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SubjectRe: Linux-2.4.5
On Sat, 26 May 2001, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> On Fri, May 25, 2001 at 10:49:38PM -0400, Ben LaHaise wrote:
> > Highmem. 0 free pages in ZONE_NORMAL. Now try to allocate a buffer_head.
>
> That's a longstanding deadlock, it was there the first time I read
> fs/buffer.c, nothing related to highmem, we have it in 2.2 too. Also
> getblk is deadlock prone in a smiliar manner.

Not only this, but the fix is _surprisingly_ simple...
All we need to make sure of is that the following order
of allocations is possible and that we back out instead
of deadlock when we don't succeed at any step.

1) normal user allocation
2) buffer allocation (bounce buffer + bufferhead)
3) allocation from interrupt (for device driver)

This is fixed by the patch I sent because:

1) user allocations stop when we reach zone->pages_min and
keep looping until we freed some memory ... well, these
don't just loop because we can guarantee that freeing
memory with GFP_USER or GFP_KERNEL is possible

2) GFP_BUFFER allocations can allocate down to the point
where free pages go to zone->pages_min * 3 / 4, so we
can continue to swapout highmem pages when userland
allocations have stopped ... this is needed because
otherwise we cannot always make progress on highmem
pages and we could have the effective amount of RAM
in the system reduced to less than 1GB, in really bad
cases not having this could even cause a deadlock

3) If the device driver needs to allocate something, it
has from zone->pages_min*3/4 down to zone->pages_min/4
space to allocate stuff, this should be very useful
for swap or mmap() over the network, or to encrypted
block devices, etc...

> Can you try to simply change NR_RESERVED to say 200*MAX_BUF_PER_PAGE
> and see if it makes a difference?

No Comment(tm) *grin*

cheers,

Rik
--
Virtual memory is like a game you can't win;
However, without VM there's truly nothing to lose...

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