Re: [RFC 2/4] mm, thp: khugepaged checks for THP allocability before scanning

From: Vlastimil Babka
Date: Tue Jun 23 2015 - 11:42:04 EST

On 06/18/2015 03:00 AM, David Rientjes wrote:
On Mon, 11 May 2015, Vlastimil Babka wrote:

Khugepaged could be scanning for collapse candidates uselessly, if it cannot
allocate a hugepage in the end. The hugepage preallocation mechanism prevented
this, but only for !NUMA configurations. It was removed by the previous patch,
and this patch replaces it with a more generic mechanism.

The patch itroduces a thp_avail_nodes nodemask, which initially assumes that
hugepage can be allocated on any node. Whenever khugepaged fails to allocate
a hugepage, it clears the corresponding node bit. Before scanning for collapse
candidates, it tries to allocate a hugepage on each online node with the bit
cleared, and set it back on success. It tries to hold on to the hugepage if
it doesn't hold any other yet. But the assumption is that even if the hugepage
is freed back, it should be possible to allocate it in near future without
further reclaim and compaction attempts.

During the scaning, khugepaged avoids collapsing on nodes with the bit cleared,
as soon as possible. If no nodes have hugepages available, scanning is skipped

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by avoiding to do something as soon as

That's referring to the check when node_load is half the pmd size, which you want me to remove :)

During testing, the patch did not show much difference in preventing
thp_collapse_failed events from khugepaged, but this can be attributed to the
sync compaction, which only khugepaged is allowed to use, and which is
heavyweight enough to succeed frequently enough nowadays. The next patch will
however extend the nodemask check to page fault context, where it has much
larger impact. Also, with the future plan to convert THP collapsing to
task_work context, this patch is a preparation to avoid useless scanning or
heavyweight THP allocations in that context.

Signed-off-by: Vlastimil Babka <vbabka@xxxxxxx>
mm/huge_memory.c | 71 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-------
1 file changed, 63 insertions(+), 8 deletions(-)

diff --git a/mm/huge_memory.c b/mm/huge_memory.c
index 565864b..b86a72a 100644
--- a/mm/huge_memory.c
+++ b/mm/huge_memory.c
@@ -102,7 +102,7 @@ struct khugepaged_scan {
static struct khugepaged_scan khugepaged_scan = {
.mm_head = LIST_HEAD_INIT(khugepaged_scan.mm_head),
+static nodemask_t thp_avail_nodes = NODE_MASK_ALL;

Seems like it should have khugepaged in its name so it's understood that
the nodemask doesn't need to be synchronized, even though it will later be
read outside of khugepaged, or at least a comment to say only khugepaged
can store to it.

After patch 3, bits can be cleared from the mask also outside of khugepaged, i.e. when THP allocations fail on page fault.
But, node_set() and node_clear() use the atomic bitmap functions set_bit() and clear_bit(), so it is in fact synchronized.

static int set_recommended_min_free_kbytes(void)
@@ -2273,6 +2273,14 @@ static bool khugepaged_scan_abort(int nid)
int i;

+ * If it's clear that we are going to select a node where THP
+ * allocation is unlikely to succeed, abort
+ */
+ if (khugepaged_node_load[nid] == (HPAGE_PMD_NR / 2) &&
+ !node_isset(nid, thp_avail_nodes))
+ return true;
+ /*
* If zone_reclaim_mode is disabled, then no extra effort is made to
* allocate memory locally.

If khugepaged_node_load for a node doesn't reach HPAGE_PMD_NR / 2, then
this doesn't cause an abort.

Yes such situation is also covered.

I don't think it's necessary to try to
optimize and abort the scan early when this is met, I think this should
only be checked before collapse_huge_page().

Avoiding potentially 256 iterations of a loop sounds good to me, no?
The check shouldn't be expensive thanks to short-circuiting the other part.:)

@@ -2356,6 +2364,7 @@ static struct page
if (unlikely(!*hpage)) {
*hpage = ERR_PTR(-ENOMEM);
+ node_clear(node, thp_avail_nodes);
return NULL;

@@ -2363,6 +2372,42 @@ static struct page
return *hpage;

+/* Return true, if THP should be allocatable on at least one node */
+static bool khugepaged_check_nodes(struct page **hpage)
+ bool ret = false;
+ int nid;
+ struct page *newpage = NULL;
+ gfp_t gfp = alloc_hugepage_gfpmask(khugepaged_defrag());
+ for_each_online_node(nid) {
+ if (node_isset(nid, thp_avail_nodes)) {
+ ret = true;
+ continue;
+ }
+ newpage = alloc_hugepage_node(gfp, nid);
+ if (newpage) {
+ node_set(nid, thp_avail_nodes);
+ ret = true;
+ /*
+ * Heuristic - try to hold on to the page for collapse
+ * scanning, if we don't hold any yet.
+ */
+ if (IS_ERR_OR_NULL(*hpage)) {
+ *hpage = newpage;
+ //NIXME: should we count all/no allocations?
+ count_vm_event(THP_COLLAPSE_ALLOC);

Seems like we'd only count the event when the node load has selected a
target node and the hugepage that is allocated here is used, but if this

Yeah even the node preallocation was misleading in this regard (see commit log of patch 1).

approach is adopted then I think you'll need to introduce a new event to
track when a hugepage is allocated and subsequently dropped.

Alternatively add event for successful collapses (and keep the current one for allocations). It is exported now under /sys but having that in vmstat would be more consistent.
Then the count of pages subsequently dropped is simply the difference between collapse allocations and collapses (with some rather negligible amount possibly being held waiting as you suggest below).
I think this approach would be better as we wouldn't change semantic of existing THP_COLLAPSE_ALLOC event?

+ } else {
+ put_page(newpage);
+ }

Eek, rather than do put_page() why not store a preallocated hugepage for
every node and let khugepaged_alloc_page() use it? It would be
unfortunate that page_to_nid(*hpage) may not equal the target node after

I considered that but were afraid that if those pages' nodes ended up not selected, the stored pages would just occupy memory. But maybe I could introduce a shrinker for freeing those?

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