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SubjectRe: [PATCH 5/9] writeback: introduce the pageout work
On Thu, Mar 01, 2012 at 12:04:04PM +0100, Jan Kara wrote:
> On Tue 28-02-12 16:04:03, Andrew Morton wrote:
> ...
> > > --- linux.orig/mm/vmscan.c 2012-02-28 19:07:06.065064464 +0800
> > > +++ linux/mm/vmscan.c 2012-02-28 20:26:15.559731455 +0800
> > > @@ -874,12 +874,22 @@ static unsigned long shrink_page_list(st
> > > nr_dirty++;
> > >
> > > /*
> > > - * Only kswapd can writeback filesystem pages to
> > > - * avoid risk of stack overflow but do not writeback
> > > - * unless under significant pressure.
> > > + * Pages may be dirtied anywhere inside the LRU. This
> > > + * ensures they undergo a full period of LRU iteration
> > > + * before considering pageout. The intention is to
> > > + * delay writeout to the flusher thread, unless when
> > > + * run into a long segment of dirty pages.
> > > + */
> > > + if (references == PAGEREF_RECLAIM_CLEAN &&
> > > + priority == DEF_PRIORITY)
> > > + goto keep_locked;
> > > +
> > > + /*
> > > + * Try relaying the pageout I/O to the flusher threads
> > > + * for better I/O efficiency and avoid stack overflow.
> > > */
> > > - if (page_is_file_cache(page) &&
> > > - (!current_is_kswapd() || priority >= DEF_PRIORITY - 2)) {
> > > + if (page_is_file_cache(page) && mapping &&
> > > + queue_pageout_work(mapping, page) >= 0) {
> > > /*
> > > * Immediately reclaim when written back.
> > > * Similar in principal to deactivate_page()
> > > @@ -892,8 +902,13 @@ static unsigned long shrink_page_list(st
> > > goto keep_locked;
> > > }
> > >
> > > - if (references == PAGEREF_RECLAIM_CLEAN)
> > > + /*
> > > + * Only kswapd can writeback filesystem pages to
> > > + * avoid risk of stack overflow.
> > > + */
> > > + if (page_is_file_cache(page) && !current_is_kswapd())
> >
> > And here we run into big problems.
> >
> > When a page-allocator enters direct reclaim, that process is trying to
> > allocate a page from a particular zone (or set of zones). For example,
> > he wants a ZONE_NORMAL or ZONE_DMA page. Asking flusher threads to go
> > off and write back three gigabytes of ZONE_HIGHMEM is pointless,
> > inefficient and doesn't fix the caller's problem at all.
> >
> > This has always been the biggest problem with the
> > avoid-writeback-from-direct-reclaim patches. And your patchset (as far
> > as I've read) doesn't address the problem at all and appears to be
> > blissfully unaware of its existence.
> >
> >
> > I've attempted versions of this I think twice, and thrown the patches
> > away in disgust. One approach I tried was, within direct reclaim, to
> > grab the page I wanted (ie: one which is in one of the caller's desired
> > zones) and to pass that page over to the kernel threads. The kernel
> > threads would ensure that this particular page was included in the
> > writearound preparation. So that we at least make *some* progress
> > toward what the caller is asking us to do.
> >
> > iirc, the way I "grabbed" the page was to actually lock it, with
> > [try_]_lock_page(). And unlock it again way over within the writeback
> > thread. I forget why I did it this way, rather than get_page() or
> > whatever. Locking the page is a good way of preventing anyone else
> > from futzing with it. It also pins the inode, which perhaps meant that
> > with careful management, I could avoid the igrab()/iput() horrors
> > discussed above.
> I think using get_page() might be a good way to go. Naive implementation:
> If we need to write a page from kswapd, we do get_page(), attach page to
> wb_writeback_work and push it to flusher thread to deal with it.
> Flusher thread sees the work, takes a page lock, verifies the page is still
> attached to some inode & dirty (it could have been truncated / cleaned by
> someone else) and if yes, it submits page for IO (possibly with some
> writearound). This scheme won't have problems with iput() and won't have
> problems with umount. Also we guarantee some progress - either flusher
> thread does it, or some else must have done the work before flusher thread
> got to it.

I like this idea.

get_page() looks the perfect solution to verify if the struct inode
pointer (w/o igrab) is still live and valid.

[...upon rethinking...] Oh but still we need to lock some page to pin
the inode during the writeout. Then there is the dilemma: if the page
is locked, we effectively keep it from being written out...

Thanks,
Fengguang


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