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SubjectRe: [PATCH 4/6] mm/page_alloc: Remove unnecessary page == NULL check in rmqueue
On Thu, May 19, 2022 at 12:57:01PM +0200, Vlastimil Babka wrote:
> On 5/12/22 10:50, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > The VM_BUG_ON check for a valid page can be avoided with a simple
> > change in the flow. The ZONE_BOOSTED_WATERMARK is unlikely in general
> > and even more unlikely if the page allocation failed so mark the
> > branch unlikely.
> Hm, so that makes a DEBUG_VM config avoid the check. On the other hand,
> it puts it on the path returning from rmqueue_pcplist() for all configs,
> and that should be the fast path. So unless things further change in the
> following patches, it doesn't seem that useful?

You're right -- the fast path ends up with both a if
(page) and if (!page) checks. Andrew, can you drop the patch
mm-page_alloc-remove-unnecessary-page-==-null-check-in-rmqueue.patch from
your tree please?

Originally the flow was important when I was writing the patch and later
became unnecessary. However, it reminded me of another problem I thought
of when writing this and then forgotten to note it in the changelog. If
the page allocation fails then ZONE_BOOSTED_WATERMARK should still be
tested and cleared before waking kswapd. It could happen if an allocation
attempt tried to fallback to another migratetype and still fail to find
a suitable page. This is true whether going through the PCP lists or not.

So what do you think of me adding this patch to a follow-up series?

mm/page_alloc: Remove mistaken page == NULL check in rmqueue

If a page allocation fails, the ZONE_BOOSTER_WATERMARK should be tested,
cleared and kswapd woken whether the allocation attempt was via the PCP
or directly via the buddy list.

Remove the page == NULL so the ZONE_BOOSTED_WATERMARK bit is checked
unconditionally. As it is unlikely that ZONE_BOOSTED_WATERMARK is set,
mark the branch accordingly.

Signed-off-by: Mel Gorman <>
mm/page_alloc.c | 4 +---
1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/mm/page_alloc.c b/mm/page_alloc.c
index 1c4c54503a5d..61d5bc2efffe 100644
--- a/mm/page_alloc.c
+++ b/mm/page_alloc.c
@@ -3765,12 +3765,10 @@ struct page *rmqueue(struct zone *preferred_zone,

page = rmqueue_buddy(preferred_zone, zone, order, alloc_flags,
- if (unlikely(!page))
- return NULL;

/* Separate test+clear to avoid unnecessary atomics */
- if (test_bit(ZONE_BOOSTED_WATERMARK, &zone->flags)) {
+ if (unlikely(test_bit(ZONE_BOOSTED_WATERMARK, &zone->flags))) {
clear_bit(ZONE_BOOSTED_WATERMARK, &zone->flags);
wakeup_kswapd(zone, 0, 0, zone_idx(zone));
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