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SubjectRe: Detecting page cache trashing state
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Quoting vcaputo@pengaru.com (2017-09-15 14:20:28)
> On Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 04:36:19PM +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
> > On Thu 14-09-17 17:16:27, Taras Kondratiuk wrote:
> > > Hi
> > >
> > > In our devices under low memory conditions we often get into a trashing
> > > state when system spends most of the time re-reading pages of .text
> > > sections from a file system (squashfs in our case). Working set doesn't
> > > fit into available page cache, so it is expected. The issue is that
> > > OOM killer doesn't get triggered because there is still memory for
> > > reclaiming. System may stuck in this state for a quite some time and
> > > usually dies because of watchdogs.
> > >
> > > We are trying to detect such trashing state early to take some
> > > preventive actions. It should be a pretty common issue, but for now we
> > > haven't find any existing VM/IO statistics that can reliably detect such
> > > state.
> > >
> > > Most of metrics provide absolute values: number/rate of page faults,
> > > rate of IO operations, number of stolen pages, etc. For a specific
> > > device configuration we can determine threshold values for those
> > > parameters that will detect trashing state, but it is not feasible for
> > > hundreds of device configurations.
> > >
> > > We are looking for some relative metric like "percent of CPU time spent
> > > handling major page faults". With such relative metric we could use a
> > > common threshold across all devices. For now we have added such metric
> > > to /proc/stat in our kernel, but we would like to find some mechanism
> > > available in upstream kernel.
> > >
> > > Has somebody faced similar issue? How are you solving it?
> >
> > Yes this is a pain point for a _long_ time. And we still do not have a
> > good answer upstream. Johannes has been playing in this area [1].
> > The main problem is that our OOM detection logic is based on the ability
> > to reclaim memory to allocate new memory. And that is pretty much true
> > for the pagecache when you are trashing. So we do not know that
> > basically whole time is spent refaulting the memory back and forth.
> > We do have some refault stats for the page cache but that is not
> > integrated to the oom detection logic because this is really a
> > non-trivial problem to solve without triggering early oom killer
> > invocations.
> >
> > [1] http://lkml.kernel.org/r/20170727153010.23347-1-hannes@cmpxchg.org
>
> For desktop users running without swap, couldn't we just provide a kernel
> setting which marks all executable pages as unevictable when first faulted
> in? Then at least thrashing within the space occupied by executables and
> shared libraries before eventual OOM would be avoided, and only the
> remaining file-backed non-executable pages would be thrashable.
>
> On my swapless laptops I'd much rather have OOM killer kick in immediately
> rather than wait for a few minutes of thrashing to pass while the bogged
> down system crawls through depleting what's left of technically reclaimable
> memory. It's much improved on modern SSDs, but still annoying.

Usually a significant part of executable is used rarely or only once
during initialization. Pinning all executable pages forever will waste
a lot of memory.

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