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SubjectRe: Debugging system freezes on filesystem writes
On 22.11.2012 01:30, Jan Kara wrote:
> On Fri 16-11-12 03:11:22, Marcus Sundman wrote:
>> On 13.11.2012 15:51, Jan Kara wrote:
>>> On Fri 09-11-12 15:12:43, Marcus Sundman wrote:
>>>> On 09.11.2012 01:41, Marcus Sundman wrote:
>>>>> On 07.11.2012 18:17, Jan Kara wrote:
>>>>>> On Fri 02-11-12 04:19:24, Marcus Sundman wrote:
>>>>>>> Also, and this might be important, according to iotop there is
>>>>>>> almost no disk writing going on during the freeze. (Occasionally
>>>>>>> there are a few MB/s, but mostly it's 0-200 kB/s.) Well, at least
>>>>>>> when an iotop running on nice -20 hasn't frozen completely, which it
>>>>>>> does during the more severe freezes.
>>>>>> OK, it seems as if your machine has some problems with memory
>>>>>> allocations. Can you capture /proc/vmstat before the freeze and
>>>>>> after the
>>>>>> freeze and send them for comparison. Maybe it will show us what is the
>>>>>> system doing.
>>>>> t=01:06
>>>>> t=01:08
>>>>> t=01:12
>>>> Here are some more vmstats:
>>>> They are from running this:
>>>> while true; do cat /proc/vmstat > "vmstat.$(date +%FT%X).txt"; sleep
>>>> 10; done
>>>> There were lots and lots of freezes for almost 20 mins from 14:37:45
>>>> onwards, pretty much constantly, but at 14:56:50 the freezes
>>>> suddenly stopped and everything went back to how it should be.
>>> I was looking into the data but they didn't show anything problematic.
>>> The machine seems to be writing a lot but there's always some free memory,
>>> even direct reclaim isn't ever entered. Hum, actually you wrote iotop isn't
>>> showing much IO going on but vmstats show there is about 1 GB written
>>> during the freeze. It is not a huge amount given the time span but it
>>> certainly gives a few MB/s of write load.
>> I didn't watch iotop during this particular freeze. I'll try to keep
>> an eye on iotop in the future. Is there some particular options I
>> should run iotop with, or is a "nice -n -20 iotop -od3" fine?
> I'm not really familiar with iotop :). Usually I use iostat...

OK, which options for iostat should I use then? :)

>>> There's surprisingly high number of allocations going on but that may be
>>> due to the IO activity. So let's try something else: Can you switch to
>>> console and when the hang happens press Alt-Sysrq-w (or you can just do
>>> "echo w >/proc/sysrq-trigger" if the machine is live enough to do that).
>>> Then send me the output from dmesg. Thanks!
>> Sure! Here are two:
> Thanks for those and sorry for the delay (I was busy with other stuff).
> I had a look into those traces and I have to say I'm not much wiser. In the
> first dump there is just kswapd waiting for IO. In the second dump there
> are more processes waiting for IO (mostly for reads - nautilus,
> thunderbird, opera, ...) but nothing really surprising. So I'm lost what
> could cause the hangs you observe.

Yes, mostly it's difficult to trigger the sysrq thingy, because by the
time I manage to switch to the console or running that echo to proc in a
terminal the worst is already over.

> Recalling you wrote even simple programs
> like top hang, maybe it is some CPU scheduling issue? Can you boot with
> noautogroup kernel option?

Sure. I've been running with noautogroup for almost a week now, but no
big change one way or the other. (E.g., it's still impossible to listen
to music, because the songs will start skipping/looping several times
during each song even if there isn't any big "hang" happening. And
uncompressing a 100 MB archive (with nice '19' and ionice 'idle') is
still, after a while, followed by a couple of minutes of superhigh I/O
wait causing everything to become really slow.)

- Marcus

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