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Date:	Wed, 10 Apr 2013 09:07:58 +0800
From:	Ric Mason <>
To:	Minchan Kim <>
CC:	Dan Magenheimer <>,
	Andrew Morton <>,,,
	Hugh Dickins <>,
	Seth Jennings <>,
	Nitin Gupta <>,
	Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk <>,
	Shaohua Li <>, Bob Liu <>,
	Shuah Khan <>
Subject: Re: zsmalloc defrag (Was: [PATCH] mm: remove compressed copy from
 zram in-memory)

Hi Minchan,
On 04/10/2013 08:50 AM, Minchan Kim wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 09, 2013 at 01:25:45PM -0700, Dan Magenheimer wrote:
>>> From: Minchan Kim []
>>> Subject: Re: zsmalloc defrag (Was: [PATCH] mm: remove compressed copy from zram in-memory)
>>> Hi Dan,
>>> On Mon, Apr 08, 2013 at 09:32:38AM -0700, Dan Magenheimer wrote:
>>>>> From: Minchan Kim []
>>>>> Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 12:01 AM
>>>>> Subject: [PATCH] mm: remove compressed copy from zram in-memory
>>>> (patch removed)
>>>>> Fragment ratio is almost same but memory consumption and compile time
>>>>> is better. I am working to add defragment function of zsmalloc.
>>>> Hi Minchan --
>>>> I would be very interested in your design thoughts on
>>>> how you plan to add defragmentation for zsmalloc.  In
>>> What I can say now about is only just a word "Compaction".
>>> As you know, zsmalloc has a transparent handle so we can do whatever
>>> under user. Of course, there is a tradeoff between performance
>>> and memory efficiency. I'm biased to latter for embedded usecase.
>> Have you designed or implemented this yet?  I have a couple
>> of concerns:
> Not yet implemented but just had a time to think about it, simply.
> So surely, there are some obstacle so I want to uncase the code and
> number after I make a prototype/test the performance.
> Of course, if it has a severe problem, will drop it without wasting
> many guys's time.
>> 1) The handle is transparent to the "user", but it is still a form
>>     of a "pointer" to a zpage.  Are you planning on walking zram's
>>     tables and changing those pointers?  That may be OK for zram
>>     but for more complex data structures than tables (as in zswap
>>     and zcache) it may not be as easy, due to races, or as efficient
>>     because you will have to walk potentially very large trees.
> Rough concept is following as.
> I'm considering for zsmalloc to return transparent fake handle
> but we have to maintain it with real one.
> It could be done in zsmalloc internal so there isn't any race we should consider.
>> 2) Compaction in the kernel is heavily dependent on page migration
>>     and page migration is dependent on using flags in the struct page.
>>     There's a lot of code in those two code modules and there
>>     are going to be a lot of implementation differences between
>>     compacting pages vs compacting zpages.
> Compaction of kernel is never related to zsmalloc's one.
>> I'm also wondering if you will be implementing "variable length
>> zspages".  Without that, I'm not sure compaction will help
>> enough.  (And that is a good example of the difference between
> Why do you think so?
> variable lengh zspage could be further step to improve but it's not
> only a solution to solve fragmentation.
>> the kernel page compaction design/code and zspage compaction.)
>>>> particular, I am wondering if your design will also
>>>> handle the requirements for zcache (especially for
>>>> cleancache pages) and perhaps also for ramster.
>>> I don't know requirements for cleancache pages but compaction is
>>> general as you know well so I expect you can get a benefit from it
>>> if you are concern on memory efficiency but not sure it's valuable
>>> to compact cleancache pages for getting more slot in RAM.
>>> Sometime, just discarding would be much better, IMHO.
>> Zcache has page reclaim.  Zswap has zpage reclaim.  I am
>> concerned that these continue to work in the presence of
>> compaction.   With no reclaim at all, zram is a simpler use
>> case but if you implement compaction in a way that can't be
>> used by either zcache or zswap, then zsmalloc is essentially
>> forking.
> Don't go too far. If it's really problem for zswap and zcache,
> maybe, we could add it optionally.
>>>> In I suggested it
>>>> would be good to work together on a common design, but
>>>> you didn't reply.  Are you thinking that zsmalloc
>>> I saw the thread but explicit agreement is really matter?
>>> I believe everybody want it although they didn't reply. :)
>>> You can make the design/post it or prototyping/post it.
>>> If there are some conflit with something in my brain,
>>> I will be happy to feedback. :)
>>> Anyway, I think my above statement "COMPACTION" would be enough to
>>> express my current thought to avoid duplicated work and you can catch up.
>>> I will get around to it after LSF/MM.
>>>> improvements should focus only on zram, in which case
>>> Just focusing zsmalloc.
>> Right.  Again, I am asking if you are changing zsmalloc in
>> a way that helps zram but hurts zswap and makes it impossible
>> for zcache to ever use the improvements to zsmalloc.
> As I said, I'm biased to memory efficiency rather than performace.
> Of course, severe performance drop is disaster but small drop will
> be acceptable for memory-efficiency concerning systems.
>> If so, that's fine, but please make it clear that is your goal.
> Simple, help memory hungry system. :)

Which kind of system are memory hungry?

>>>> we may -- and possibly should -- end up with a different
>>>> allocator for frontswap-based/cleancache-based compression
>>>> in zcache (and possibly zswap)?
>>>> I'm just trying to determine if I should proceed separately
>>>> with my design (with Bob Liu, who expressed interest) or if
>>>> it would be beneficial to work together.
>>> Just posting and if it affects zsmalloc/zram/zswap and goes the way
>>> I don't want, I will involve the discussion because our product uses
>>> zram heavily and consider zswap, too.
>>> I really appreciate your enthusiastic collaboration model to find
>>> optimal solution!
>> My goal is to have compression be an integral part of Linux
>> memory management.  It may be tied to a config option, but
>> the goal is that distros turn it on by default.  I don't think
>> zsmalloc meets that objective yet, but it may be fine for
>> your needs.  If so it would be good to understand exactly why
>> it doesn't meet the other zproject needs.
>> --
>> To unsubscribe, send a message with 'unsubscribe linux-mm' in
>> the body to  For more info on Linux MM,
>> see: .
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