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Date:   Wed, 13 Jun 2018 12:42:31 -0700 (PDT)
From:   David Rientjes <rientjes@...gle.com>
To:     Vlastimil Babka <vbabka@...e.cz>
cc:     Andrew Morton <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>,
        linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org,
        Mel Gorman <mgorman@...hsingularity.net>,
        Michal Hocko <mhocko@...nel.org>,
        Joonsoo Kim <iamjoonsoo.kim@....com>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] mm, page_alloc: actually ignore mempolicies for high
 priority allocations

On Tue, 12 Jun 2018, Vlastimil Babka wrote:

> The __alloc_pages_slowpath() function has for a long time contained code to
> ignore node restrictions from memory policies for high priority allocations.
> The current code that resets the zonelist iterator however does effectively
> nothing after commit 7810e6781e0f ("mm, page_alloc: do not break __GFP_THISNODE
> by zonelist reset") removed a buggy zonelist reset. Even before that commit,
> mempolicy restrictions were still not ignored, as they are passed in
> ac->nodemask which is untouched by the code.
> 
> We can either remove the code, or make it work as intended. Since
> ac->nodemask can be set from task's mempolicy via alloc_pages_current() and
> thus also alloc_pages(), it may indeed affect kernel allocations, and it makes
> sense to ignore it to allow progress for high priority allocations.
> 
> Thus, this patch resets ac->nodemask to NULL in such cases. This assumes all
> callers can handle it (i.e. there are no guarantees as in the case of
> __GFP_THISNODE) which seems to be the case. The same assumption is already
> present in check_retry_cpuset() for some time.
> 
> The expected effect is that high priority kernel allocations in the context of
> userspace tasks (e.g. OOM victims) restricted by mempolicies will have higher
> chance to succeed if they are restricted to nodes with depleted memory, while
> there are other nodes with free memory left.
> 

Hi Vlastimil,

Is this expected as a change back to previous behavior that we have lost 
or is this new development for high priority allocations?  I don't think 
we have ignored mempolicies for things like GFP_ATOMIC allocations in the 
past.

> Signed-off-by: Vlastimil Babka <vbabka@...e.cz>
> Cc: Mel Gorman <mgorman@...hsingularity.net>
> Cc: Michal Hocko <mhocko@...nel.org>
> Cc: David Rientjes <rientjes@...gle.com>
> Cc: Joonsoo Kim <iamjoonsoo.kim@....com>
> ---
>  mm/page_alloc.c | 7 ++++---
>  1 file changed, 4 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)
> 
> diff --git a/mm/page_alloc.c b/mm/page_alloc.c
> index 07b3c23762ad..ec8c92ff8b3c 100644
> --- a/mm/page_alloc.c
> +++ b/mm/page_alloc.c
> @@ -4164,11 +4164,12 @@ __alloc_pages_slowpath(gfp_t gfp_mask, unsigned int order,
>  		alloc_flags = reserve_flags;
>  
>  	/*
> -	 * Reset the zonelist iterators if memory policies can be ignored.
> -	 * These allocations are high priority and system rather than user
> -	 * orientated.
> +	 * Reset the nodemask and zonelist iterators if memory policies can be
> +	 * ignored. These allocations are high priority and system rather than
> +	 * user oriented.
>  	 */
>  	if (!(alloc_flags & ALLOC_CPUSET) || reserve_flags) {
> +		ac->nodemask = NULL;
>  		ac->preferred_zoneref = first_zones_zonelist(ac->zonelist,
>  					ac->high_zoneidx, ac->nodemask);
>  	}

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