Re: xfs: very slow after mount, very slow at umount

From: Dave Chinner
Date: Wed Jan 26 2011 - 22:30:22 EST

[Please cc xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx on XFS bug reports. Added.]

On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 08:22:25PM -0500, Mark Lord wrote:
> Alex / Christoph,
> My mythtv box here uses XFS on a 2TB drive for storing recordings and videos.
> It is behaving rather strangely though, and has gotten worse recently.
> Here is what I see happening:
> The drive mounts fine at boot, but the very first attempt to write a new file
> to the filesystem suffers from a very very long pause, 30-60 seconds, during which
> time the disk activity light is fully "on".

Please post the output of xfs_info <mtpt> so we can see what you
filesystem configuration is.

> This happens only on the first new file write after mounting.
> From then on, the filesystem is fast and responsive as expected.
> If I umount the filesystem, and then mount it again,
> the exact same behaviour can be observed.

I can't say I've seen this. Can you capture a blktrace of the IO so
we can see what IO is actually being done, and perhaps also record
an XFS event trace as well (i.e. of all the events in

> This of course screws up mythtv, as it causes me to lose the first 30-60
> seconds of the first recording it attempts after booting. So as a workaround
> I now have a startup script to create, sync, and delete a 64MB file before
> starting mythtv. This still takes 30-60 seconds, but it all happens and
> finishes before mythtv has a real-time need to write to the filesystem.
> The 2TB drive is fine -- zero errors, no events in the SMART logs,
> and I've disabled the silly WD head-unload logic on it.
> What's happening here? Why the big long burst of activity?
> I've only just noticed this behaviour in the past few weeks,
> running 2.6.35 and more recently 2.6.37.

Can you be a bit more precise? what were you running before 2.6.35
when you didn't notice this?

> * * *
> The other issue is something I notice at umount time.
> I have a second big drive used as a backup device for the drive discussed above.
> I use "mirrordir" (similar to rsync) to clone directories/files from the main
> drive to the backup drive. After mirrordir finishes, I then "umount /backup".
> The umount promptly hangs, disk light on solid, for 30-60 seconds, then finishes.

Same again - blktrace and event traces for the different cases.

Also, how many files are you syncing? how much data, number of
inodes, etc...

> If I type "sync" just before doing the umount, sync takes about 1 second,
> and the umount finishes instantly.
> Huh? What's happening there?

Sounds like something is broken w.r.t. writeback during unmount.
Perhaps also adding the writeback events to the trace would help
understand what is happening here....


Dave Chinner
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