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    SubjectRe: scheduler went mad?
    I've seen the same scenario about 2-3 times a week.  kswapd and one or
    more processes all CPU bound, totalling to 100%. I've had 'esdplay' hung
    on several occasions, and 2-3 times it's been xscreensaver (3.29) hung.
    The 'hung' processes are consistently immune to kill -9, even as root, which
    indicates to me that they're hung inside a kernel call or something.

    Sometimes, something *else* will exit, and everything will 'break loose'
    and return to normal after a minute or so.

    It *may* not be related, but I also have a lot of this in 'dmesg':

    __alloc_pages: 4-order allocation failed.
    __alloc_pages: 3-order allocation failed.
    i810_audio: DMA overrun on send

    There was a recent posting re: the i810_audio driver amounting to "I've got
    one bug to fix and then I'll put up a patch" for the 'dma overrun' message.
    __alloc_pages doesn't give much information on who its caller was, so
    that's somewhat of a dead end...

    In page_alloc.c, __alloc_pages() has a 'goto try_again;' which will
    cause it to loop around and try to get more memory. I'm wondering if
    the "hung" process is entering __alloc_pages(), and gets wedged in the
    'try_again' loop - which has a call to wakeup_kswapd() inside it, which
    would explain the high context-switch rate. I'm not clear on how kswapd
    can end up getting stuck and failing to free up something - unless it ends
    up calling __alloc_pages itself indirectly and the PF_MEMALLOC bit isn't
    enough to get it the memory it needs, causing a deadlock/loop between
    kswapd and __alloc_pages/wakeup_kswapd().

    Unfortunately, I've just exhausted my ability to debug this one here.. ;)

    I'm running the 2.4.3 kernel, with the following patches:

    Reiserfs: 2.4.3-3.6.25.quota.bz2

    IPv6: linux24-2.4.3-usagi-20010406.patch.gz
    Crypto: patch-int-

    am using ReiserFS-on-LVM for basically all filesystems, if that matters...

    Valdis Kletnieks
    Operating Systems Analyst
    Virginia Tech

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