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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH] mm, oom: disable dump_tasks by default
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 <>
> > >
> > > 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

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