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SubjectRe: [BUG] commit 3c517a61, slab: better fallback allocation behavior
On Sun, 10 Dec 2006, Andrew Morton wrote:

> > I fixed the cpuset_zone_allowed() call from fallback_alloc() to avoid
> > sleeping. Notice the __GFP_HARDWALL added in Linus's version, or the
> > new function cpuset_zone_allowed_hardwall() in Andrew's version, all
> > done in the last week.
> >
> > But apparently kmem_getpages() can also sleep, as it calls __alloc_pages().

Yes fallback_alloc calls kmem_getpages() and if one does not set the gfp
flags properly __alloc_pages will sleep. fallback_alloc() uses the passed
flags so if kmem_cache_alloc is called with the proper flags set then
__alloc_pages() will not sleep.

In this case kmem_cache_alloc() is called from
journal_alloc_journal_head() with GFP_NOFS set which is

#define GFP_NOFS (__GFP_WAIT | __GFP_IO)

__GFP_WAIT means

#define __GFP_WAIT ((__force gfp_t)0x10u) /* Can wait and reschedule? */

Thus the caller allows __alloc_pages to sleep.

* journal_head splicing and dicing
static struct journal_head *journal_alloc_journal_head(void)
struct journal_head *ret;
static unsigned long last_warning;

ret = kmem_cache_alloc(journal_head_cache, GFP_NOFS);
if (ret == 0) {
jbd_debug(1, "out of memory for journal_head\n");
if (time_after(jiffies, last_warning + 5*HZ)) {
printk(KERN_NOTICE "ENOMEM in %s, retrying.\n",
last_warning = jiffies;
while (ret == 0) {
ret = kmem_cache_alloc(journal_head_cache,
return ret;

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