Re: Linux v2.4.19-rc5

From: Steven Cole (
Date: Tue Aug 06 2002 - 09:07:17 EST

On Mon, 2002-08-05 at 22:30, Andrew Morton wrote:
> IO in 2.5 is much more CPU efficient that in 2.4, and straight-line
> bandwidth is better as well.
> The scheduling of that IO has a few problems, so in wildly seeky loads
> like dbench the kernel still falls over its own feet a bit. The
> two main culprits here are the lock_buffer() in block_write_full_page()
> against the blockdev mapping, and the writeback of dirty pages from the
> tail of the LRU in page reclaim.
> And no, the eventual dbench numbers will not be a measure of the success
> of the tuning which will happen on the run in to 2.6. Dbench throughput
> may well be lower, because we probably should be starting writeback
> at lower dirty thresholds.
> If you want good dbench numbers:
> echo 70 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_background_ratio
> echo 75 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_async_ratio
> echo 80 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_sync_ratio
> echo 30000 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_expire_centisecs

That last one looks like the biggest cheat. Rather than optimizing for
dbench, is there a set of pessimizing numbers which would optimally turn
dbench into a semi-useful tool for measuring meaningful IO performance?
Or is dbench really only useful for stress testing?

Thanks for the explanations.


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