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SubjectRe: [PATCH 5/9] writeback: introduce the pageout work
On Thu 01-03-12 19:41:51, Wu Fengguang wrote:
> 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...
Well, we could just lock the page to grab inode reference like in the
rest of writeback code and then unlock the page. Still there would be the
advantage that we won't pin the inode for the time work is just waiting to
be processed.

Another idea I've got is that inodes could have a special usecount counter
for writeback. It would have the same lifetime rules as I_SYNC flag and
we'd wait in end_writeback() for the counter to drop to zero. That way
writeback code could safely get inode reference for the time of writeback
without incurring the risk of having to completely cleanup the inode.

Honza
--
Jan Kara <jack@suse.cz>
SUSE Labs, CR


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