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SubjectRe: pre5 VM livelock

More detailed look at your numbers..

On Tue, 30 Oct 2001, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> free pages: 2560 kb (0kb highmem)

Ok, the above is just the "pages_low" for your machine, it refuses to use
them except for atomic allocations and such (which is why "ping" still

> ( active 2422 inactive 38578 free 320 )

As mentioned, you have about 300MB of pages in the inactive list, and
about 20M in the active list.

> swap cache: add 850670 delete 850666 find 323063/440091 race 1+0
> free swap: 0kb

You obviously _do_ have a swapfile, but it's now gone. I suspect it's
clearly smaller than your RAM (you seem to have 384MB in your machine, I
have no idea what your swap size is)

> 49074 pages of ram
> 786 free pages

The free page calculation is wrong, as it doesn't understand about
multi-page allocations. You really only have 320 free pages (see above),
but because there are multi-page allocations the low-level stuff thinks
the later pages are free.

> 1299 reserved pages
> 2683 pages shared

The "shared" count is the number of pages with page_count() > 1
(actually, the sum of the page_counts), so it's likely that these are the
mapped pages that are shared due to fork(). Notably it's a much smaller
number than your "inactive pages", which implies that the inactive pages
mostly have a count of 1. Whcih is consistent with them being dirty
and mapped, but nonfreeable due to being out of swap-space.

> 4 pages swap cached

That's basically zero, you probably have a few pages on the active list
that were swapped in and haven't been thrown away (or the livelock is
continually throwing them away and re-loading them).

> 4 pages in page table cache
> buffer memory: 168kb

That's 21 pages of buffer cache, most likely pinned by the filesystem
(ext2 will pin down a number of buffers just to keep track of bitmaps

In short, everything is very consistent with a out-of-memory condition.
We'll need to tweak the oom killer to just kill whatever offending process
it is that uses everything up.

I just want confirmation that you actually did something that could result
in this, ie you were testing big processes?


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