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SubjectRe: [PATCH 4/4] mm: make every pte dirty on do_swap_page
Hello Hugh,

On Sat, Apr 11, 2015 at 02:40:46PM -0700, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> On Wed, 11 Mar 2015, Minchan Kim wrote:
>
> > Bascially, MADV_FREE relys on the pte dirty to decide whether
> > it allows VM to discard the page. However, if there is swap-in,
> > pte pointed out the page has no pte_dirty. So, MADV_FREE checks
> > PageDirty and PageSwapCache for those pages to not discard it
> > because swapped-in page could live on swap cache or PageDirty
> > when it is removed from swapcache.
> >
> > The problem in here is that anonymous pages can have PageDirty if
> > it is removed from swapcache so that VM cannot parse those pages
> > as freeable even if we did madvise_free. Look at below example.
> >
> > ptr = malloc();
> > memset(ptr);
> > ..
> > heavy memory pressure -> swap-out all of pages
> > ..
> > out of memory pressure so there are lots of free pages
> > ..
> > var = *ptr; -> swap-in page/remove the page from swapcache. so pte_clean
> > but SetPageDirty
> >
> > madvise_free(ptr);
> > ..
> > ..
> > heavy memory pressure -> VM cannot discard the page by PageDirty.
> >
> > PageDirty for anonymous page aims for avoiding duplicating
> > swapping out. In other words, if a page have swapped-in but
> > live swapcache(ie, !PageDirty), we could save swapout if the page
> > is selected as victim by VM in future because swap device have
> > kept previous swapped-out contents of the page.
> >
> > So, rather than relying on the PG_dirty for working madvise_free,
> > pte_dirty is more straightforward. Inherently, swapped-out page was
> > pte_dirty so this patch restores the dirtiness when swap-in fault
> > happens so madvise_free doesn't rely on the PageDirty any more.
> >
> > Cc: Hugh Dickins <hughd@google.com>
> > Cc: Cyrill Gorcunov <gorcunov@gmail.com>
> > Cc: Pavel Emelyanov <xemul@parallels.com>
> > Reported-by: Yalin Wang <yalin.wang@sonymobile.com>
> > Signed-off-by: Minchan Kim <minchan@kernel.org>
>
> Sorry, but NAK to this patch,
> mm-make-every-pte-dirty-on-do_swap_page.patch in akpm's mm tree
> (I hope it hasn't reached linux-next yet).
>
> You may well be right that pte_dirty<->PageDirty can be handled
> differently, in a way more favourable to MADV_FREE. And this patch
> may be a step in the right direction, but I've barely given it thought.
>
> As it stands, it segfaults more than any patch I've seen in years:
> I just tried applying it to 4.0-rc7-mm1, and running kernel builds
> in low memory with swap. Even if I leave KSM out, and memcg out, and
> swapoff out, and THP out, and tmpfs out, it still SIGSEGVs very soon.
>
> I have a choice: spend a few hours tracking down the errors, and
> post a fix patch on top of yours? But even then I'd want to spend
> a lot longer thinking through every dirty/Dirty in the source before
> I'd feel comfortable to give an ack.
>
> This is users' data, and we need to be very careful with it: errors
> in MADV_FREE are one thing, for now that's easy to avoid; but in this
> patch you're changing the rules for Anon PageDirty for everyone.
>
> I think for now I'll have to leave it to you to do much more source
> diligence and testing, before coming back with a corrected patch for
> us then to review, slowly and carefully.

Sorry for my bad. I will keep your advise in mind.
I will investigate the problem as soon as I get back to work
after vacation.

Thanks for the the review.

--
Kind regards,
Minchan Kim


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