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Date:	Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:50:41 -0300
From:	Rafael Aquini <>
To:	Xishi Qiu <>
Cc:	Michal Hocko <>,
	Andrew Morton <>,
	Wanpeng Li <>,
	Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
	Peter Zijlstra <>,
	Rik van Riel <>,
	Johannes Weiner <>,
	Linux MM <>,
	LKML <>,
	Li Zefan <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/8] mm: add page cache limit and reclaim feature

On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 01:14:22PM +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
> On Mon 16-06-14 17:24:38, Xishi Qiu wrote:
> > When system(e.g. smart phone) running for a long time, the cache often takes
> > a large memory, maybe the free memory is less than 50M, then OOM will happen
> > if APP allocate a large order pages suddenly and memory reclaim too slowly. 
> Have you ever seen this to happen? Page cache should be easy to reclaim and
> if there is too mach dirty memory then you should be able to tune the
> amount by dirty_bytes/ratio knob. If the page allocator falls back to
> OOM and there is a lot of page cache then I would call it a bug. I do
> not think that limiting the amount of the page cache globally makes
> sense. There are Unix systems which offer this feature but I think it is
> a bad interface which only papers over the reclaim inefficiency or lack
> of other isolations between loads.

It would be good if you could show some numbers that serve as evidence
of your theory on "excessive" pagecache acting as a trigger to your
observed OOMs. I'm assuming, by your 'e.g', you're running a swapless
system, so I would think your system OOMs are due to inability to
reclaim anon memory, instead of pagecache.

> > Use "echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches" will drop the whole cache, this will
> > affect the performance, so it is used for debugging only. 
> > 

If you are able to drop the whole pagecache by issuing the command
above, than it means the majority of it is just unmapped cache pages, 
and those would be normally reclaimed upon demand by the PFRA. One more 
thing that makes me wonder you're just seeing the effect of a leaky app 
making the system unable to swap out anon pages.

> > suse has this feature, I tested it before, but it can not limit the page cache
> > actually. So I rewrite the feature and add some parameters.
> The feature is there for historic reasons and I _really_ think the
> interface is not appropriate. If there is a big pagecache usage which
> affects other loads then Memory cgroup controller can be used to help
> from interference.
> > Christoph Lameter has written a patch "Limit the size of the pagecache"
> >
> > It changes in zone fallback, this is not a good way.
> > 
> > The patchset is based on v3.15, it introduces two features, page cache limit
> > and page cache reclaim in circles.
> > 
> > Add four parameters in /proc/sys/vm
> > 
> > 1) cache_limit_mbytes
> > This is used to limit page cache amount.
> > The input unit is MB, value range is from 0 to totalram_pages.
> > If this is set to 0, it will not limit page cache.
> > When written to the file, cache_limit_ratio will be updated too.
> > The default value is 0.
> > 
> > 2) cache_limit_ratio
> > This is used to limit page cache amount.
> > The input unit is percent, value range is from 0 to 100.
> > If this is set to 0, it will not limit page cache.
> > When written to the file, cache_limit_mbytes will be updated too.
> > The default value is 0.
> > 
> > 3) cache_reclaim_s
> > This is used to reclaim page cache in circles.
> > The input unit is second, the minimum value is 0.
> > If this is set to 0, it will disable the feature.
> > The default value is 0.
> > 
> > 4) cache_reclaim_weight
> > This is used to speed up page cache reclaim.
> > It depend on enabling cache_limit_mbytes/cache_limit_ratio or cache_reclaim_s.
> > Value range is from 1(slow) to 100(fast).
> > The default value is 1.
> > 
> > I tested the two features on my system(x86_64), it seems to work right.
> > However, as it changes the hot path "add_to_page_cache_lru()", I don't know
> > how much it will the affect the performance, maybe there are some errors
> > in the patches too, RFC.
> I haven't looked at patches yet but you would need to explain why the
> feature is needed much better and why the existing features are not
> sufficient.
> -- 
> Michal Hocko
> SUSE Labs
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