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SubjectRe: [BUG] /proc/<pid>/stat access stalls badly for swapping process, 2.4.0-test10
On Wed, 1 Nov 2000, David Mansfield wrote:

> I'd like to report what seems like a performance problem in the latest
> kernels. Actually, all recent kernels have exhibited this problem, but
> I was waiting for the new VM stuff to stabilize before reporting it.
> My test is: run 7 processes that each allocate and randomly
> access 32mb of ram (on a 256mb machine). Even though 7*32MB =
> 224MB, this still sends the machine lightly into swap. The
> machine continues to function fairly smoothly for the most part.
> I can do filesystem operations, run new programs, move desktops
> in X etc.
> Except: programs which access /proc/<pid>/stat stall for an
> inderminate amount of time. For example, 'ps' and 'vmstat'
> stall BADLY in these scenarios. I have had the stalls last over
> a minute in higher VM pressure situations.

I have one possible reason for this ....

1) the procfs process does (in fs/proc/array.c::proc_pid_stat)

2) but, in order to do that, it has to wait until the process
it is trying to stat has /finished/ its page fault, and is
not into its next one ...

3) combine this with the elevator starvation stuff (ask Jens
Axboe for blk-7 to alleviate this issue) and you have a
scenario where processes using /proc/<pid>/stat have the
possibility to block on multiple processes that are in the
process of handling a page fault (but are being starved)


"What you're running that piece of shit Gnome?!?!"
-- Miguel de Icaza, UKUUG 2000

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