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SubjectRe: [Ext2-devel] Re: 2.4.6 and ext3-2.4-0.9.1-246
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> Hi,
>
> On Fri, Jul 13, 2001 at 09:54:56AM -0400, Mike Black wrote:
> > I give up! I'm getting file system corruption now on the ext3 partition...
> > and I've got a kernel oops (soon to be decoded)
>
> Please, do send details. We already know that the VM has a hard job
> under load, and journaling exacerbates that --- ext3 cannot always
> write to disk without first allocating more memory, and the VM simply
> doesn't have a mechanism for dealing with that reliably. It seems to
> be compounded by (a) 2.4 having less write throttling than 2.2 had,
> and (b) the zoned allocator getting confused about which zones
> actually need to be recycled.

We seem to have managed to keep XFS going without the memory reservation
scheme - and the way we do I/O on metadata right now means there is always
a memory allocation in that path. At the moment the only thing I can kill
the system with is make -j bzImage it eventually grinds to a halt with
the swapper waiting for a request slot in the block layer but the system
is in such a mess that I have not been able to diagnose it further than
that.

A lot of careful use of GFP flags on memory allocation was necessary to
get to this point, the GFP_NOIO and GFP_NOFS finally made this deadlock
clean.

Steve


>
> It's not just ext3 --- highmem bounce buffering and soft raid buffers
> have the same problem, and work around it by doing their own internal
> preallocation of emergency buffers. Loop devices and nbd will have a
> similar problem if you use those for swap or writable mmaps, as will
> NFS.
>
> One proposed suggestion is to do per-zone memory reservations for the
> VM's use: Ben LaHaise has prototype code for that and we'll be testing
> to see if it makes for an improvement when used with ext3.
>
> Cheers,
> Stephen
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