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    SubjectRe: High load average on disk I/O on 2.6.17-rc3
    On Sun, May 07, 2006 at 09:50:39AM -0700, Andrew Morton wrote:
    > This is probably because the number of pdflush threads slowly grows to its
    > maximum. This is bogus, and we seem to have broken it sometime in the past
    > few releases. I need to find a few quality hours to get in there and fix
    > it, but they're rare :(
    >
    > It's pretty harmless though. The "load average" thing just means that the
    > extra pdflush threads are twiddling thumbs waiting on some disk I/O -
    > they'll later exit and clean themselves up. They won't be consuming
    > significant resources.

    Not completely harmless. Some daemons (sendmail, exim) use the load
    average to decide if they will allow more work. A local user could
    create a mail DoS by just copying a couple of large files around.
    Zeniv.linux.org.uk mail went down due to this. See
    http://lkml.org/lkml/2006/3/28/70 .


    Erik

    --
    +-- Erik Mouw -- www.harddisk-recovery.com -- +31 70 370 12 90 --
    | Lab address: Delftechpark 26, 2628 XH, Delft, The Netherlands
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