Re: VM brokenness, possibly related to reiserfs

From: Rik van Riel (
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 11:16:43 EST

On Wed, 31 Jan 2001, David Ford wrote:

> The dumps are large so they are located at

I can't seem to resolve this domain ...

> Here's the story. I boot and startx, I load xmms and netscape
> to eat away memory. When free buffers/cache falls below 7M the
> system stalls and the only recovery is sysrq-E or reboot. At
> the moment of stall the disk will grind continuously for about
> 25 to 30 minutes then go silent. At this point in time the only
> recovery is reboot, sysrq-E won't work.

> Kernel 2.4.1, with reiserfs, devfs, no patches applied.

Between 2.4.0 and 2.4.1, a few VM changes were made by
Linus and Marcelo. These are good changes, but they seem
to need a little bit of tuning in related code to get
system behaviour right again.

I'm working on these changes and should have a (few)
rebalancing patches out soon to fix the performance

About the system hanging completely, I wonder if it goes
away by pressing sysrq-S (sync all disks). If it does,
maybe Reiserfs was blocking all the pages in the inactive
list from being written because one of the active pages
(not a replacement candidate) needed to be written out
first? Or does the Reiserfs ->writepage() function handle



Virtual memory is like a game you can't win;
However, without VM there's truly nothing to lose...

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