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    SubjectRe: [PATCH][1/2] adjust dirty threshold for lowmem-only mappings
    On Sat, Dec 25, 2004 at 12:59:10PM -0500, Rik van Riel wrote:
    > 4) any memory that could be affected by the swap token (process
    > text, data, stack, ...) is allocated with __GFP_HIGHMEM, so
    > that all lives in the highmem zone with 2.5GB free
    > 5) since dd is not being paged out at all, and can dirty memory
    > without limit, the VM gets backed into a corner and will
    > trigger an OOM kill - even though most of lowmem is simply
    > dirty page cache

    This shouldn't happen of course, and it's a bit hard to see how can it
    work fine for 23 hours and break at the 24th hour since it's quite a
    repetitive algorithm. (sure it could be a race or the algorithm being
    very fragile, but I can't reproduce problems here)

    Plus doing cp /dev/zero . should be even worse since it also fills up
    the highmem.

    Are you sure cron isn't spawning something big?

    Anyway my point is that swap-token is _proven_ to trigger suprious oom
    kills, so if you could just reproduce once with Con's patch applied and
    default sysctl value, then you would provide the proof it's unrelated.

    I agree with your reasoning, I think you're right, but I'd like to be
    sure we're not missing something. There are definitely other reports
    where the ignore-token patch wasn't enough and Con's patch fixed it.

    I also recommend you to keep vmstat in the background, in my experience
    swap token was filling all swap with freeable swapcache (but it wasn't
    freeable due the referenced ++ that swap-token does), and then the oom
    killer was invoked despite all that freeable swapcache.

    So on a computer that had plenty of lowmem and highmem free, in seconds
    it would run out of memory with all swap allocated.

    I agree dd shouldn't be enough, but the 1 day variable may be just some
    big cron task that we didn't put into the equation.

    So I still would like to see a `vmstat 1` before/after the killing, and
    to hear the confirmation that Con's patch doesn't help.

    The only thing I can imagine being wrong with `cp /dev/zero /dev/sd?`
    while working fine on `cp /dev/zero .`, are the write throttling levels
    that might be taking highmem into account while they really cannot take
    highmem into account, I mean nr_free_buffer_pages must be used by the
    write throttling and not nr_free_pages, but I'd be surprised if this
    wasn't correct. You may want to check this bit just in case. If this is
    correct then doing cp /dev/zero . should fail too, no? I for sure can't
    reproduce here, and by your same arguments about the highmem levels, it
    shouldn't matter how much ram I have (I've 1G). The less ram I have, the
    worse it should behave.

    Without more data and without being able to reproduce I can't be more
    helpful than this.

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