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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/5] Some vmevent fixes...
On Mon, Jun 04, 2012 at 04:38:12AM -0700, Anton Vorontsov wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 04, 2012 at 05:45:06PM +0900, Minchan Kim wrote:
> [...]
> > AFAIK, low memory notifier is started for replacing android lowmemory killer.
> > At the same time, other folks want use it generally.
> > As I look through android low memory killer, it's not too bad except some point.
> >
> > 1. It should not depend on shrink_slab. If we need, we can add some hook in vmscan.c directly instead of shrink_slab.
> > 2. We can use out_of_memory instead of custom victim selection/killing function. If we need,
> > we can change out_of_memory interface little bit for passing needed information to select victim.
> > 3. calculation for available pages
> >
> > 1) and 2) would make android low memory killer very general and 3) can meet each folk's requirement, I believe.
> >
> > Anton, I expect you already investigated android low memory killer so maybe you know pros and cons of each solution.
> > Could you convince us "why we need vmevent" and "why can't android LMK do it?"
> Note that 1) and 2) are not problems per se, it's just implementation
> details, easy stuff. Vmevent is basically an ABI/API, and I didn't

My opinion is different.
Things depends on only vmstat have limitation. IMHO.
1) of such POV is very important. If we don't do 1), low memory notifier must depend on vmstat only.
But if we do 1), we can add some hooks in vmscan.c so we can control notifier more exactly/fine-grained.

As stupid example, if get_scan_count get the anon pages and it is about to reclaim inactive anon list,
it's a kind of signal anon pages swap out so that we can notify it to qemu/kvm which will ballon.

Other example, if we get the high priority of scanning (ex, DEF_PRIORITY - 2) and get scanned value
greater than lru size, it is sort of high memory pressure.

My point is that if we want level notifier approach, we need more tightly VM-coupled thing

> hear anybody who would object to vmevent ABI idea itself. More than
> this, nobody stop us from implementing in-kernel vmevent API, and
> make Android Lowmemory killer use it, if we want to.

I guess other guys didn't have a interest or very busy.
In this chance, I hope all guys have a consensus.
At least, we need Andrew, Rik, David and KOSAKI's opinion.

> The real problem is not with vmevent. Today there are two real problems:
> a) Gathering proper statistics from the kernel. Both cgroups and vmstat
> have issues. Android lowmemory killer has the same problems w/ the
> statistics as vmevent, it uses vmstat, so by no means Android
> low memory killer is better or easier in this regard.


> (And cgroups has issues w/ slab accounting, plus some folks don't
> want memcg at all, since it has runtime and memory-wise costs.)

As I mentioned earlier, we need more VM-tightly coupled policy, NOT vmstat.

> b) Interpreting this statistics. We can't provide one, universal
> "low memory" definition that would work for everybody.
> (Btw, your "levels" based low memory grading actually sounds
> the same as mine RECLAIMABLE_CACHE_PAGES and
> so personally I like the idea of level-based approach, based
> on available memory *cost*.)

Yes. I like such abstraction like my suggestion.
For new comer's information, Quote from my previoius mail
The idea is that we can make some levels in advane and explain it to user

Level 1: It a immediate response to user when kernel decide there are not fast-reclaimable pages any more.
Level 2: It's rather slower response than level 1 but kernel will consider it as reclaimable target
Level 3: It's slowest response because kernel will consider page needed long time to reclaim as reclaimable target.

It doesn't expose any internal of kernel and can implment it in internal.
For simple example,

Level 1: non-mapped clean page
Level 2: Level 1 + mapped clean-page
Level 3: Level 2 + dirty pages

So users of vmevent_fd can select his level.
Of course, latency sensitive application with slow stoarge would select Level 1.
Some application might use Level 4(Level 3 + half of swap) because it has very fast storage.

And application receives event can make strategy folloing as.

When it receives level 1 notification, it could request to others if it can release their own buffers.
When it receives level 2 notification, it could request to suicide if it's not critical application.
When it receives level 3 notification, it could kill others.

It's a just example and my point is we should storage speed to make it general.
> So, you see, all these issues are valid for vmevent, cgroups and
> android low memory killer.


> > KOSAKI, AFAIRC, you are a person who hates android low memory killer.
> > Why do you hate it? If it solve problems I mentioned, do you have a concern, still?
> > If so, please, list up.
> >
> > Android low memory killer is proved solution for a long time, at least embedded area(So many android phone already have used it) so I think improving it makes sense to me rather than inventing new wheel.
> Yes, nobody throws Android lowmemory killer away. And recently I fixed
> a bunch of issues in its tasks traversing and killing code. Now it's
> just time to "fix" statistics gathering and interpretation issues,
> and I see vmevent as a good way to do just that, and then we
> can either turn Android lowmemory killer driver to use the vmevent
> in-kernel API (so it will become just a "glue" between notifications
> and killing functions), or use userland daemon.

If you can define such level by only vmstat, I am OKAY and want to see
how to glue vmevent and android LMK.
But keep in mind about killing. killer should be a kernel, not user.

> Note that memcg has notifications as well, so it's another proof that
> there is a demand for this stuff outside of embedded world, and going
> with ad-hoc, custom "low memory killer" is simple and tempting approach,
> but it doesn't solve any real problems.
> > Frankly speaking, I don't know vmevent's other use cases except low memory notification
> I won't speak for realistic use-cases, but that is what comes to
> mind:
> - DB can grow its caches/in-memory indexes infinitely, and start dropping
> them on demand (based on internal LRU list, for example). No more
> guessed/static configuration for DB daemons?
> - Assuming VPS hosting w/ dynamic resources management, notifications
> would be useful to readjust resources?
> - On desktops, apps can drop their caches on demand if they want to
> and can avoid swap activity?

I don't mean VMEVENT_ATTR_LOWMEM_PAGES but following as,


I'm not sure how it is useful.
Even VMEVENT_ATTR_LOWMEM_PAGES, I'm not sure it would be useful with only vmstat.

> Thanks,
> --
> Anton Vorontsov
> Email:

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