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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/2] mm: page allocator: Do not drain per-cpu lists via IPI from page allocator context
On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 7:18 PM, Mel Gorman <> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 04:52:31PM +0100, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
>> On Thu, 2012-01-12 at 15:37 +0000, Mel Gorman wrote:
>> > On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 04:18:12PM +0100, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
>> > > On Wed, 2012-01-11 at 10:11 +0000, Mel Gorman wrote:
>> > > > At least one bug report has
>> > > > been seen on ppc64 against a 3.0 era kernel that looked like a bug
>> > > > receiving interrupts on a CPU being offlined.
>> > >
>> > > Got details on that Mel? The preempt_disable() in on_each_cpu() should
>> > > serialize against the stop_machine() crap in unplug.
>> >
>> > I might have added 2 and 2 together and got 5.
>> >
>> > The stack trace clearly was while sending IPIs in on_each_cpu() and
>> > always when under memory pressure and stuck in direct reclaim. This was
>> > on !PREEMPT kernels where preempt_disable() is a no-op. That is why I
>> > thought get_online_cpu() would be necessary.
>> For non-preempt the required scheduling of stop_machine() will have to
>> wait even longer. Still there might be something funny, some of the
>> hotplug notifiers are ran before the stop_machine thing does its thing
>> so there might be some fun interaction.
> Ok, how about this as a replacement patch?
> ---8<---
> From: Mel Gorman <>
> Subject: [PATCH] mm: page allocator: Do not drain per-cpu lists via IPI from page allocator context
> While running a CPU hotplug stress test under memory pressure, it
> was observed that the machine would halt with no messages logged
> to console. This is difficult to trigger and required a machine
> with 8 cores and plenty of memory. In at least one case on ppc64,
> the warning in include/linux/cpumask.h:107 triggered implying that
> IPIs are being sent to offline CPUs in some cases.
> A suspicious part of the problem is that the page allocator is sending
> IPIs using on_each_cpu() without calling get_online_cpus() to prevent
> changes to the online cpumask. It is depending on preemption being
> disabled to protect it which is a no-op on !PREEMPT kernels. This means
> that a thread can be reading the mask in smp_call_function_many() when
> an attempt is made to take a CPU offline. The expectation is that this
> is not a problem as the stop_machine() used during CPU hotplug should
> be able to prevent any problems as the reader of the online mask will
> prevent stop_machine making forward progress but it's unhelpful.
> On the other side, the mask can also be read while the CPU is being
> brought online. In this case it is the responsibility of the
> architecture that the CPU is able to receive and handle interrupts
> before being marked active but that does not mean they always get it
> right.
> Sending excessive IPIs from the page allocator is a bad idea. In low
> memory situations, a large number of processes can drain the per-cpu
> lists at the same time, in quick succession and on many CPUs which is
> pointless. In light of this and the unspecific CPU hotplug concerns,
> this patch removes the call drain_all_pages() after failing direct
> reclaim. To avoid impacting high-order allocation success rates,
> it still drains the local per-cpu lists for high-order allocations
> that failed.
> Signed-off-by: Mel Gorman <>
> ---
>  mm/page_alloc.c |   10 ++++++----
>  1 files changed, 6 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)
> diff --git a/mm/page_alloc.c b/mm/page_alloc.c
> index 2b8ba3a..63ea182 100644
> --- a/mm/page_alloc.c
> +++ b/mm/page_alloc.c
> @@ -1982,11 +1982,13 @@ retry:
>                                        migratetype);
>        /*
> -        * If an allocation failed after direct reclaim, it could be because
> -        * pages are pinned on the per-cpu lists. Drain them and try again
> +        * If a high-order allocation failed after direct reclaim, there is a
> +        * possibility that it is because the necessary buddies have been
> +        * freed to the per-cpu list. Drain the local list and try again.
>         */
> -       if (!page && !drained) {
> -               drain_all_pages();
> +       if (!page && order && !drained) {
> +               drain_pages(get_cpu());
> +               put_cpu();
>                drained = true;
>                goto retry;
>        }

I like the patch, think it is better then current code and want it to go in.

I also think there is still some problems with IPIs somewhere that
cause some corruption when a lot of IPIs are sent and that
the patch simply lowered the very big number of IPIs that are sent
via the direct reclaim code path so the problem
is hidden, not solved by this patch.

I've seen something related when trying to test the IPI reduction
patches. Interesting enough it was not related to CPU hotplug at all -
When a lot of IPIs are being sent, I sometime got an assert from low
level platform code that I'm trying to send IPIs with an empty mask
although the mask was NOT empty. I didn't manage to debug it then but
I did manage to recreate it quite easily.

I will see if I can recreate it with recent master and report.

Gilad Ben-Yossef
Chief Coffee Drinker
Israel Cell: +972-52-8260388
US Cell: +1-973-8260388

"Unfortunately, cache misses are an equal opportunity pain provider."
-- Mike Galbraith, LKML
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