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SubjectRe: vm-33, strongly recommended [Re: [2.4.17/18pre] VM and swap - it's really unusable]
Andrea Arcangeli writes:
> On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 06:07:50PM -0600, Richard Gooch wrote:
> > Andrea Arcangeli writes:
> > > I recommend everybody to never use a 2.4 kernel without first applying
> > > this vm patch:
> > [...]
> >
> > The way you write this makes it sound that the unpatched kernel is
> > very dangerous. Is this actually true? Or do you really just mean "the
> > patched kernel has better handling under extreme loads"?
> The unpatched kernel isn't dangerous in the sense it won't destroy
> data, it won't corrupt memory and finally it won't deadlock on smp
> locks, but it can theoretically deadlock with oom and it has various
> other runtime issues starting from highmem balancing, too much
> swapping, lru list balancing, related-bhs in highmem, numa broken
> with += min etc... so IMHO it is better to _always_ use the patched
> kernel that takes care of all problems that I know of at the moment,
> plus it has further optimizations. OTOH for lots of workloads
> mainline is just fine, the deadlocks never trigger and the runtime
> behaviour is ok, but unless you are certain you don't need the
> vm-33.gz patch, I recommend to apply it.

So, in other words, 99.99% of users don't need to apply the patch.
They should, in order to have a better system, but 99.99% of them
won't notice the difference. That seems to be a more honest
recommendation than the "panic stations" alert that you posted.

Just because you want people to apply your patches, doesn't mean you
should resort to alarmist-sounding messages. Let's at least have truth
in advertising in one small corner of the world :-)


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