kswapd needs swap?

Peter T. Breuer (ptb@it.uc3m.es)
Sat, 28 Feb 1998 12:36:18 +0100 (MET)

HI. I'm looking for a patch that I vaguely recall exists (I searched
the unofficial patch collection at linuxhq already) and which may fix a
race condition on older 2.0.* kernels which occurs when kswapd needs
pages to swap out pages with.

I have been testing KDE under my basically-2.0.25 kernel and after about
a week of uptime X (S3 3.3) grew to 10M in size and was taking a
gargantuan number of minor pagefaults. Memory usage on my 48M ram
machine was into 12M of swap, and killing everything I could didn't
bring it down by more than 3M.

What I did notice was that there were no cached pages. Also the cpu was
70% of the time in the kernel :-). What I know is that I am also
experimenting with the qnx scheduler. What I think I recall is that
kswapd may need some memory "reserved" for it or else provoke a race in
certain low-memory conditions.

Can anyone make any (polite :-) suggestions?

Peter T. Breuer MA CASM PhD (Ing.), Prof. Asoc.
Area de Ingenieria Telematica E-mail: ptb@it.uc3m.es
Dpto. Ingenieria Tel: +34 1 624 99 53
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid Fax: +34 1 624 94 30/65
Butarque 15, Leganes/Madrid URL: http://www.it.uc3m.es/~ptb
E-28911 Spain

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