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SubjectRe: [PATCH 7/9] swap_info: swap count continuations
On Fri, 16 Oct 2009 00:53:36 +0100 (BST)
Hugh Dickins <> wrote:

> On Thu, 15 Oct 2009, KAMEZAWA Hiroyuki wrote:
> > On Thu, 15 Oct 2009 01:56:01 +0100 (BST)
> > Hugh Dickins <> wrote:
> >
> > > This patch implements swap count continuations: when the count overflows,
> > > a continuation page is allocated and linked to the original vmalloc'ed
> > > map page, and this used to hold the continuation counts for that entry
> > > and its neighbours. These continuation pages are seldom referenced:
> > > the common paths all work on the original swap_map, only referring to
> > > a continuation page when the low "digit" of a count is incremented or
> > > decremented through SWAP_MAP_MAX.
> >
> > Hmm...maybe I don't understand the benefit of this style of data structure.
> I can see that what I have there is not entirely transparent!
> >
> > Do we need fine grain chain ?
> > Is array of "unsigned long" counter is bad ? (too big?)
> I'll admit that that design just happens to be what first sprang
> to my mind. It was only later, while implementing it, that I
> wondered, hey, wouldn't it be a lot simpler just to have an
> extension array of full counts?
> It seemed to me (I'm not certain) that the char arrays I was
> implementing were better suited to (use less memory in) a "normal"
> workload in which the basic swap_map counts might overflow (but
> I wonder how normal is any workload in which they overflow).
> Whereas the array of full counts would be better suited to an
> "aberrant" workload in which a mischievous user is actually
> trying to maximize those counts. I decided to carry on with
> the better solution for the (more) normal workload, the solution
> less likely to gobble up more memory there than we've used before.
> While I agree that the full count implementation would be simpler
> and more obviously correct, I thought it was still going to involve
> a linked list of pages (but "parallel" rather than "serial": each
> of the pages assigned to one range of the base page).
> Looking at what you propose below, maybe I'm not getting the details
> right, but it looks as if you're having to do an order 2 or order 3
> page allocation? Attempted with GFP_ATOMIC? I'd much rather stick
> with order 0 pages, even if we do have to chain them to the base.
order-0 allocation per array entry.

1st leve map 2nd level map

map -> array[0] -> map => PAGE_SIZE map.
[1] -> map => PAGE_SIZE map.
[7] -> map == NULL if not used.

> (Order 3 on 64-bit? A side issue which deterred me from the full
> count approach, was the argumentation we'd get into over how big a
> full count needs to be. I think, for so long as we have atomic_t
> page count and page mapcount, an int is big enough for swap count.
I see.

> But switching them to atomic_long_t may already be overdue.
> Anyway, I liked how the char continuations avoided that issue.)
My concern is that small numbers of swap_map[] which has too much refcnt
can consume too much pages.

If an entry is shared by 65535, 65535/128 = 512 page will be used.
(I'm sorry if I don't undestand implementation correctly.)

> I'm reluctant to depart from what I have, now that it's tested;
> but yes, we could perfectly well replace it by a different design,
> it is very self-contained. The demands on this code are unusually
> simple: it only has to manage counting up and counting down;
> so it is very easily tested.
Okay, let's start with this.


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