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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Memory management livelock
On Fri, 3 Oct 2008 14:07:55 +1000 Nick Piggin <nickpiggin@yahoo.com.au> wrote:

> On Friday 03 October 2008 13:56, Andrew Morton wrote:
> > On Fri, 3 Oct 2008 13:47:21 +1000 Nick Piggin <nickpiggin@yahoo.com.au>
> wrote:
> > > > I expect there's no solution which avoids blocking the writers at some
> > > > stage.
> > >
> > > See my other email. Something roughly like this would do the trick
> > > (hey, it actually boots and runs and does fix the problem too).
> >
> > It needs exclusion to protect all those temp tags. Is do_fsync()'s
> > i_mutex sufficient? It's qute unobvious (and unmaintainable?) that all
> > the callers of this stuff are running under that lock.
>
> Yeah... it does need a lock, which I brushed under the carpet :P
> I was going to just say use i_mutex, but then we really would start
> impacting on other fastpaths (eg writers).
>
> Possibly a new mutex in the address_space?

That's another, umm 24 bytes minimum in the address_space (and inode).
That's fairly ouch, which is why Miklaus did that hokey bit-based
thing.

> That way we can say
> "anybody who holds this mutex is allowed to use the tag for anything"
> and it doesn't have to be fsync specific (whether that would be of
> any use to anything else, I don't know).
>
>
> > > It's ugly because we don't have quite the right radix tree operations
> > > yet (eg. lookup multiple tags, set tag X if tag Y was set, proper range
> > > lookups). But the theory is to up-front tag the pages that we need to
> > > get to disk.
> >
> > Perhaps some callback-calling radix tree walker.
>
> Possibly, yes. That would make it fairly general. I'll have a look...
>
>
> > > Completely no impact or slowdown to any writers (although it does add
> > > 8 bytes of tags to the radix tree node... but doesn't increase memory
> > > footprint as such due to slab).
> >
> > Can we reduce the amount of copy-n-pasting here?
>
> Yeah... I went to break the sync/async cases into two, but it looks like
> it may not have been worthwhile. Just another branch might be the best
> way to go.

Yup. Could add another do-this flag in the writeback_control, perhaps.
Or even a function pointer.

> As far as the c&p in setting the FSYNC tag, yes that should all go away
> if the radix-tree is up to scratch. Basically:
>
> radix_tree_tag_set_if_tagged(start, end, ifWRITEBACK|DIRTY, setFSYNC);
>
> should be able to replace the whole thing, and we'd hold the tree_lock, so
> we would not have to take the page lock etc. Basically it would be much
> nicer... even somewhere close to a viable solution.


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