consequent command is
aborted then is not so reasonable.

> > There is no output in dmesg, but I'm not able to remove the remaining
> > hackbench processes as even a kill -SIGKILL returns with
> > fork() (error: resource temporarily not available)
> >
> > I'm not sure, which of the two scenarios I like better :)
>
> Please try with 2.4.23aa3, I think there was some oom killer change
> after I had no resources to track 2.4 anymore. I'm not saying 2.4.23aa3
> will work better though, but I would like to know if there's some corner
> case still open in 2.4-aa. Careful, 2.4.23aa3 has security bugs (only
> local security of course, i.e. normally not a big issue, sure good
> enough for a quick test).

I try, if I find some time, but I'm not too interested in 2.4 :)

> I doubt your testcase simulates anything remotely realistic but
> anyway it's still informative.

The hackbench testcase resembles the real life problem I encountered
quite realistic. Of course we have fixed the application since then, but
I bet that I'm not the only one who uses forking servers.

> What I'm simulating here is very real life scenario with a couple of
> apps allocating more memory than ram.

Use a forking server, connect a lot of clients and it is real life. :)

> > FYI, I tried with 2.6 UP and PREEMPT=n. The result is more horrible. The
> > box just gets stuck in an endless swap in/swap out and does not respond
> > to anything else than SysRq-T and the reset button.
> >
> > With the callback the machine did not come back after 20 Minutes.
>
> Was the oom killer invoked at all? If yes, and it works with preempt,
> that could mean a cond_resched is simply missing...

Yes, it was invoked

> > I think the callback is the only safe way to fix that. If PF_MEMDIE is
> > racy then I'm sure we will find a different indicator for that.
>
> The callback adds overhead to the exit path. Plus strictly speaking it's
> not actually a callback, you're just "polling" for the bitflag :)

I know :)

> > Yep, but the reentrancy blocking with the callback makes the time, count
> > crap and the watermark check go away, as it is safe to reenable the
> > killer at this point because we definitely freed memory resources. So
> > the watermark comes for free.
>
> You can get an I/O race where your program is about to finish a failing
> try_to_free_pages pass (note that a task exiting won't make
> try_to_free_pages work any easier, try_to_free_pages has to free
> allocated memory, it doesn't care if there's 1M or 100M of free memory).
> If you don't check the watermarks after waiting for I/O, you're going to
> generate a suprious oom-killing. Your changes can't help.

True, I did not take the I/O into account.

> Note that even the watermark checks leaves a race window open, but at
> least it's not an I/O window. While try_to_free_pages can wait for I/O
> and then fail.
>
> I'll add to my last patch the removal of the PF_MEMDIE check in oom_kill
> plus I'll fix the remaining race with PF_EXITING/DEAD, and I'll add a
> cond_resched. Then you can try again with my simple way (w/ and w/o
> PREEMPT ;).
>
> Thanks for the great feedback.


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