Re: page fault scalability patch V11 [0/7]: overview

From: William Lee Irwin III <>
Date: 2004-11-20 17:23:41
William Lee Irwin III wrote:
>> There isn't anything left to explain. So if there's a question, be
>> specific about it.

On Sat, Nov 20, 2004 at 04:50:25PM +1100, Nick Piggin wrote:
> Why am I very very wrong? Why won't touch_nmi_watchdog work from
> the read loop?
> And let's just be nice and try not to jump at the chance to point
> out when people are very very wrong, and keep count of the times
> they have been very very wrong. I'm trying to be constructive.

touch_nmi_watchdog() is only "protection" against local interrupt
disablement triggering the NMI oopser because alert_counter[]
increments are not atomic. Yet even supposing they were made so, the
net effect of "covering up" this gross deficiency is making the
user-observable problems it causes undiagnosable, as noted before.

William Lee Irwin III wrote:
>> This entire line of argument is bogus. A preexisting bug of a similar
>> nature is not grounds for deliberately introducing any bug.

On Sat, Nov 20, 2004 at 04:50:25PM +1100, Nick Piggin wrote:
> Sure, if that is a bug and someone is just about to fix it then
> yes you're right, we shouldn't introduce this. I didn't realise
> it was a bug. Sounds like it would be causing you lots of problems
> though - have you looked at how to fix it?

Kevin Marin was the first to report this issue to lkml. I had seen
instances of it in internal corporate bugreports and it was one of
the motivators for the work I did on pidhashing (one of the causes
of the timeouts was worst cases in pid allocation). Manfred Spraul
and myself wrote patches attempting to reduce read-side hold time
in /proc/ algorithms, Ingo Molnar wrote patches to hierarchically
subdivide the /proc/ iterations, and Dipankar Sarma and Maneesh
Soni wrote patches to carry out the long iterations in /proc/ locklessly.

The last several of these affecting /proc/ have not gained acceptance,
though the work has not been halted in any sense, as this problem
recurs quite regularly. A considerable amount of sustained effort has
gone toward mitigating and resolving rwlock starvation.

Aggravating the rwlock starvation destabilizes, not pessimizes,
and performance is secondary to stability.

-- wli
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Received on Sat Nov 20 01:26:45 2004

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