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SubjectRe: Simple script that locks up my box with recent kernels
On 22/11/06, Linus Torvalds <> wrote:
> On Wed, 22 Nov 2006, Jesper Juhl wrote:
> >
> > So it *seems* to be somehow related to running low on RAM and swap
> > starting to be used.
> Does it happen if you just do some simple "use all memory" script, eg run
> a few copies of
> #define SIZE (100<<20)
> char *buf = malloc(SIZE);
> memset(buf, SIZE, 0);
> sleep(100);
> on your box?

I'll try, when I get home from work. I'll let you know later.

> > The box has 2GB of RAM and 768MB swap.
> I wonder.. It _used_ to be true that we were pretty good at making swap be
> "extra" memory. But maybe we've lost some of that, and we have trouble
> with having more physical memory. We could end up in a situation where we
> allocate it all very quickly (because we don't actually page it out, we
> just allocate backing store for the pages), and we screw something up.
> But stupid bugs there should still leave us trivially able to do the SysRQ
> things, so..
Well, it's a fact that sysrq works just fine before the lockup but
does not work at all after a lockup, so...

> Is it highmem-related? Some bounce-buffering problem while having to swap?

I can try building a kernel without highmem support and see if I can
still cause it to lockup. Would be an interresting datapoint.

I'll also try reproducing the lockup without any swap active to see if
that makes a difference.

> What block device driver do you use for the swap device?
It's a swap partition on a IBM Ultra160 10K RPM SCSI disk. The
controller is an Adaptec 29160N. Using the SCSI_AIC7XXX driver.

> I don't think we use any irq-disable locking in the VM itself, but I could
> imagine some nasty situation with the block device layer getting into a
> deadlock with interrupts disabled when it runs out of queue entries and
> cannot allocate more memory..
Just let me know what you would like me to try/test to prove/disprove that.

Jesper Juhl <>
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