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SubjectRe: [RFC] mm,tracing: improve current situation
On 04/04/2014 01:24 AM, Sasha Levin wrote:
> On 04/03/2014 05:44 PM, Davidlohr Bueso wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> During LSFMM Dave Jones discussed the current situation around
>> testing/trinity in the mm. One of the conclusions was that basically we
>> lack tools to gather the necessary information to make debugging a less
>> painful process, making it pretty much a black box for a lot of cases.
>>
>> One of the suggested ways to do so was to improve our tracing. Currently
>> we have events for kmem, vmscan and oom (which really just traces the
>> tunable updates) -- In addition Dave Hansen also also been trying to add
>> tracing for TLB range flushing, hopefully that can make it in some time
>> soon. However, this lacks the more general data that governs all of the
>> core VM, such as vmas and of course the mm_struct.
>>
>> To this end, I've started adding events to trace the vma lifecycle,
>> including: creating, removing, splitting, merging, copying and
>> adjusting. Currently it only prints out the start and end virtual
>> addresses, such as:
>>
>> bash-3661 [000] .... 222.964847: split_vma: [8a8000-9a6000] => new: [9a6000-9b6000]
>>
>> Now, on a more general scenario, I basically would like to know, 1) is
>> this actually useful... I'm hoping that, if in fact something like this
>> gets merged, it won't just sit there. 2) What other general data would
>> be useful for debugging purposes? I'm happy to collect feedback and send
>> out something we can all benefit from.

I think that adding more tracepoints might be more useful for debugging
performance-related problems (e.g. compaction) that don't manifest as
panic, and that VM_BUG_ON is more suited for this kind of debugging. But
I might be wrong.

> There's another thing we have to think about, which is the bottleneck of
> getting that debug info out.
>
> Turning on any sort of tracing/logging in mm/ would trigger huge amounts
> of data flowing out. Any attempt to store that data anywhere would result
> either in too much interference to the tests so that issues stop reproducing,
> or way too much data to even be able to get through the guest <-> host pipe.
>
> I was working on a similar idea, which is similar to what lockdep does now:
> when you get a lockdep spew you see a nice output which also shows call
> traces of relevant locks. What if, for example, we could make dump_page()
> also dump the traces of where each of it's flags was set or cleared?

Hm doesn't the oops printing already print accumulated trace buffers?
Wouldn't it be easier to post-process that instead of trying to do some
smart "unwinding" during oops? Is it possible to enable tracing without
actually consuming the data, just for this purpose?

Vlastimil

> Thanks,
> Sasha
>
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