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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/3] mlock: avoid dirtying pages and triggering writeback
On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 11:23:16PM -0800, Michel Lespinasse wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 09:41:22AM -0800, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> > On Thu, 18 Nov 2010, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > > On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 10:11:43AM +1100, Dave Chinner wrote:
> > > > Hence I think that avoiding ->page_mkwrite callouts is likely to
> > > > break some filesystems in subtle, undetected ways. IMO, regardless
> > > > of what is done, it would be really good to start by writing a new
> > > > regression test to exercise and encode the expected the mlock
> > > > behaviour so we can detect regressions later on....
> > >
> > > I think it would help if we could drink a bit of the test driven design
> > > coolaid here. Michel, can you write some testcases where pages on a
> > > shared mapping are mlocked, then dirtied and then munlocked, and then
> > > written out using msync/fsync. Anything that fails this test on
> > > btrfs/ext4/gfs/xfs/etc obviously doesn't work.
>
> I think it's still under debate what's an acceptable result for this test
> (i.e. what's supposed to happen during mlock of a shared mapping of
> a sparsely allocated file - is a fallocate equivalent supposed to happen ?)
> But I agree discussing based on test results will make things more concrete.
>
> > Whilst it's hard to argue against a request for testing, Dave's worries
> > just sprang from a misunderstanding of all the talk about "avoiding ->
> > page_mkwrite". There's nothing strange or risky about Michel's patch,
> > it does not avoid ->page_mkwrite when there is a write: it just stops
> > pretending that there was a write when locking down the shared area.
>
> So, I decided to test this using memtoy. /data is a separate partition
> where I had just 10GB free space, and /data/hole20G was created using
> dd if=/dev/zero of=/data/hole20G bs=1M seek=20480 count=0.
>
> memtoy>file /data/hole20G shared
> memtoy>map hole20G
>
> At this point the file is mapped using a writable, shared VMA.
>
> memtoy>touch hole20G
> memtoy: touched 5242880 pages in 30.595 secs
>
> At this point memtoy's address space is populated with zeroed
> pages. The pages are distinct (meminfo does show 20G of allocated pages),
> are classified as file pages, not anon, and are associated with the
> struct address_space for /data/hole20G. That file still does not have
> blocks allocated, as can be seen with du /data/hole20G.
>
> memtoy>lock hole20G
>
> memtoy tries to mlock the hole20G VMA.
> This is where things get interesting.
>
> Using ext2, without my patch (ext3 should be similar):
> - first, mlock does fast progress going though file pages, marking them
> as dirty. Eventually, it hits the dirty limit and gets throttled.
> - then, mlock does slow progress as it needs to wait for writeback.
> writeback occurs and allocates blocks for the /data/hole20G.
> Eventually, the /data partition gets full.
> - then, mlock does no progress as it's at the dirty limit and nothing
> gets written back.
> - mlock never terminates.

That's the typical result of ENOSPC during mmap writes into holes on
filesystems that don't implement ->page_mkwrite() - this effectively
overcommits the filesystem free space with more dirty pages than can
fit in the free space, and then the system will get stuck on ENOSPC
errors when trying to allocate in the writeback path, leaving you
with dirty pages that can't be cleaned...

> Using ext2, with my patch (ext3 should be similar):
....
> - i.e. this is essentially the same lockup as without my patch, except that
> it occurs when the application tries to dirty the shared file rather than
> during mlock itself.

Same thing - your patch just moves the trigger.

> Using ext4, without my patch:
> - first, mlock does fast progress going though file pages, marking them
> as dirty. Eventually, it hits the dirty limit and gets throttled.
> - then, mlock does slow progress as it needs to wait for writeback.
> writeback occurs and allocates blocks for the /data/hole20G.
> Eventually, the /data partition gets full.
> - then, mlock returns an error.

Yup, ext4 implements page_mkwrite(), so can detect ENOSPC during the
write page fault.

> Using ext4, with my patch:
> - mlock goes through all pages in ~5 seconds, marking them as mlocked
> (but still not dirty)
> - mlock completes. /data/hole20G still does not have blocks allocated.
> - if memtoy is then instructed to dirty all the pages
> (using 'touch hole20G write'):
> - first, memtoy does fast progress faulting through file pages, marking
> them as dirty. Eventually, it hits the dirty limit and gets throttled.
> - then, memtoy does slow progress as it needs to wait for writeback.
> writeback occurs and allocates blocks for the /data/hole20G.
> Eventually, the /data partition gets full.
> - at that point, memtoy dies of SIGBUS.
> - i.e. for filesystems that define the page_mkwrite callback, the mlock
> behavior when running out of space writing to sparse files is clearly
> nicer without my patch than with it.

Which is how all filesystems _should_ behave. Any filesystem that does
not implement ->page_mkwrite will break under this test, regardless
of your patch. It is exercising the exact problem that page_mkwrite
was introduced to solve....

> Not 100% sure what to make of these results.
>
> Approaching the problem the other way - would there be any objection to
> adding code to do an fallocate() equivalent at the start of mlock ?

IMO, you do not need fallocate or any form of preallocation at all
during mlock(). As I've already pointed out, this still requires
filesystems to implement ->page_mkwrite to ensure mmap writes into
preallocated regions work correctly.

Fundamentally, filesystems need to implement ->page-mkwrite() to do
the right thing w.r.t. mmap writes and ENOSPC, and any filesystem
that doesn't is plain broken. You don't need to try to fix this
problem by making mlock() jump through hoops - it'll be fixed by
people implementing a working ->page_mkwrite function for their
filesystem.

Cheers,

Dave.
--
Dave Chinner
david@fromorbit.com


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