[PATCH 1/2] mm: fadvise: Document the fadvise(FADV_DONTNEED) behaviour for partial pages

From: Mel Gorman
Date: Tue Dec 02 2014 - 19:43:25 EST

A random seek IO benchmark appeared to regress because of a change to
readahead but the real problem was the benchmark. To ensure the IO request
accesssed disk, it used fadvise(FADV_DONTNEED) on a block boundary (512K)
but the hint is ignored by the kernel. This is correct but not necessarily
obvious behaviour. As much as I dislike comment patches, the explanation
for this behaviour predates current git history. Clarify why it behaves
like this in case someone "fixes" fadvise or readahead for the wrong reasons.

Signed-off-by: Mel Gorman <mgorman@xxxxxxx>
mm/fadvise.c | 6 +++++-
1 file changed, 5 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/mm/fadvise.c b/mm/fadvise.c
index 3bcfd81d..c908c72 100644
--- a/mm/fadvise.c
+++ b/mm/fadvise.c
@@ -117,7 +117,11 @@ SYSCALL_DEFINE4(fadvise64_64, int, fd, loff_t, offset, loff_t, len, int, advice)
__filemap_fdatawrite_range(mapping, offset, endbyte,

- /* First and last FULL page! */
+ /*
+ * First and last FULL page! Partial pages are deliberately
+ * preserved on the expectation that it is better to preserve
+ * needed memory than to discard unneeded memory.
+ */
start_index = (offset+(PAGE_CACHE_SIZE-1)) >> PAGE_CACHE_SHIFT;
end_index = (endbyte >> PAGE_CACHE_SHIFT);


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