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SubjectRe: [PATCH] writeback: guard against jiffies wraparound on inode->dirtied_when checks (try #2)
> > > --- mm.orig/fs/fs-writeback.c
> > > +++ mm/fs/fs-writeback.c
> > > @@ -196,7 +196,7 @@ static void redirty_tail(struct inode *i
> > > struct inode *tail_inode;
> > >
> > > tail_inode = list_entry(sb->s_dirty.next, struct inode, i_list);
> > > - if (!time_after_eq(inode->dirtied_when,
> > > + if (time_before(inode->dirtied_when,
> > > tail_inode->dirtied_when))
> > > inode->dirtied_when = jiffies;
> > > }
> >
> > I think we need a similar change in this function in order to maintain
> > the list order.
> >
> > Consider this case:
> >
> > We have an s_dirty list with a head inode that appears to be in the
> > future. We start writeback and clear out s_dirty (all of the inodes are
> > moved to s_io). A new inode is dirtied, and goes onto the empty s_dirty
> > list with a dirtied_when value that equals now. The inode with the
> > dirtied_when value that looks like it's in the future is redirtied while
> > being written and redirty_tail is called. It goes back on the list
> > without resetting dirtied_when even though it's actually older than the
> > inode at the tail.
>
> What's the difference? It _is_ the past because all 2 reference sites
> are now taught to think so.
>
> So s_dirty is still in order, and the writeback process won't be blocked.
>

Sanity check -- my understanding is this:

head == least-recently dirtied inode
tail == most-recently dirtied inode

...if so, then we are violating the list order if we don't make a
change to redirty_tail. We're putting an inode that's far in the past
back onto the tail of the list without resetting dirtied_when. A more
recently-dirtied inode will precede one that was dirtied less recently.

Since the newly dirtied inode is closer to the head of the list, the
older inode that's constantly being redirtied won't be written out
until the newly dirtied one passes the older_than_this check (30s or
so in the usual case).

> > There is another option too that I'll throw out here...
> >
> > We could just make dirtied_when a 64 bit value on 32 bit machines and
> > use jiffies_64 there. On the upside there is no "problematic
> > window" with that. The downside is that struct inode would grow by 4
> > bytes on 32 bit arches, and checking jiffies_64 on such an arch is
> > more computationally intensive. We'd also have to change the size of
> > older_than_this value in the writeback_control struct too if we want to
> > go this route...
>
> Yes that could eliminate the 30s or more temporary writeback stillness.
> The only problem is the extra costs for normal cases, especially the
> space cost.
>

Correct. I'm not necessarily advocating that approach but it's one to
consider...

If your s_more_io_wait patchset comes to fruition though then that
change really won't be needed, so maybe it's best not to go that route.

--
Jeff Layton <jlayton@redhat.com>


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