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* Re: Very high IOWait during all disk activity
@ 2008-02-29 15:18 Tomasz Chmielewski
  2008-02-29 15:47 ` Gordon Mckeown
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 6+ messages in thread
From: Tomasz Chmielewski @ 2008-02-29 15:18 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: LKML; +Cc: ml_lkml

> I recently noticed on a number of my Linux boxes that during disk
> activity, CPU usage was consistently hitting 100%. A little digging
> showed that the CPU was spending up to around 65% of its time in an
> IOWait state. Checked this with kernels 2.6.22 and 2.6.25-rc3, and
> also across SATA and PATA drives on three different machines, all with
> the same results. I also checked back with an old Ubuntu 6.06 Live CD
> and that also exhibits the problem.
> 
> Having done some digging on the net, I can't get a definitive answer
> as to whether this is considered "normal". Some people suggest that
> IOWait is informational and doesn't indicate a problem, but based on
> my admittedly limited understanding of such things, the CPU shouldn't
> need to spend much time on disk I/O these days due to the use of DMA.
> 
> Is it expected behaviour for the CPU to spend such a large amount of
> time in the IOWait state during disk I/O?

Unless you can write to the disk faster than fetch data from /dev/zero - 
yes, it is normal.

BTW, it doesn't mean that your CPU's cycles are wasted. You will see big 
"wa" numbers when there are no other tasks to schedule at the same time.

Try running:

   cat /dev/zero | bzip2 -c >/dev/null

when your IOwait is big (because you write a big file), and then watch 
the numbers.


-- 
Tomasz Chmielewski
http://wpkg.org


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 6+ messages in thread
* Very high IOWait during all disk activity
@ 2008-02-29 14:16 Gordon Mckeown
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 6+ messages in thread
From: Gordon Mckeown @ 2008-02-29 14:16 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: linux-kernel

(Please cc me on replies)

I recently noticed on a number of my Linux boxes that during disk
activity, CPU usage was consistently hitting 100%. A little digging
showed that the CPU was spending up to around 65% of its time in an
IOWait state. Checked this with kernels 2.6.22 and 2.6.25-rc3, and
also across SATA and PATA drives on three different machines, all with
the same results. I also checked back with an old Ubuntu 6.06 Live CD
and that also exhibits the problem.

Having done some digging on the net, I can't get a definitive answer
as to whether this is considered "normal". Some people suggest that
IOWait is informational and doesn't indicate a problem, but based on
my admittedly limited understanding of such things, the CPU shouldn't
need to spend much time on disk I/O these days due to the use of DMA.

Is it expected behaviour for the CPU to spend such a large amount of
time in the IOWait state during disk I/O?

(For anyone who wants to see a more detailed analysis, I have an open
bug on Ubuntu's Launchpad: https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/192353).

Cheers,

Gordon.

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 6+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2008-03-01 19:42 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 6+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2008-02-29 15:18 Very high IOWait during all disk activity Tomasz Chmielewski
2008-02-29 15:47 ` Gordon Mckeown
2008-02-29 16:00   ` Tomasz Chmielewski
2008-03-01 13:31     ` Gordon Mckeown
2008-03-01 19:41       ` Gordon Mckeown
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2008-02-29 14:16 Gordon Mckeown

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