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SubjectRe: [PATCH 14/14] mm, oom, compaction: prevent from should_compact_retry looping for ever for costly orders
On 04/20/2016 09:47 PM, Michal Hocko wrote:
> From: Michal Hocko <>
> "mm: consider compaction feedback also for costly allocation" has
> removed the upper bound for the reclaim/compaction retries based on the
> number of reclaimed pages for costly orders. While this is desirable
> the patch did miss a mis interaction between reclaim, compaction and the
> retry logic.

Hmm perhaps reversing the order of patches 13 and 14 would be a bit
safer wrt future bisections then? Add compaction_zonelist_suitable()
first with the reasoning, and then immediately use it in the other patch.

> The direct reclaim tries to get zones over min watermark
> while compaction backs off and returns COMPACT_SKIPPED when all zones
> are below low watermark + 1<<order gap. If we are getting really close
> to OOM then __compaction_suitable can keep returning COMPACT_SKIPPED a
> high order request (e.g. hugetlb order-9) while the reclaim is not able
> to release enough pages to get us over low watermark. The reclaim is
> still able to make some progress (usually trashing over few remaining
> pages) so we are not able to break out from the loop.
> I have seen this happening with the same test described in "mm: consider
> compaction feedback also for costly allocation" on a swapless system.
> The original problem got resolved by "vmscan: consider classzone_idx in
> compaction_ready" but it shows how things might go wrong when we
> approach the oom event horizont.
> The reason why compaction requires being over low rather than min
> watermark is not clear to me. This check was there essentially since
> 56de7263fcf3 ("mm: compaction: direct compact when a high-order
> allocation fails"). It is clearly an implementation detail though and we
> shouldn't pull it into the generic retry logic while we should be able
> to cope with such eventuality. The only place in should_compact_retry
> where we retry without any upper bound is for compaction_withdrawn()
> case.
> Introduce compaction_zonelist_suitable function which checks the given
> zonelist and returns true only if there is at least one zone which would
> would unblock __compaction_suitable if more memory got reclaimed. In
> this implementation it checks __compaction_suitable with NR_FREE_PAGES
> plus part of the reclaimable memory as the target for the watermark check.
> The reclaimable memory is reduced linearly by the allocation order. The
> idea is that we do not want to reclaim all the remaining memory for a
> single allocation request just unblock __compaction_suitable which
> doesn't guarantee we will make a further progress.
> The new helper is then used if compaction_withdrawn() feedback was
> provided so we do not retry if there is no outlook for a further
> progress. !costly requests shouldn't be affected much - e.g. order-2
> pages would require to have at least 64kB on the reclaimable LRUs while
> order-9 would need at least 32M which should be enough to not lock up.
> [ fix classzone_idx vs. high_zoneidx usage in
> compaction_zonelist_suitable]
> Signed-off-by: Michal Hocko <>

Acked-by: Vlastimil Babka <>

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