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SubjectRe: [PATCH] mm: avoid livelock on !__GFP_FS allocations
On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:39:34PM +0300, Pekka Enberg wrote:
> Hi Mel,
>
> On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 2:23 PM, Mel Gorman <mgorman@suse.de> wrote:
> > I see what you mean with GFP_NOIO but there is an important difference
> > between GFP_NOIO and suspend.  A GFP_NOIO low-order allocation currently
> > implies __GFP_NOFAIL as commented on in should_alloc_retry(). If no progress
> > is made, we call wait_iff_congested() and sleep for a bit. As the system
> > is running, kswapd and other process activity will proceed and eventually
> > reclaim enough pages for the GFP_NOIO allocation to succeed. In a running
> > system, GFP_NOIO can stall for a period of time but your patch will cause
> > the allocation to fail. While I expect callers return ENOMEM or handle
> > the situation properly with a wait-and-retry loop, there will be
> > operations that fail that used to succeed. This is why I'd prefer it was
> > a suspend-specific fix unless we know there is a case where a machine
> > livelocks due to a GFP_NOIO allocation looping forever and even then I'd
> > wonder why kswapd was not helping.
>
> I'm not that happy about your patch because it's going to the
> direction where the page allocator is special-casing for suspension.

Suspend really is a special case. While I'd prefer to avoid special
casing it like this, I prefer it a *lot* more than failing GFP_NOIO
allocations that used to succeed.

--
Mel Gorman
SUSE Labs
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