memcg creates an unkillable task in 3.2-rc2

Michal Hocko mhocko at
Mon Jul 29 09:51:09 UTC 2013

On Mon 29-07-13 01:54:01, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> Michal Hocko <mhocko at> writes:
> > On Sun 28-07-13 17:42:28, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> >> Tejun Heo <tj at> writes:
> >> 
> >> > Hello, Linus.
> >> >
> >> > This pull request contains two patches, both of which aren't fixes
> >> > per-se but I think it'd be better to fast-track them.
> >> >
> >> Darn.  I was hoping to see a fix for the bug I just tripped over,
> >> that results in a process stuck in short term disk wait.
> >> 
> >> Using the memory control group for it's designed function aka killing
> >> processes that eats too much memory I just would up with an unkillable
> >> process in 3.11-rc2.
> >
> > How many processes are in that group? Could you post stacks for all of
> > them? Is the stack bellow stable?
> Just this one, and yes the stack is stable.
> And there was a pending sigkill.  Which is what is so bizarre.

Strange indeed. We have a shortcut to skip the charge if the task has
fatal_signals pending in __mem_cgroup_try_charge and
mem_cgroup_handle_oom. With a single task in the group it always calls
mem_cgroup_out_of_memory unless it is locked because of OOM from up the
hierarchy (but as you are able to echo to oom_control then this means
that you are under any hierarchy).

> > Could you post dmesg output?
> Nothing interesting was in dmesg.

No OOM messages at all?

> I lost the original hang but I seem to be able to reproduce it fairly
> easily.

What are the steps to reproduce?

> echo 0 > memory.oom_control is enough to unstick it.  But that does not
> explain why the process does not die when SIGKILL is sent.

Interesting. This would mean that memcg_oom_recover woke up the task
from the wait queue and so it realizes it should die. This would suggest
a race when the task misses memcg_oom_recover resp. memcg_wakeup_oom but
that doesn't match with your single task in the group description or is
this just a final state and there were more tasks before OOM happened?

> > You seem to have CONFIG_MEMCG_KMEM enabled. Have you set up kmem
> > limit?
> No kmem limits set.
> >> I am really not certain what is going on although I haven't rebooted the
> >> machine yet so I can look a bit further if someone has a good idea.
> >> 
> >> On the unkillable task I see.
> >> 
> >> /proc/<pid>/stack:
> >> 
> >> [<ffffffff8110342c>] mem_cgroup_iter+0x1e/0x1d2
> >> [<ffffffff81105630>] __mem_cgroup_try_charge+0x779/0x8f9
> >> [<ffffffff81070d46>] ktime_get_ts+0x36/0x74
> >> [<ffffffff81104d84>] memcg_oom_wake_function+0x0/0x5a
> >> [<ffffffff8110620c>] __mem_cgroup_try_charge_swapin+0x6c/0xac
> >
> > Hmm, mem_cgroup_handle_oom should be setting up the task for wait queue
> > so the above is a bit confusing.
> The mem_cgroup_iter looks like it is somethine stale on the stack.

mem_cgroup_iter could be part of mem_cgroup_{,un}mark_under_oom

> The __mem_cgroup_try_charge is immediately after the schedule in
> mem_cgroup_handle_oom.

I am confused now mem_cgroup_handle_oom doesn't call
__mem_cgroup_try_charge or have I just misunderstood what you are

> I have played with it a little bit and added
> 	if (!fatal_signal_pending(current))
> 		schedule();
> On the off chance that it was an ordering thing that was triggering
> this.  And that does not seem to be the problem in this instance.
> The missing test before the schedule still looks wrong.

Shouldn't schedule take care of the pending singnals on its own and keep
the task on the runqueue?

> > Anyway your group seems to be under OOM and the task is in the middle of
> > mem_cgroup_handle_oom which tries to kill something. That something is
> > probably not willing to die so this task will loop trying to charge the
> > memory until something releases a charge or the limit for the group is
> > increased.
> And it is configured so that the manager process needs to send SIGKILL
> instead of having the kernel pick a random process.

Ahh, OK, so you are having memcg OOM disabled and a manager sits on the
eventfd and sending SIGKILL to a task, right?

> > It would be interesting to see what other tasks are doing. We are aware
> > of certain deadlock situations where memcg OOM killer tries to kill a
> > task which is blocked on a lock (e.g. i_mutex) which is held by a task
> > which is trying to charge but failing due to oom.
> The only other weird thing that I see going on is the manager process
> tries to freeze the entire cgroup, kill the processes, and the unfreeze
> the cgroup and the freeze is failing.  But looking at /proc/<pid>/status
> there was a SIGKILL pending.
> Given how easy it was to wake up the process when I reproduced this
> I don't think there is anything particularly subtle going on.  But
> somehow we are going to sleep having SIGKILL delivered and not waking
> up.  The not waking up bugs me.

OK, I guess this answers the most of my questions above.

Isn't this a bug in freezer then? I am not familiar with the freezer
much but memcg oom handling seems correct to me. The task is sleeping
KILLABLE and fatal_signal_pending in mem_cgroup_handle_oom will tell us
to bypass the charge and let the taks go away.

Michal Hocko

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