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SubjectRe: [patch 00/13] preempt: Make preempt count unconditional
On Tue 29-09-20 11:00:03, Daniel Vetter wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 29, 2020 at 10:19:38AM +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
> > On Wed 16-09-20 23:43:02, Daniel Vetter wrote:
> > > I can
> > > then figure out whether it's better to risk not spotting issues with
> > > call_rcu vs slapping a memalloc_noio_save/restore around all these
> > > critical section which force-degrades any allocation to GFP_ATOMIC at
> >
> > did you mean memalloc_noreclaim_* here?
>
> Yeah I picked the wrong one of that family of functions.
>
> > > most, but has the risk that we run into code that assumes "GFP_KERNEL
> > > never fails for small stuff" and has a decidedly less tested fallback
> > > path than rcu code.
> >
> > Even if the above then please note that memalloc_noreclaim_* or
> > PF_MEMALLOC should be used with an extreme care. Essentially only for
> > internal memory reclaimers. It grants access to _all_ the available
> > memory so any abuse can be detrimental to the overall system operation.
> > Allocation failure in this mode means that we are out of memory and any
> > code relying on such an allocation has to carefuly consider failure.
> > This is not a random allocation mode.
>
> Agreed, that's why I don't like having these kind of automagic critical
> sections. It's a bit a shotgun approach. Paul said that the code would
> handle failures, but the problem is that it applies everywhere.

Ohh, in the ideal world we wouldn't need anything like that. But then
the reality fires:
* PF_MEMALLOC (resp memalloc_noreclaim_* for that matter) is primarily used
to make sure that allocations from inside the memory reclaim - yeah that
happens - will not recurse.
* PF_MEMALLOC_NO{FS,IO} (resp memalloc_no{fs,io}*) are used to mark no
fs/io reclaim recursion critical sections because controling that for
each allocation inside fs transaction (or other sensitive) or IO
contexts turned out to be unmaintainable and people simply fallen into
using NOFS/NOIO unconditionally which is causing reclaim imbalance
problems.
* PF_MEMALLOC_NOCMA (resp memalloc_nocma*) is used for long term pinning
when CMA pages cannot be pinned because that would break the CMA
guarantees. Communicating this to all potential allocations during
pinning is simply unfeasible.

So you are absolutely right that these critical sections with side
effects on all allocations are far from ideal from the API point of view
but they are mostly mirroring a demand for functionality which is
_practically_ impossible to achieve with our current code base. Not that
we couldn't get back to drawing board and come up with a saner thing and
rework the world...
--
Michal Hocko
SUSE Labs

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