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From: Mel Gorman <>
To: Andrea Arcangeli <>
Cc: Jind??ich Makovi??ka <>,,
	Andrew Morton <>
Subject: Re: khugepaged: gets stuck when writing to USB flash, 2.6.38-rc2
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2011 13:24:08 +0000	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20110201154947.GX16981@random.random>

On Tue, Feb 01, 2011 at 04:49:47PM +0100, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 08:28:00PM +0100, Jind??ich Makovi??ka wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > I am encountering problems when continuously writing larger amounts of
> > data to a USB flash drive. My configuration is
> > 
> > x86-64 kernel
> > USB stick with 10MB/s write, 30MB/s read speed,
> > HDD with ~60-80MB/s read/write
> > 8 GiB RAM
> > 
> > When copying 4GB or more in one go from HDD to Flash, during the
> > copying, fork() and probably other syscalls involving VM start
> > blocking (I first observed the problem in Chrome, which refused to
> > display content in new tabs). When one lets the copying finish, the
> > system returns to a usable state.
> > 
> > During the limbo, khugepaged is in D state (uninterruptible sleep).
> That means no hugepage could be allocated. Maybe memory compaction is
> doing an overwork because all pagecache is dirty and can't be
> migrated. This should solve it if it's memory compaction:

This is very likely. Compaction calls into migration which will wait on
dirty pages after a time. With a large number of dirty pages backed by a
slow drive such as a USB stick, it could be getting stalled there for a
long period of time. 

Whether migration sleeps or not can be controlled by the sync parameter
passed into try_to_compact_memory which could be always forced to false

> echo never >/sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/defrag
> kswapd state would be interesting too. Can you sysrq+t?
> Probably we should decrease the aggressiveness of memory compaction in
> direct reclaim. I've another report that memory compaction for order <
> 3 allocations is increasing latency, it's not like your problem but it
> may be related. The congestion_wait in compaction.c also makes me
> uncomfortable, it should bail out and fail I think. Maybe we should
> add a bitflag to differentiate the callers that can gracefully handle
> failure (like THP or most skb jumbo frame allocations) and those like
> the kernel stack that will return -ENOMEM if allocation fails.

Mel Gorman

  parent reply	other threads:[~2011-02-03 13:24 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 9+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2011-01-31 19:28 Jindřich Makovička
2011-02-01 15:49 ` Andrea Arcangeli
2011-02-01 21:24   ` Jindřich Makovička
2011-02-02  0:26     ` Andrea Arcangeli
2011-02-03 13:24   ` Mel Gorman [this message]
2011-02-03 19:06     ` Andrea Arcangeli
2011-02-03 21:16       ` Jindřich Makovička
2011-02-04 15:48         ` Andrea Arcangeli
2011-02-13 10:47           ` Jindřich Makovička

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