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SubjectRe: [PATCH 10/10] mm: per device dirty threshold
On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 08:29:59 +0200 Miklos Szeredi <> wrote:

> > > What about swapout? That can increase the number of writeback pages,
> > > without decreasing the number of dirty pages, no?
> >
> > Could we not solve that by enabling cap_account_writeback on
> > swapper_space, and thereby account swap writeback pages. Then the VM
> > knows it has outstanding IO and need not panic.
> Hmm, I'm not sure that would be right, because then those writeback
> pages would be accounted twice: once for swapper_space, and once for
> the real device.
> So there's a condition, when lots of anonymous pages are turned into
> swap-cache writeback pages, and we should somehow throttle this, because
> >>> This means that all memory is pinned and unreclaimable and the VM gets
> >>> upset and goes oom.
> although, it's not quite clear in my mind, how the VM gets upset about
> this.

I've been scratching my head on and off for a couple of days over this.

We've traditionally had reclaim problems when there's a huge amount of
dirty MAP_SHARED data, which the VM didn't know was dirty. It's the old
"map a file which is the same size as physical memory and write to it all"

But we do not have such problems with anonymous memory, and I'm darned if I
can remember why :(

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