Re: -rc7 Re: Linux 2.4.21-rc6

From: Rob Landley (
Date: Wed Jun 04 2003 - 15:50:53 EST

On Wednesday 04 June 2003 08:20, Jens Axboe wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 04 2003, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> > On Wed, Jun 04, 2003 at 02:00:53PM +0200, Jens Axboe wrote:
> > > since you have a single writer and maybe a reader or two. The single
> > > writer cannot starve anyone else.
> >
> > unless you're changing an atime and you've to mark_buffer_dirty or
> > similar (balance_dirty will write stuff the same way from cp and the
> > reader then).
> Yes you are right, could be.
> But the whole thing still smells fishy. Read starvation causing mouse
> stalls, hmm.

If reads from swap get starved, you can have interactive dropouts in just
about anything.

My desktop is usually pretty deep into swap. I upgrade to machines with four
times as much memory, but that usually means the graphics resolution went up
and it just lets me keep more windows open in more desktops. (Currently

My record was driving the system so deep into swapping frenzy it was still
swapping when I came back from lunch. Really. This was under 2.4.4, though.
On RH 9/2.4.20-? my record is a little under five minutes of "frozen
thrashing on swap" before I got control of the system back. That's just a
"go for a soda" break. And at least the mouse cursor never froze for more
than a couple seconds at a time during that, even if the desktop was ignoring
me... :)

Haven't tried 2.5 on anything but servers yet, but it's on my to-do list...


(I am the VM subsystem's worst nightmare. Bwahaha.)

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