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Subject[PATCH] staging: android: ion: Make ion_free asynchronous more actively.
From: Ming Ling <>

So far some ion heaps such as carveout_heap, chunk_heap,
system_heap have freed buffers asynchrounously. Freed buffers
are placed on a free list and freed from a low priority background
thread. If allocations from a particular heap fail, the free list
is drained.

But that mechanism does not work well to free those buffers when
cpu is very busy:
1.That low priority background thread has no chance to run.
2.And with helps of kinds of memory reclaim mechanisms,
allocations from a system_heap never fail, so the free list
can't be drained on that condition.
3.Ion_heap_shrink_scan can shrink the free list, but it is
too slow.

Too many freed buffers in heap's free list waiting to be freed will
lead to low memory killer over-killing innocent processes.

For example:
On my Android Mobile phone(arm32, 2G ram)
lowmemorykiller: Killing 'viders.calendar' (2271), adj 15,
to free 45060kB on behalf of 'kswapd0' (60) because
cache 17208kB is below limit 46080kB for oom_score_adj 0.
Free memory is 3424kB above reserved.

Memory footprint is as below:
MemTotal: 1972164 kB
Normal free:43624kB min:3228kB low:5308kB high:6116kB active_anon:
656kB inactive_anon:1308kB active_file:10600kB inactive_file:6628kB
HighMem free:13208kB min:512kB low:4720kB high:6352kB active_anon:
126188kB inactive_anon:74364kB active_file:325720kB inactive_file:
ion system heap:
total orphaned 9961472
total 58986496
deferred free 630575104

There are about 630575104=601MB memory on ion system heap's free
list waiting to be freed. And it kills more processes, until ion low
priority background thread gets a chance to run as below:
lowmemorykiller: Killing '' (1402), adj 11,
lowmemorykiller: Killing 'dsrt.srtmemtest' (2552), adj 9,
lowmemorykiller: Killing 'rd.engineermode' (2167), adj 8,
lowmemorykiller: Killing 'rd.fileexplorer' (2431), adj 7,
lowmemorykiller: Killing 'd.process.acore' (1499), adj 5,

Limit ion_heap_deferred_free thread as a low priority thread doesn't
make any sense. Remove that restriction makes ion_free asynchronous
more actively, and more background applications can survive.

Signed-off-by: Ming Ling <>
drivers/staging/android/ion/ion_heap.c | 3 ---
1 file changed, 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/drivers/staging/android/ion/ion_heap.c b/drivers/staging/android/ion/ion_heap.c
index 4e5c0f1..d68a80c 100644
--- a/drivers/staging/android/ion/ion_heap.c
+++ b/drivers/staging/android/ion/ion_heap.c
@@ -250,8 +250,6 @@ static int ion_heap_deferred_free(void *data)

int ion_heap_init_deferred_free(struct ion_heap *heap)
- struct sched_param param = { .sched_priority = 0 };
heap->task = kthread_run(ion_heap_deferred_free, heap,
@@ -261,7 +259,6 @@ int ion_heap_init_deferred_free(struct ion_heap *heap)
return PTR_ERR_OR_ZERO(heap->task);
- sched_setscheduler(heap->task, SCHED_IDLE, &param);
return 0;

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