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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2.6.27.y 1/3] ext4: Use our own write_cache_pages()
On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 2:35 AM, Kay Diederichs
<> wrote:
> Am 30.05.2010 23:25, schrieb
>> On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 08:41:44PM -0500, Jayson R. King wrote:
>>> The difference is that, 2.6.27's write_cache_pages() in
>>> page-writeback.c still updates wbc->nr_to_write, since the patch
>>> which changed that behavior was dropped from .27-rc2 due to the XFS
>>> regression it causes on mainline. ext4 appears to want the behavior
>>> of write_cache_pages which does not update wbc->nr_to_write. This
>>> write_cache_pages_da() does what ext4 wants, without introducing the
>>> XFS regression. So I believe it is needed.
>> Ah, OK.  So I understand the motivation now, and that's a valid
>> concern.  The question is now: how much the goal of the 2.6.27 stable
>> branch to fix bugs, and how much is it to get the best possible
>> performance, at least with respect to ext4?  It's going to be harder
>> and harder to backport fixes to 2.6.27, and I can speak from
>> experience that it's very easy to introduce regressions while trying
>> to do backports, since sometimes an individual upstream commit can end
>> up introducing a regression, and while we do try to document
>> regression fixes in later commits, sometimes the documentation isn't
>> complete.
>> I just spent the better part of a day trying to fix up a backport
>> series for 2.6.32.  When I was engaged in this particular exercise, it
>> turns out a particular commit to fix a quota deadlock introduced a
>> regression, and the fix to that introduced yet another, and there were
>> three or four patches that all needed to be pulled in at once.  Except
>> initially I missed one, and that caused an i_blocks corruption issue
>> when using fallocate() that took me several hours and a reverse
>> git-bisection to find.  (And this is one set of fixes that will
>> probably never be able to go into 2.6.27.y, since these changes also
>> interlock with probably a dozen or so quota changes that have also
>> gone in over the last couple of kernel releases.)
>> I'll also add that simply testing using dbench, as you said you used
>> in another e-mail message, really isn't good enough to find all
>> possible regressions (it wouldn't have found the i_blocks corruption
>> problem in my initial set of 2.6.32 ext4 backports patches, for
>> example, since dbench only tests a very limited set of fs operations,
>> which doesn't include fallocate, or quotas, or mmap for that matter.)
>> What I would recommend is using the XFSQA (also sometimes known
>> xfstests) test suite to make sure that your changes are sound.  Dbench
>> will sometimes find issues, yes, but in my experience it's not the
>> best tool.  The fsstress program, which is called in a number of
>> different configurations by xfstests, has found all sorts of problems
>> that other thing shaven't been able to find.  Run it on at least a
>> 2-core system, or preferably a 4-core or 8-core system if you have it.
>> I generally run tests using both 4k and 1k blocksize file systems to
>> make sure there aren't problems where the fs blocksize is less than
>> the pagesize.
>> If you are willing to take on the support burden of ext4 for 2.6.27,
>> and do a lot of testing, I at least wouldn't have any objection to
>> these patches.  It's really a question of risk vs. reward for the
>> users of the 2.6.27 stable tree, plus a question of someone willing to
>> take on the support/debugging burden, and how much testing is done to
>> appropriate tilt the risk/reward balance.
>> Regards,
>>                                                - Ted
> For what it's worth: my fileservers deadlock reproducibly after 1
> to 2 minutes of heavy NFS load, when using ext4 (never had a problem with
> ext3). Jayson King's patch series (posted Feb 27) fixed this, and I've been
> running it since May 1 without problems.
> From my experience, I'd say that the ext4 deadlock needs to be fixed;
> otherwise ext4 in 2.6.27 should not be called stable.
> best wishes,
> Kay

It has always been marked experimental in 2.6.27, not stable so I'm
totally lost about this effort.


139 config EXT4DEV_FS
140 tristate "Ext4dev/ext4 extended fs support development
141 depends on EXPERIMENTAL
142 select JBD2
143 select CRC16
144 help
145 Ext4dev is a predecessor filesystem of the next generation
146 extended fs ext4, based on ext3 filesystem code. It will be
147 renamed ext4 fs later, once ext4dev is mature and stabilized.
165 If unsure, say N.

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