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Date:	Mon, 26 Oct 2009 11:03:59 -0700
From:	Mike Travis <travis@....com>
To:	Andi Kleen <andi@...stfloor.org>
CC:	Ingo Molnar <mingo@...e.hu>, Thomas Gleixner <tglx@...utronix.de>,
	Andrew Morton <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>,
	Jack Steiner <steiner@....com>,
	Randy Dunlap <rdunlap@...otime.net>,
	Steven Rostedt <rostedt@...dmis.org>,
	Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@...e.de>,
	Frederic Weisbecker <fweisbec@...il.com>,
	Heiko Carstens <heiko.carstens@...ibm.com>,
	Robin Getz <rgetz@...log.com>,
	Dave Young <hidave.darkstar@...il.com>,
	linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org, linux-doc@...r.kernel.org
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/8] SGI x86_64 UV: Add limit console output function



Andi Kleen wrote:
> Mike Travis <travis@....com> writes:
> 
>> With a large number of processors in a system there is an excessive amount
>> of messages sent to the system console.  It's estimated that with 4096
>> processors in a system, and the console baudrate set to 56K, the startup
>> messages will take about 84 minutes to clear the serial port.
>>
>> This patch adds (for SGI UV only) a kernel start option "limit_console_
>> output" (or 'lco' for short), which when set provides the ability to
>> temporarily reduce the console loglevel during system startup.  This allows
>> informative messages to still be seen on the console without producing
>> excessive amounts of repetious messages.
>>
>> Note that all the messages are still available in the kernel log buffer.
> 
> I've run into the same problem (kernel log being flooded on large number of CPU thread
> systems). It's definitely not a UV only problem. Making such a option UV only
> is definitely not the right approach, if anything it needs to be for everyone.

I could use something like the MAXSMP config option to enable it...?
> 
> Frankly a lot of these messages made sense for debugging at some point,
> but really don't anymore and should just be removed.

That they still go to the kernel log buffer means the messages are still
available for debugging system problems.  KDB has a kernel print option if
you end up there before being able to use 'dmesg'.

> 
> Also I don't like the defaults of on. It would be better to evaluate if
> these various messages are really useful and if they are not just remove them.

I believe most distros already do that by setting the loglevel argument
(but I could be wrong since I haven't looked at too many of them.)

> 
> For example do we really need the scheduler debug messages by default?

This was the most painful message at Nasa (which has a 2k cpu system).  It took
well over an hour for these scheduler messages to print, just because we wanted
to get some other DEBUG prints.
> 
> Or do we really need to print the caches for each CPU at boot? The information
> is in sysfs anyways and rarely changes (I added this originally on 64bit,
> but in hindsight it was a bad idea)

I was attempting not to decide whether each message was pertinent, only if it
was redundant.

> 
> I don't think it makes much sense to print more than 2-3 lines for each CPU boot
> for example.

That would still be 4 to 12 thousand lines of information which, as you say is
available by other means.
> 
> Also more work could be done to make CPU boot up less verbose without
> sacrifying debuggability if something goes wrong.
> 
> So please:
> - Simply remove messages that don't make sense, no flag.
> - Make the default non verbose.
> - Minimize output in general, with just a few standard checkpoints so 
> that if there is a hang the developer still has some clue what went wrong.

loglevel=4 does this quite nicely. ;-)

Thanks,
Mike
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