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SubjectRe: scheduler oddity [bug?]
On Sat, 2009-03-07 at 19:47 +0100, Balazs Scheidler wrote:
> On Sat, 2009-03-07 at 18:47 +0100, Balazs Scheidler wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I've tested this on 3 computers and each showed the same symptoms:
> > * quad core Opteron, running Ubuntu kernel 2.6.27-13.29
> > * Core 2 Duo, running Ubuntu kernel 2.6.27-11.27
> > * Dual Core Opteron, Debian kernel 2.6.26-13~bpo40+1
> >
> > Is this a bug, or a feature?
> >
> One new interesting information: I've retested with a 2.6.22 based
> kernel, and it still works there, setting the CPU affinity does not
> change the performance of the test program and mpstat nicely shows that
> 2 cores are working, not just one.
> Maybe this is CFS related? That was merged for 2.6.23 IIRC.
> Also, I tried changing various scheduler knobs
> in /proc/sys/kernel/sched_* but they didn't help. I've tried to change
> these:
> * sched_migration_cost: changed from the default 500000 to 100000 and
> then 10000 but neither helped.
> * sched_nr_migrate: increased it to 64, but again nothing
> I'm starting to think that this is a regression that may or may not be
> related to CFS.
> I don't have a box where I could bisect on, but the test program makes
> the problem quite obvious.

Some more test results:

Latest tree from Linus seems to work, at least the program runs on both
cores as it should. I bisected the patch that changed behaviour, and
I've found this:

commit 38736f475071b80b66be28af7b44c854073699cc
Author: Gautham R Shenoy <>
Date: Sat Sep 6 14:50:23 2008 +0530

sched: fix __load_balance_iterator() for cfq with only one task

The __load_balance_iterator() returns a NULL when there's only one
sched_entity which is a task. It is caused by the following code-path.

/* Skip over entities that are not tasks */
do {
se = list_entry(next, struct sched_entity, group_node);
next = next->next;
} while (next != &cfs_rq->tasks && !entity_is_task(se));

if (next == &cfs_rq->tasks)
return NULL;
This will return NULL even when se is a task.

As a side-effect, there was a regression in sched_mc behavior since 2.6.25,
since iter_move_one_task() when it calls load_balance_start_fair(),
would not get any tasks to move!

Fix this by checking if the last entity was a task or not.

Signed-off-by: Gautham R Shenoy <>
Acked-by: Peter Zijlstra <>
Signed-off-by: Ingo Molnar <>

This patch was integrated for 2.6.28. With the above patch, my test program uses
two cores as it should. I could only test this in a virtual machine so I don't
know exact performance metrics, but I'll test 2.6.27 + plus this patch on a real
box tomorrow to see if this was the culprit.

I'm not sure if this is related to the avg_overlap discussion (which I honestly
don't really understand :)


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