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SubjectRe: [patch 1/4] mm: exclude reserved pages from dirtyable memory
On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 04:03:28PM +0100, Mel Gorman wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 03:04:23PM +0100, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > On Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 03:45:12PM +0200, Johannes Weiner wrote:
> > > The amount of dirtyable pages should not include the total number of
> > > free pages: there is a number of reserved pages that the page
> > > allocator and kswapd always try to keep free.
> > >
> > > The closer (reclaimable pages - dirty pages) is to the number of
> > > reserved pages, the more likely it becomes for reclaim to run into
> > > dirty pages:
> > >
> > > +----------+ ---
> > > | anon | |
> > > +----------+ |
> > > | | |
> > > | | -- dirty limit new -- flusher new
> > > | file | | |
> > > | | | |
> > > | | -- dirty limit old -- flusher old
> > > | | |
> > > +----------+ --- reclaim
> > > | reserved |
> > > +----------+
> > > | kernel |
> > > +----------+
> > >
> > > Not treating reserved pages as dirtyable on a global level is only a
> > > conceptual fix. In reality, dirty pages are not distributed equally
> > > across zones and reclaim runs into dirty pages on a regular basis.
> > >
> > > But it is important to get this right before tackling the problem on a
> > > per-zone level, where the distance between reclaim and the dirty pages
> > > is mostly much smaller in absolute numbers.
> > >
> > > Signed-off-by: Johannes Weiner <jweiner@redhat.com>
> > > ---
> > > include/linux/mmzone.h | 1 +
> > > mm/page-writeback.c | 8 +++++---
> > > mm/page_alloc.c | 1 +
> > > 3 files changed, 7 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)
> > >
> > > diff --git a/include/linux/mmzone.h b/include/linux/mmzone.h
> > > index 1ed4116..e28f8e0 100644
> > > --- a/include/linux/mmzone.h
> > > +++ b/include/linux/mmzone.h
> > > @@ -316,6 +316,7 @@ struct zone {
> > > * sysctl_lowmem_reserve_ratio sysctl changes.
> > > */
> > > unsigned long lowmem_reserve[MAX_NR_ZONES];
> > > + unsigned long totalreserve_pages;
> > >
> >
> > This is nit-picking but totalreserve_pages is a poor name because it's
> > a per-zone value that is one of the lowmem_reserve[] fields instead
> > of a total. After this patch, we have zone->totalreserve_pages and
> > totalreserve_pages but are not related to the same thing.
> > but they are not the same.
>
> As you correctly pointed out to be on IRC, zone->totalreserve_pages
> is not the lowmem_reserve because it takes the high_wmark into
> account. Sorry about that, I should have kept thinking. The name is
> still poor though because it does not explain what the value is or
> what it means.
>
> zone->FOO value needs to be related to lowmem_reserve because this
> is related to balancing zone usage.
>
> zone->FOO value should also be related to the high_wmark because
> this is avoiding writeback from page reclaim
>
> err....... umm... this?
>
> /*
> * When allocating a new page that is expected to be
> * dirtied soon, the number of free pages and the
> * dirty_balance reserve are taken into account. The
> * objective is that the globally allowed number of dirty
> * pages should be distributed throughout the zones such
> * that it is very unlikely that page reclaim will call
> * ->writepage.
> *
> * dirty_balance_reserve takes both lowmem_reserve and
> * the high watermark into account. The lowmem_reserve
> * is taken into account because we don't want the
> * distribution of dirty pages to unnecessarily increase
> * lowmem pressure. The watermark is taken into account
> * because it's correlated with when kswapd wakes up
> * and how long it stays awake.
> */
> unsigned long dirty_balance_reserve.

Yes, that's much better, thanks.

I assume this is meant the same for both the zone and the global level
and we should not mess with totalreserve_pages in either case?


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