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    SubjectRe: vm-33, strongly recommended [Re: [2.4.17/18pre] VM and swap - it's really unusable]
    This sounds great, but I still have concerns with using -aa, or subsets
    of same.

    How much of the improved behavior that you're seeing is due to the vm-33
    tweaks and not pte-highmem, block-highmem, or any of the 100 or so other
    2.4.19-pre6aa1 patches?

    For production use, I prefer to divert from mainline only with my
    specific needs (or trivial fixes). Using -aa would introduce a large
    array of (to me) unknowns. How many of the -aa patches are "ready" for
    mainline and production? vm is currently being debated on the floor --
    but what about pte-highmem and block-highmem? How many of the other
    patches are as widely tested as the vm patch? For some reason, applying
    a patch called "00_readahead-got-broken-somewhere-1" doesn't give me the
    utmost confidence in production. Call it a failed bag check.

    While 2.4.x is a stable kernel, it needs to be a working* kernel until
    2.5 can sort out these and the vast array of other issues. IMHO.
    *Admittedly, "working" in this case only applies to larger servers, but
    it would be quite tragic to delay the spread of Linux to hardware that's
    been available and used in production for _years_. Maybe 5% of the
    installed base has relevant hardware, but the benefit to Linux _far_
    outstrips that seemingly anemic number. I've probably rehashed that
    point too much as it is, but...

    What I'd like to hear (and what I suspect many admins trying to get
    higher-end hardware working optimally in a production environment would
    like to hear) is what specific patches applied to mainline are needed to
    correct the current VM and I/O issues in the 2.4 tree?

    If it's vm, pte-highmem, and block-highmem, that's fine -- and separable
    from -aa. Otherwise it's difficult to get people to test, use, and
    provide feedback that isn't polluted by unnecessary variables.

    Thanks,
    --
    Ken.
    ken@irridia.com


    On Wed, Apr 10, 2002 at 01:36:09AM +0200, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
    | I recommend everybody to never use a 2.4 kernel without first applying
    | this vm patch:
    |
    | ftp://ftp.us.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/patches/v2.4/2.4.19pre5/vm-33.gz
    |
    | It applies cleanly to both 2.4.19pre5 and 2.4.19pre6. Andrew splitted it
    | into orthogonal pieces for easy merging from Marcelo's side (modulo
    | -rest that is important too but that it's still quite monolithic, but
    | it's pointless to invest further effort at this time until we are
    | certain Marcelo will do its job and eventually merge it in mainline):
    |
    | ftp://ftp.us.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/patches/v2.4/2.4.19pre5/
    |
    | So far a first part of those patches is been merged into mainline into
    | pre5 (not any previous kernel, if you've some problem reproducible with
    | pre4 pre3 pre2 and pre1 or any previous kernel that's not related to the
    | async flushing changes, I seen a bogus report floating around to Marcelo
    | about pre1 pointing to the vm changes, it can't be the vm changes if
    | it's pre[1234]).
    |
    | This VM is under heavy stressing for weeks on my SMP highmem machine
    | with a real life DBMS workload in a real life setup with huge VM
    | pressure with mem=1024m and 1.2G of shm pushed in swap constantly by the
    | kernel, performance of the workload is now very good and exactly
    | reproducible and constant, so I recommend it for all production systems
    | (both lowmem desktops and highend servers).
    |
    | Alternatively you can use the whole -aa patchkit, to get all the other
    | critical highend features like pte-highmem, highio etc...
    |
    | I haven't bugreports pending on the vm patch.
    |
    | Thanks,
    |
    | Andrea
    -
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