Re: shrink_active_list/try_to_release_page bug? (was Re: xfs trace in 4.4.2 / also in 4.3.3 WARNING fs/xfs/xfs_aops.c:1232 xfs_vm_releasepage)

From: Stefan Priebe - Profihost AG
Date: Tue May 31 2016 - 02:11:50 EST

Hi Dave,

Am 31.05.2016 um 08:07 schrieb Dave Chinner:
> On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 12:59:04PM +0900, Minchan Kim wrote:
>> On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 12:55:09PM +1000, Dave Chinner wrote:
>>> On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 10:07:24AM +0900, Minchan Kim wrote:
>>>> On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 08:36:57AM +1000, Dave Chinner wrote:
>>>>> But this is a dirty page, which means it may have delalloc or
>>>>> unwritten state on it's buffers, both of which indicate that there
>>>>> is dirty data in teh page that hasn't been written. XFS issues a
>>>>> warning on this because neither shrink_active_list nor
>>>>> try_to_release_page() check for whether the page is dirty or not.
>>>>> Hence it seems to me that shrink_active_list() is calling
>>>>> try_to_release_page() inappropriately, and XFS is just the
>>>>> messenger. If you turn laptop mode on, it is likely the problem will
>>>>> go away as kswapd will run with .may_writepage = false, but that
>>>>> will also cause other behavioural changes relating to writeback and
>>>>> memory reclaim. It might be worth trying as a workaround for now.
>>>>> MM-folk - is this analysis correct? If so, why is
>>>>> shrink_active_list() calling try_to_release_page() on dirty pages?
>>>>> Is this just an oversight or is there some problem that this is
>>>>> trying to work around? It seems trivial to fix to me (add a
>>>>> !PageDirty check), but I don't know why the check is there in the
>>>>> first place...
>>>> It seems to be latter.
>>>> Below commit seems to be related.
>>>> [ecdfc9787fe527, Resurrect 'try_to_free_buffers()' VM hackery.]
>>> Okay, that's been there a long, long time (2007), and it covers a
>>> case where the filesystem cleans pages without the VM knowing about
>>> it (i.e. it marks bufferheads clean without clearing the PageDirty
>>> state).
>>> That does not explain the code in shrink_active_list().
>> Yeb, My point was the patch removed the PageDirty check in
>> try_to_free_buffers.
> *nod*
> [...]
>> And I found a culprit.
>> e182d61263b7d5, [PATCH] buffer_head takedown for bighighmem machines
> Heh. You have the combined historic tree sitting around for code
> archeology, just like I do :)
>> It introduced pagevec_strip wich calls try_to_release_page without
>> PageDirty check in refill_inactive_zone which is shrink_active_list
>> now.
> <sigh>
> It was merged 2 days before XFS was merged. Merging XFS made the
> code Andrew wrote incorrect:
>> Quote from
>> "
>> In refill_inactive(): if the number of buffer_heads is excessive then
>> strip buffers from pages as they move onto the inactive list. This
>> change is useful for all filesystems. [....]
> Except for those that carry state necessary for writeback to be done
> correctly on the dirty page bufferheads. At the time, nobody doing
> work the mm/writeback code cared about delayed allocation. So we've
> carried this behaviour for 14 years without realising that it's
> probably the source of all the unexplainable warnings we've got from
> XFS over all that time.
> I'm half tempted at this point to mostly ignore this mm/ behavour
> because we are moving down the path of removing buffer heads from
> XFS. That will require us to do different things in ->releasepage
> and so just skipping dirty pages in the XFS code is the best thing
> to do....

does this change anything i should test? Or is 4.6 still the way to go?