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SubjectRe: Unresponiveness of 2.4.16
Marcelo Tosatti wrote:
>
> On Tue, 27 Nov 2001, Andrew Morton wrote:
>
> > Torrey Hoffman wrote:
> > >
> > > I've running 2.4.16 with this VM patch combined with your
> > > 2.4.15-pre7-low-latency patch from www.zip.com.au. (it applied with a
> > > little fuzz, no rejects). Is this a combination that you would feel
> > > comfortable with?
> >
> > Should be OK. There is a possibility of livelock when you have
> > a lot of dirty buffers against multiple devices.
>
> Could you please describe this one ?

It's a recurring problem with the low-latency patch. Basically:

restart:
spin_lock(some_lock);
for (lots of data) {
if (current->need_resched) {
spin_unlock(some_lock);
schedule();
goto restart;
}
if (something_which_is_often_true)
continue();
other_stuff();
}

If there is a realtime task which wants to be scheduled at,
say, one kilohertz, and the execution of that loop takes
more than one millisecond before it actually hits other_stuff()
and does any actual work, we make no progress at all, and we lock
up until the 1 kHz scheduling pressure is stopped.

In the 2.4.15-pre low-latency patch this can happen if we're
running fsync_dev(devA) and there are heaps of buffers for
devB on a list.

It's not a problem in your kernel ;)

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