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    SubjectBlock device swamping disk cache
    I am having problems writing a filesystem image to a device file.

    I am running an arm version of the 2.5.59 kernel.

    Writing the data to the device file eventually caused ps.nr_dirty to exceed
    dirty_thresh in balance_dirty_pages(), yet when writeback_inodes() scans
    all the superblocks, the inodes that it finds are all marked as memory_backed
    (they are on a ramdisk), and the inode for the block device file doesn't
    show up.

    I did not see any place where mark_inode_dirty() gets called for the block
    device.. Is there some other mechanism for flushing the disk cache allocated
    to the device? I end up with balance_dirty_pages() looping forever.

    Just for grins, I added a call to mark_inode_dirty() in blkdev_commit_write()
    (similar to generic_commit_write()), but this had no effect that I could
    notice. I did note that in blkdev_commit_write(), if I look at
    file->f_dentry->d_inode, I see the inode form the /dev filesystem, yet
    page->mapping->host is a different inode! I don't know if this is a
    problem or not, but it did surprise me..

    Anyhow, is this a known issue with 2.5.59? How is the disk cache allocated
    to a block device supposed to get flushed?


    Marcus Hall
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