[PATCH v2 02/28] vmscan: take at least one pass with shrinkers

JoonSoo Kim js1304 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 10 14:03:39 UTC 2013


2013/4/10 Dave Chinner <david at fromorbit.com>:
> On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 04:46:06PM +0800, Wanpeng Li wrote:
>> On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:51:16AM +0900, Joonsoo Kim wrote:
>> >On Tue, Apr 09, 2013 at 10:30:08PM +1000, Dave Chinner wrote:
>> >> On Tue, Apr 09, 2013 at 11:05:05AM +0900, Joonsoo Kim wrote:
>> >> > I don't think so.
>> >> > Yes, lowmem_shrink() return number of (in)active lru pages
>> >> > when nr_to_scan is 0. And in shrink_slab(), we divide it by lru_pages.
>> >> > lru_pages can vary where shrink_slab() is called, anyway, perhaps this
>> >> > logic makes total_scan below 128.
>> >>
>> >> "perhaps"
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> There is no "perhaps" here - there is *zero* guarantee of the
>> >> behaviour you are claiming the lowmem killer shrinker is dependent
>> >> on with the existing shrinker infrastructure. So, lets say we have:
> .....
>> >> IOWs, this algorithm effectively causes the shrinker to be called
>> >> 127 times out of 128 in this arbitrary scenario. It does not behave
>> >> as you are assuming it to, and as such any code based on those
>> >> assumptions is broken....
>> >
>> >Thanks for good example. I got your point :)
>> >But, my concern is not solved entirely, because this is not problem
>> >just for lowmem killer and I can think counter example. And other drivers
>> >can be suffered from this change.
>> >
>> >I look at the code for "huge_zero_page_shrinker".
>> >They return HPAGE_PMD_NR if there is shrikerable object.
>
> <sigh>
>
> Yet another new shrinker that is just plain broken. it tracks a
> *single object*, and returns a value only when the ref count value
> is 1 which will result in freeing the zero page at some
> random time in the future after some number of other calls to the
> shrinker where the refcount is also 1.
>
> This is *insane*.
>
>> >I try to borrow your example for this case.
>> >
>> >     nr_pages_scanned = 1,000
>> >     lru_pages = 100,000
>> >     batch_size = SHRINK_BATCH = 128
>> >     max_pass= 512 (HPAGE_PMD_NR)
>> >
>> >     total_scan = shrinker->nr_in_batch = 0
>> >     delta = 4 * 1,000 / 2 = 2,000
>> >     delta = 2,000 * 512 = 1,024,000
>> >     delta = 1,024,000 / 100,001 = 10
>> >     total_scan += delta = 10
>> >
>> >As you can see, before this patch, do_shrinker_shrink() for
>> >"huge_zero_page_shrinker" is not called until we call shrink_slab() more
>> >than 13 times. *Frequency* we call do_shrinker_shrink() actually is
>> >largely different with before.
>
> If the frequency of the shrinker calls breaks the shrinker
> functionality or the subsystem because it pays no attention to
> nr_to_scan, then the shrinker is fundamentally broken. The shrinker
> has *no control* over the frequency of the calls to it or the bathc
> size, and so being dependent on "small numbers means few calls" for
> correct behaviour is dangerously unpredictable and completely
> non-deterministic.
>
> Besides, if you don't want to be shrunk, return a count of -1.
> Shock, horror, it is even documented in the API!
>
>  * 'sc' is passed shrink_control which includes a count 'nr_to_scan'
>  * and a 'gfpmask'.  It should look through the least-recently-used
>  * 'nr_to_scan' entries and attempt to free them up.  It should return
>  * the number of objects which remain in the cache.  If it returns -1, it means
>  * it cannot do any scanning at this time (eg. there is a risk of deadlock).
>
>> >With this patch, we actually call
>> >do_shrinker_shrink() for "huge_zero_page_shrinker" 12 times more
>> >than before. Can we be convinced that there will be no problem?
>> >
>> >This is why I worry about this change.
>> >Am I worried too much? :)
>
> You're worrying about the wrong thing. You're assuming that
> shrinkers are implemented correctly and sanely, but the reality is
> that most shrinkers are fundamentally broken in some way or another.
>
> These are just two examples of many. We are trying to fix the API
> and shrinker infrastructure to remove the current insanity. We want
> to make the shrinkers more flexible so that stuff like one-shot low
> memory event notifications can be implemented without grotesque
> hacks like the shrinkers you've used as examples so far...

Yes, it is great.

I already know that many shrinkers are wrongly implemented.
Above examples explain themselves.

Another one what I found is that they don't account "nr_reclaimed" precisely.
There is no code which check whether "current->reclaim_state" exist or not,
except prune_inode(). So if they reclaim a page directly, they will not
account how many pages are freed, so shrink_zone() and shrink_slab() will
be called excessively.
Maybe there is no properly implemented shrinker except fs' one :)

But, this is a reality where we live. So I have worried about it.
Now, I'm Okay. So please fotget my concern.

Thanks.

> -Dave.
> --
> Dave Chinner
> david at fromorbit.com
>
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