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SubjectRe: [2.4.17/18pre] VM and swap - it's really unusable
On Mon, Feb 25, 2002 at 03:51:43AM -0800, Aviv Shavit wrote:
| Ken Brownfield's A) and B) hit me
| regularly(
| (Thanks Ken for starting this enlightening thread and
| to all those that contributed)

No problem. You might be coming in late, but nothing's changed. :-/
Although the APIC thing might be MPS1.4 related, I'm finding. I don't
remember if that thread had my workaround to the APIC issue, so I'll
attach that if you're feeling adventurous. Works flawlessly for me in
production, for the last few months.

| Running software I developed:
| - running on 2.4.17
| - accessing a large number of files
| - 2GB memory
| - large multiple partitions - ext2
| I saw references to patches by Martin and
| M.H.vanLeeuwen on this thread. Where can I get those
| (hopefully with a bit of info) ?

I've attached his patch; hopefully he doesn't mind. His patch is
actually similar to code that's in rmap currently.

It does seem to temper the effects of [id]cache bloat for some of my
more common load patterns. But even with that patch, under VM load the
mainline kernel collapses. For instance, I have a large parallel task
that takes 5 minutes under -rmap or -aa, but I get bored and kill it
after 4 *hours* on mainline. It dips into swap, but only by about 50MB.

Also, -aa doesn't seem to make as large an impact on shrinking the
[id]caches. I imagine that without returning values,
shrink_[id]cache_memory() behavior is difficult to tune appropriately.

In any case, rmap-12f has been running fine for me. I'm going to create
three kernels to distribute in production -- 2.4.18 more or less
vanilla, 2.4.18 with random debugging (thanks Andreas) to try to resolve
the /dev/random death issue, and 2.4.18+O(1)K3+rmap12f.

rmap is a tremendous improvement over mainline -- really the only data I
still need is stability, both of O(1) and rmap. Porting Andrea's 10_vm
was a pain the last time I did it, and it didn't have all of the
positives of rmap.

Clearly I'm not in the majority, though. While I get bitten on a weekly
basis by the 2.4 VM, very few other people mention it. Maybe they just
assume that it's normal behavior? Scary.

Anyway, short of the long is that I would suggest rmap if you're having
problems. Rmap actually obviates three other patches I typically apply.
But be aware that rmap is still a bit of a work in progress, at least in
terms of tuning.


| I also saw references to 'rmap' on the 2.4.18
| changelog. Is that related ?
| pls. cc' me on your posts back.
| Thanks
| Aviv
| "And all this science I don't understand,
| It's just my job five days a week"
| Rocket Man, E.J.

--- Mon Dec 31 12:46:25 2001
+++ linux/mm/vmscan.c Fri Jan 11 18:03:05 2002
@@ -394,9 +394,9 @@
if (PageDirty(page) && is_page_cache_freeable(page) && page->mapping) {
* It is not critical here to write it only if
- * the page is unmapped beause any direct writer
+ * the page is unmapped because any direct writer
* like O_DIRECT would set the PG_dirty bitflag
- * on the phisical page after having successfully
+ * on the physical page after having successfully
* pinned it and after the I/O to the page is finished,
* so the direct writes to the page cannot get lost.
@@ -480,11 +480,14 @@

* Alert! We've found too many mapped pages on the
- * inactive list, so we start swapping out now!
+ * inactive list.
+ * Move referenced pages to the active list.
- spin_unlock(&pagemap_lru_lock);
- swap_out(priority, gfp_mask, classzone);
- return nr_pages;
+ if (PageReferenced(page) && !PageLocked(page)) {
+ del_page_from_inactive_list(page);
+ add_page_to_active_list(page);
+ }
+ continue;

@@ -521,6 +524,9 @@

+ if (max_mapped <= 0 && (nr_pages > 0 || priority < DEF_PRIORITY))
+ swap_out(priority, gfp_mask, classzone);
return nr_pages;

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