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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/3] mm: introduce NR_INDIRECTLY_RECLAIMABLE_BYTES
On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 8:27 PM, Roman Gushchin <guro@fb.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 08:52:52AM +0200, Vlastimil Babka wrote:
>> On 04/11/2018 03:56 PM, Roman Gushchin wrote:
>> > 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.
>>
>> Oh, didn't know. Bad example to follow :P
>>
>> >> 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".
>>
>> Yeah the problem is that once tools start rely on them, they fall under
>> the "do not break userspace" rule, however we call them. So being
>> cautious and conservative can't hurt.
>>
>> > It's definitely not a reason to make them messy.
>> > Does "nr_indirectly_reclaimable_bytes" look better to you?
>>
>> It still has has the "indirecly" part and feels arbitrary :/
>>
>> >>
>> >> 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.
>>
>> Maybe we can find more cases that would benefit from it. Heck, even slab
>> itself allocates some management structures from the generic kmalloc
>> caches, and if they are used for reclaimable caches, they could be
>> tracked as reclaimable as well.
>
> This is a good catch!
>
>>
>> >>
>> >> 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 would be just making the reported values more precise wrt reality.
>
> It depends on if we believe that only slab memory can be reclaimable
> or not. If yes, this is true, otherwise not.
>
> My guess is that some drivers (e.g. networking) might have buffers,
> which are reclaimable under mempressure, and are allocated using
> the page allocator. But I have to look closer...
>

One such case I have encountered is that of the ION page pool. The page pool
registers a shrinker. When not in any memory pressure page pool can go high
and thus cause an mmap to fail when OVERCOMMIT_GUESS is set. I can send
a patch to account ION page pool pages in NR_INDIRECTLY_RECLAIMABLE_BYTES.

Thanks,
Vinayak

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