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SubjectRe: Major regression on hackbench with SLUB (more numbers)

* Andi Kleen <> wrote:

> Ingo Molnar <> writes:
> > Christoph, /proc/slabinfo is an _ABI_. You HAVE to provide it.
> > slabtop relies on it, people use it every day to monitor memory
> > consumption.
> It's definitely not a stable ABI. slabtop tends to exit without any
> error message on any slabinfo version number increase and I've seen
> that happen several times in not so old kernels.

so because we sucked in the past we can continue to suck? ;)

Why are we still arguing about this? We kernel developers are foxes
amongst the hens and if a compatibility issue comes up we have to act
_doubly_ conservatively.

You think it's reasonable to not offer /proc/slabinfo? You can fairly
assume that a user considers it absolutely unreasonable. If other kernel
developers tell you: "no, it's fine", then it's as if other foxes told
you "no, it's fine to eat that hen, we do it all the time too!" ;-)

> Requiring just another slabtop update isn't really a big deal.

certainly. But consider this from the user's perspective who tries one
of our devel kernels. He suspects a memory leak. Runs slabtop and

$ slabtop
fopen /proc/slabinfo: No such file or directory

and would fairly conclude: "ok, this new Linux kernel looks quite
apparently unfinished, i'm outta here".

We do this way too frequently and many silly details like this _do_
mount up.

> Also it's not that it's a critical functionality like udev.

Sure, we can argue about details that not all fields in /proc/slabinfo
are relevant, and that slabtop should be a bit more careful, etc., but
we've got what we've got because _we_ built the current code, so we
might as well accept the consequences it brings. The most of the basic
output of slabtop:

Active / Total Objects (% used) : 648754 / 747076 (86.8%)
Active / Total Slabs (% used) : 39394 / 39394 (100.0%)
Active / Total Caches (% used) : 103 / 143 (72.0%)
Active / Total Size (% used) : 138884.36K / 151075.96K (91.9%)
Minimum / Average / Maximum Object : 0.01K / 0.20K / 128.00K

261928 239808 91% 0.13K 9032 29 36128K dentry_cache
222048 174144 78% 0.05K 3084 72 12336K buffer_head
187232 178929 95% 0.48K 23404 8 93616K ext3_inode_cache
24416 17908 73% 0.27K 1744 14 6976K radix_tree_node

could be offered on SLUB too.

'top' isnt critical functionality either like udev, and the ABI does not
only cover 'critical' functionality. A utility suddenly not working
gives Linux a pretty amateurish feeling. Should we tell users/admins:
"Hehe, gotcha! Didnt you know /proc/slabinfo was not an ABI? Poor sob.
If you want your stuff to continue working, use Windows next time around
or what. Sheesh, what do these people want!' ;-)

the rule is very simple: unless you have really, really, really, REALLY
good reasons, just dont break stuff.


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