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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/3] mm: introduce NR_INDIRECTLY_RECLAIMABLE_BYTES
On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 03:16:08PM +0200, Vlastimil Babka wrote:
> [+CC linux-api]
>
> On 03/05/2018 02:37 PM, Roman Gushchin wrote:
> > This patch introduces a concept of indirectly reclaimable memory
> > and adds the corresponding memory counter and /proc/vmstat item.
> >
> > Indirectly reclaimable memory is any sort of memory, used by
> > the kernel (except of reclaimable slabs), which is actually
> > reclaimable, i.e. will be released under memory pressure.
> >
> > The counter is in bytes, as it's not always possible to
> > count such objects in pages. The name contains BYTES
> > by analogy to NR_KERNEL_STACK_KB.
> >
> > Signed-off-by: Roman Gushchin <guro@fb.com>
> > Cc: Andrew Morton <akpm@linux-foundation.org>
> > Cc: Alexander Viro <viro@zeniv.linux.org.uk>
> > Cc: Michal Hocko <mhocko@suse.com>
> > Cc: Johannes Weiner <hannes@cmpxchg.org>
> > Cc: linux-fsdevel@vger.kernel.org
> > Cc: linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org
> > Cc: linux-mm@kvack.org
> > Cc: kernel-team@fb.com
>
> Hmm, looks like I'm late and this user-visible API change was just
> merged. But it's for rc1, so we can still change it, hopefully?
>
> One problem I see with the counter is that it's in bytes, but among
> counters that use pages, and the name doesn't indicate it.

Here I just followed "nr_kernel_stack" path, which is measured in kB,
but this is not mentioned in the field name.

> Then, I don't
> see why users should care about the "indirectly" part, as that's just an
> implementation detail. It is reclaimable and that's what matters, right?
> (I also wanted to complain about lack of Documentation/... update, but
> looks like there's no general file about vmstat, ugh)

I agree, that it's a bit weird, and it's probably better to not expose
it at all; but this is how all vm counters work. We do expose them all
in /proc/vmstat. A good number of them is useless until you are not a
mm developer, so it's arguable more "debug info" rather than "api".
It's definitely not a reason to make them messy.
Does "nr_indirectly_reclaimable_bytes" look better to you?

>
> I also kind of liked the idea from v1 rfc posting that there would be a
> separate set of reclaimable kmalloc-X caches for these kind of
> allocations. Besides accounting, it should also help reduce memory
> fragmentation. The right variant of cache would be detected via
> __GFP_RECLAIMABLE.

Well, the downside is that we have to introduce X new caches
just for this particular problem. I'm not strictly against the idea,
but not convinced that it's much better.

>
> With that in mind, can we at least for now put the (manually maintained)
> byte counter in a variable that's not directly exposed via /proc/vmstat,
> and then when printing nr_slab_reclaimable, simply add the value
> (divided by PAGE_SIZE), and when printing nr_slab_unreclaimable,
> subtract the same value. This way we would be simply making the existing
> counters more precise, in line with their semantics.

Idk, I don't like the idea of adding a counter outside of the vm counters
infrastructure, and I definitely wouldn't touch the exposed
nr_slab_reclaimable and nr_slab_unreclaimable fields.
We do have some stats in /proc/slabinfo, /proc/meminfo and /sys/kernel/slab
and I think that we should keep it consistent.

Thanks!

>
> Thoughts?
> Vlastimil
>
> > ---
> > include/linux/mmzone.h | 1 +
> > mm/vmstat.c | 1 +
> > 2 files changed, 2 insertions(+)
> >
> > diff --git a/include/linux/mmzone.h b/include/linux/mmzone.h
> > index e09fe563d5dc..15e783f29e21 100644
> > --- a/include/linux/mmzone.h
> > +++ b/include/linux/mmzone.h
> > @@ -180,6 +180,7 @@ enum node_stat_item {
> > NR_VMSCAN_IMMEDIATE, /* Prioritise for reclaim when writeback ends */
> > NR_DIRTIED, /* page dirtyings since bootup */
> > NR_WRITTEN, /* page writings since bootup */
> > + NR_INDIRECTLY_RECLAIMABLE_BYTES, /* measured in bytes */
> > NR_VM_NODE_STAT_ITEMS
> > };
> >
> > diff --git a/mm/vmstat.c b/mm/vmstat.c
> > index 40b2db6db6b1..b6b5684f31fe 100644
> > --- a/mm/vmstat.c
> > +++ b/mm/vmstat.c
> > @@ -1161,6 +1161,7 @@ const char * const vmstat_text[] = {
> > "nr_vmscan_immediate_reclaim",
> > "nr_dirtied",
> > "nr_written",
> > + "nr_indirectly_reclaimable",
> >
> > /* enum writeback_stat_item counters */
> > "nr_dirty_threshold",
> >
>

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