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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH] mm, oom: disable dump_tasks by default
On Tue 03-09-19 11:32:58, Qian Cai wrote:
> On Tue, 2019-09-03 at 17:13 +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
> > On Tue 03-09-19 11:02:46, Qian Cai wrote:
> > > On Tue, 2019-09-03 at 16:45 +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
> > > > From: Michal Hocko <mhocko@suse.com>
> > > >
> > > > dump_tasks has been introduced by quite some time ago fef1bdd68c81
> > > > ("oom: add sysctl to enable task memory dump"). It's primary purpose is
> > > > to help analyse oom victim selection decision. This has been certainly
> > > > useful at times when the heuristic to chose a victim was much more
> > > > volatile. Since a63d83f427fb ("oom: badness heuristic rewrite")
> > > > situation became much more stable (mostly because the only selection
> > > > criterion is the memory usage) and reports about a wrong process to
> > > > be shot down have become effectively non-existent.
> > >
> > > Well, I still see OOM sometimes kills wrong processes like ssh, systemd
> > > processes while LTP OOM tests with staight-forward allocation patterns.
> >
> > Please report those. Most cases I have seen so far just turned out to
> > work as expected and memory hogs just used oom_score_adj or similar.
> >
> > > I just
> > > have not had a chance to debug them fully. The situation could be worse with
> > > more complex allocations like random stress or fuzzy testing.
> >
> > Nothing really prevents enabling the sysctl when doing OOM oriented
> > testing.
> >
> > > > dump_tasks can generate a lot of output to the kernel log. It is not
> > > > uncommon that even relative small system has hundreds of tasks running.
> > > > Generating a lot of output to the kernel log both makes the oom report
> > > > less convenient to process and also induces a higher load on the printk
> > > > subsystem which can lead to other problems (e.g. longer stalls to flush
> > > > all the data to consoles).
> > >
> > > It is only generate output for the victim process where I tested on those
> > > large
> > > NUMA machines and the output is fairly manageable.
> >
> > The main question here is whether that information is useful by
> > _default_ because it is certainly not free. It takes both time to crawl
> > all processes and cpu cycles to get that information to the console
> > because printk is not free either. So if it more of "nice to have" than
> > necessary for oom analysis then it should be disabled by default IMHO.
>
> It also feels like more a band-aid micro-optimization with the side-effect that
> affecting debuggability, as there could be loads of console output anyway during
> a kernel OOM event including failed allocation warnings. I suppose if you want
> to change the default behavior, the bar is high with more data and
> justification.

Any specific idea what that justification should be?

Because this is not something that you could measure very easily. It is
very subjective and far from black and white. And I am fully aware of
that. Hence RFC. That is why we should apply some common sense
and cost/benefit evaluation.

The cost of an additional output should be quite clear. Now we can
argue about the benefit. I argue that for an absolute majority of oom
report I have seen throughout past many years the task list was the
least useful information of the report. Sure I could go there and double
check that the victim was selected as designed. In minority cases I
could use that the task list to confirm that expected-to-be-victim had
OOM_SCORE_ADJ_MIN for some reason and that was why something esle has
been selected. Those configuration issues tend to be reproducible and
are easier to debug with sysctl enabled.

All that being said, arguments tend to weigh more towards IMO.
--
Michal Hocko
SUSE Labs

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