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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/2] MM: Discard NR_UNSTABLE_NFS, use NR_WRITEBACK instead.
On Tue 07-04-20 09:44:25, NeilBrown wrote:
>
> After an NFS page has been written it is considered "unstable" until a
> COMMIT request succeeds. If the COMMIT fails, the page will be
> re-written.
>
> These "unstable" pages are currently accounted as "reclaimable", either
> in WB_RECLAIMABLE, or in NR_UNSTABLE_NFS which is included in a
> 'reclaimable' count. This might have made sense when sending the COMMIT
> required a separate action by the VFS/MM (e.g. releasepage() used to
> send a COMMIT). However now that all writes generated by ->writepages()
> will automatically be followed by a COMMIT (since commit 919e3bd9a875
> ("NFS: Ensure we commit after writeback is complete")) it makes more
> sense to treat them as writeback pages.
>
> So this patch removes NR_UNSTABLE_NFS and accounts unstable pages in
> NR_WRITEBACK and WB_WRITEBACK.
>
> A particular effect of this change is that when
> wb_check_background_flush() calls wb_over_bg_threshold(), the latter
> will report 'true' a lot less often as the 'unstable' pages are no
> longer considered 'dirty' (as there is nothing that writeback can do
> about them anyway).
>
> Currently wb_check_background_flush() will trigger writeback to NFS even
> when there are relatively few dirty pages (if there are lots of unstable
> pages), this can result in small writes going to the server (10s of
> Kilobytes rather than a Megabyte) which hurts throughput.
> With this patch, there are fewer writes which are each larger on average.
>
> Where the NR_UNSTABLE_NFS count was included in statistics
> virtual-files, the entry is retained, but the value is hard-coded as
> zero. static trace points which record this counter no longer report
> it.
>
> Signed-off-by: NeilBrown <neilb@suse.de>

...

> diff --git a/mm/page_alloc.c b/mm/page_alloc.c
> index e5f76da8cd4e..24678d6e308d 100644
> --- a/mm/page_alloc.c
> +++ b/mm/page_alloc.c
> @@ -5237,7 +5237,7 @@ void show_free_areas(unsigned int filter, nodemask_t *nodemask)
>
> printk("active_anon:%lu inactive_anon:%lu isolated_anon:%lu\n"
> " active_file:%lu inactive_file:%lu isolated_file:%lu\n"
> - " unevictable:%lu dirty:%lu writeback:%lu unstable:%lu\n"
> + " unevictable:%lu dirty:%lu writeback:%lu unstable:0\n"
> " slab_reclaimable:%lu slab_unreclaimable:%lu\n"
> " mapped:%lu shmem:%lu pagetables:%lu bounce:%lu\n"
> " free:%lu free_pcp:%lu free_cma:%lu\n",
> @@ -5250,7 +5250,6 @@ void show_free_areas(unsigned int filter, nodemask_t *nodemask)
> global_node_page_state(NR_UNEVICTABLE),
> global_node_page_state(NR_FILE_DIRTY),
> global_node_page_state(NR_WRITEBACK),
> - global_node_page_state(NR_UNSTABLE_NFS),
> global_node_page_state(NR_SLAB_RECLAIMABLE),
> global_node_page_state(NR_SLAB_UNRECLAIMABLE),
> global_node_page_state(NR_FILE_MAPPED),
> @@ -5283,7 +5282,7 @@ void show_free_areas(unsigned int filter, nodemask_t *nodemask)
> " anon_thp: %lukB"
> #endif
> " writeback_tmp:%lukB"
> - " unstable:%lukB"
> + " unstable:0kB"
> " all_unreclaimable? %s"
> "\n",
> pgdat->node_id,
> @@ -5305,7 +5304,6 @@ void show_free_areas(unsigned int filter, nodemask_t *nodemask)
> K(node_page_state(pgdat, NR_ANON_THPS) * HPAGE_PMD_NR),
> #endif
> K(node_page_state(pgdat, NR_WRITEBACK_TEMP)),
> - K(node_page_state(pgdat, NR_UNSTABLE_NFS)),
> pgdat->kswapd_failures >= MAX_RECLAIM_RETRIES ?
> "yes" : "no");
> }

These are just page allocator splats on OOM. I don't think preserving
'unstable' in these reports is needed.

> @@ -1707,8 +1706,16 @@ static void *vmstat_start(struct seq_file *m, loff_t *pos)
> static void *vmstat_next(struct seq_file *m, void *arg, loff_t *pos)
> {
> (*pos)++;
> - if (*pos >= NR_VMSTAT_ITEMS)
> + if (*pos >= NR_VMSTAT_ITEMS) {
> + /*
> + * Deprecated counters which are no longer represented
> + * in vmstat arrays. We just lie about them to be always
> + * 0 to not break userspace which might expect them in
> + * the output.
> + */
> + seq_puts(m, "nr_unstable 0");
> return NULL;
> + }
> return (unsigned long *)m->private + *pos;
> }

Umm, how is this supposed to work? vmstat_next() should return next element
of the sequence, not fill anything into seq_file - that's the job of
vmstat_show(). Looking at seq_read() implementation it may actually end up
working fine but I wouldn't really bet much on it especially in corner
cases like when we are just about to fill the user buffer and then need to
restart reading close to an end of vmstat file or so.

Michal, won't it be cleaner to have NR_VM_DEPRECATED_ITEMS included in
NR_VMSTAT_ITEMS, have names of these items in vmstat_text, and just set
appropriate number of 0 entries at the end of the array generated in
vmstat_start() and be done with it? That seems conceptually simpler and the
overhead is minimal.

Honza
--
Jan Kara <jack@suse.com>
SUSE Labs, CR

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