Historically, kswapd used to congestion_wait() at higher priorities if it
was not making forward progress. This made no sense as the failure to make
progress could be completely independent of IO. It was later replaced by
wait_iff_congested() and removed entirely by commit 258401a6 (mm: don't
wait on congested zones in balance_pgdat()) as it was duplicating logic
This is problematic. If kswapd encounters many pages under writeback and
it continues to scan until it reaches the high watermark then it will
quickly skip over the pages under writeback and reclaim clean young
pages or push applications out to swap.
The use of wait_iff_congested() is not suited to kswapd as it will only
stall if the underlying BDI is really congested or a direct reclaimer was
unable to write to the underlying BDI. kswapd bypasses the BDI congestion
as it sets PF_SWAPWRITE but even if this was taken into account then it
would cause direct reclaimers to stall on writeback which is not desirable.
This patch sets a ZONE_WRITEBACK flag if direct reclaim or kswapd is
encountering too many pages under writeback. If this flag is set and
kswapd encounters a PageReclaim page under writeback then it'll assume
that the LRU lists are being recycled too quickly before IO can complete
and block waiting for some IO to complete.
Signed-off-by: Mel Gorman <mgorman@xxxxxxx>
Reviewed-by: Michal Hocko <mhocko@xxxxxxx>