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Subject[patch 01/55] readahead: fix pipeline break caused by block plug
3.0-stable review patch.  If anyone has any objections, please let me know.


From: Shaohua Li <>

commit 3deaa7190a8da38453c4fabd9dec7f66d17fff67 upstream.

Herbert Poetzl reported a performance regression since 2.6.39. The test
is a simple dd read, but with big block size. The reason is:

T1: ra (A, A+128k), (A+128k, A+256k)
T2: lock_page for page A, submit the 256k
T3: hit page A+128K, ra (A+256k, A+384). the range isn't submitted
because of plug and there isn't any lock_page till we hit page A+256k
because all pages from A to A+256k is in memory
T4: hit page A+256k, ra (A+384, A+ 512). Because of plug, the range isn't
submitted again.
T5: lock_page A+256k, so (A+256k, A+512k) will be submitted. The task is
waitting for (A+256k, A+512k) finish.

There is no request to disk in T3 and T4, so readahead pipeline breaks.

We really don't need block plug for generic_file_aio_read() for buffered
I/O. The readahead already has plug and has fine grained control when I/O
should be submitted. Deleting plug for buffered I/O fixes the regression.

One side effect is plug makes the request size 256k, the size is 128k
without it. This is because default ra size is 128k and not a reason we
need plug here.

Vivek said:

: We submit some readahead IO to device request queue but because of nested
: plug, queue never gets unplugged. When read logic reaches a page which is
: not in page cache, it waits for page to be read from the disk
: (lock_page_killable()) and that time we flush the plug list.
: So effectively read ahead logic is kind of broken in parts because of
: nested plugging. Removing top level plug (generic_file_aio_read()) for
: buffered reads, will allow unplugging queue earlier for readahead.

Signed-off-by: Shaohua Li <>
Signed-off-by: Wu Fengguang <>
Reported-by: Herbert Poetzl <>
Tested-by: Eric Dumazet <>
Cc: Christoph Hellwig <>
Cc: Jens Axboe <>
Cc: Vivek Goyal <>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>

mm/filemap.c | 8 ++++----
1 file changed, 4 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)

--- a/mm/filemap.c
+++ b/mm/filemap.c
@@ -1379,15 +1379,12 @@ generic_file_aio_read(struct kiocb *iocb
unsigned long seg = 0;
size_t count;
loff_t *ppos = &iocb->ki_pos;
- struct blk_plug plug;

count = 0;
retval = generic_segment_checks(iov, &nr_segs, &count, VERIFY_WRITE);
if (retval)
return retval;

- blk_start_plug(&plug);
/* coalesce the iovecs and go direct-to-BIO for O_DIRECT */
if (filp->f_flags & O_DIRECT) {
loff_t size;
@@ -1403,8 +1400,12 @@ generic_file_aio_read(struct kiocb *iocb
retval = filemap_write_and_wait_range(mapping, pos,
pos + iov_length(iov, nr_segs) - 1);
if (!retval) {
+ struct blk_plug plug;
+ blk_start_plug(&plug);
retval = mapping->a_ops->direct_IO(READ, iocb,
iov, pos, nr_segs);
+ blk_finish_plug(&plug);
if (retval > 0) {
*ppos = pos + retval;
@@ -1460,7 +1461,6 @@ generic_file_aio_read(struct kiocb *iocb
- blk_finish_plug(&plug);
return retval;

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