Re: [PATCH mmotm] mm/swap: fix livelock in __read_swap_cache_async()

From: Hugh Dickins
Date: Wed May 27 2020 - 17:44:42 EST

On Tue, 26 May 2020, Johannes Weiner wrote:
> On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 10:56:20PM -0700, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> > I've only seen this livelock on one machine (repeatably, but not to
> > order), and not fully analyzed it - two processes seen looping around
> > getting -EEXIST from swapcache_prepare(), I guess a third (at lower
> > priority? but wanting the same cpu as one of the loopers? preemption
> > or cond_resched() not enough to let it back in?) set SWAP_HAS_CACHE,
> > then went off into direct reclaim, scheduled away, and somehow could
> > not get back to add the page to swap cache and let them all complete.
> >
> > Restore the page allocation in __read_swap_cache_async() to before
> > the swapcache_prepare() call: "mm: memcontrol: charge swapin pages
> > on instantiation" moved it outside the loop, which indeed looks much
> > nicer, but exposed this weakness. We used to allocate new_page once
> > and then keep it across all iterations of the loop: but I think that
> > just optimizes for a rare case, and complicates the flow, so go with
> > the new simpler structure, with allocate+free each time around (which
> > is more considerate use of the memory too).
> >
> > Fix the comment on the looping case, which has long been inaccurate:
> > it's not a racing get_swap_page() that's the problem here.
> >
> > Fix the add_to_swap_cache() and mem_cgroup_charge() error recovery:
> > not swap_free(), but put_swap_page() to undo SWAP_HAS_CACHE, as was
> > done before; but delete_from_swap_cache() already includes it.
> >
> > And one more nit: I don't think it makes any difference in practice,
> > but remove the "& GFP_KERNEL" mask from the mem_cgroup_charge() call:
> > add_to_swap_cache() needs that, to convert gfp_mask from user and page
> > cache allocation (e.g. highmem) to radix node allocation (lowmem), but
> > we don't need or usually apply that mask when charging mem_cgroup.
> >
> > Signed-off-by: Hugh Dickins <hughd@xxxxxxxxxx>
> > ---
> Acked-by: Johannes Weiner <hannes@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> > Mostly fixing mm-memcontrol-charge-swapin-pages-on-instantiation.patch
> > but now I see that mm-memcontrol-delete-unused-lrucare-handling.patch
> > made a further change here (took an arg off the mem_cgroup_charge call):
> > as is, this patch is diffed to go on top of both of them, and better
> > that I get it out now for Johannes look at; but could be rediffed for
> > folding into blah-instantiation.patch later.
> IMO it's worth having as a separate change. Joonsoo was concerned
> about the ordering but I didn't see it. Having this sequence of
> changes on record would be good for later reference.

Yes, there would be some value in that: whichever way Andrew prefers.

Now that the Acks are safely in (thanks guys), I will concede that
that SWAP_HAS_CACHE occasional busywait loop is not ideal - but with
this patch, no worse than it was before.

Later on I hope to come back and do something better there: it's not
immediately clear why swapcache_prepare() is important, and it would
be nicer if add_to_swap_cache() were the thing to fail with -EEXIST
(because then there's a page in the cache that others can lock to
wait on if required); but there's memories I need to dredge up
before going that way, and it may turn out to be a delusion.