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SubjectRe: how to make memory.memsw.failcnt is nonzero
[Let's add some people to the CC list]

Hi,
sorry for the late reply (some vacation and holiday)

On Wed 28-12-11 17:23:04, Peng Haitao wrote:
>
> memory.memsw.failcnt shows the number of memory+Swap hits limits.
> So I think when memory+swap usage is equal to limit, memsw.failcnt should be nonzero.
>
> I test as follows:
>
> # uname -a
> Linux K-test 3.2.0-rc7-17-g371de6e #2 SMP Wed Dec 28 12:02:52 CST 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
> # mkdir /cgroup/memory/group
> # cd /cgroup/memory/group/
> # echo 10M > memory.limit_in_bytes
> # echo 10M > memory.memsw.limit_in_bytes
> # echo $$ > tasks
> # dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/temp_file count=20 bs=1M
> Killed
> # cat memory.memsw.failcnt
> 0
> # grep "failcnt" /var/log/messages | tail -2
> Dec 28 17:05:52 K-test kernel: memory: usage 10240kB, limit 10240kB, failcnt 21
> Dec 28 17:05:52 K-test kernel: memory+swap: usage 10240kB, limit 10240kB, failcnt 0
>
> memory+swap usage is equal to limit, but memsw.failcnt is zero.
>
> I change memory.memsw.limit_in_bytes to 15M.
>
> # echo 15M > memory.memsw.limit_in_bytes
> # dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/temp_file count=20 bs=1M
> Killed
> # grep "failcnt" /var/log/messages | tail -2
> Dec 28 17:08:45 K-test kernel: memory: usage 10240kB, limit 10240kB, failcnt 86
> Dec 28 17:08:45 K-test kernel: memory+swap: usage 10240kB, limit 15360kB, failcnt 0
> # cat memory.memsw.failcnt
> 0
>
> The limit is 15M, but memory+swap usage also is 10M.
> I think memory+swap usage should be 15M and memsw.failcnt should be nonzero.
>
> This is a kernel bug or I misunderstand memory+swap?

Well, we might end up with memory.failcnt > 0 while memory.memsw.failcnt == 0
quite easily and that would happen in the cases like you describe above
when there is a big pagecache pressure on the hardlimit without much
anonymous memory so there is not much that could be swapped out.
Please note that memsw.limit_in_bytes is triggered only if we have
consumed some swap space already (and the feature is primarily intended
to stop extensive swap usage in fact).
It goes like this: If we trigger hard limit (memory.limit_in_bytes) then
we start the direct reclaim (with swap available). If we trigger memsw
limit then we try to reclaim without swap available. We will OOM if we
cannot reclaim enough to satisfy the respective limit.

The other part of the answer is, yes there is something wrong going
on her because we definitely shouldn't OOM. The workload is a single
threaded and we have a plenty of page cache that could be reclaimed
easily. On the other hand we end up with:
# echo $$ > tasks
/dev/memctl/a# echo 10M > memory.limit_in_bytes
/dev/memctl/a# echo 10M > memory.memsw.limit_in_bytes
/dev/memctl/a# dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/temp_file count=20 bs=1M
Killed
/dev/memctl/a# cat memory.stat
cache 9265152
rss 143360
mapped_file 0
pgpgin 3352
pgpgout 1055
swap 0
pgfault 798
pgmajfault 1
inactive_anon 12288
active_anon 114688
inactive_file 9261056
active_file 4096
unevictable 0
[...]
So there is almost 10M of page cache that we can simply reclaim. If we
use 40M limit then we are OK. So this looks like the small limit somehow
tricks our math in the reclaim path and we think there is nothing to
reclaim.
I will look into this.
--
Michal Hocko
SUSE Labs
SUSE LINUX s.r.o.
Lihovarska 1060/12
190 00 Praha 9
Czech Republic


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