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Date:	Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:01:57 -0400
From:	Johannes Weiner <>
To:	Hugh Dickins <>
Cc:	Linus Torvalds <>,
	Andrew Morton <>,
	David Rientjes <>,
	Rik van Riel <>,
	Dave Jones <>,
	Dave Chinner <>,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH] mm: fix direct reclaim writeback regression

On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 12:58:23PM -0700, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> Shortly before 3.16-rc1, Dave Jones reported:
> WARNING: CPU: 3 PID: 19721 at fs/xfs/xfs_aops.c:971
>          xfs_vm_writepage+0x5ce/0x630 [xfs]()
> CPU: 3 PID: 19721 Comm: trinity-c61 Not tainted 3.15.0+ #3
> Call Trace:
>  [<ffffffffc023068e>] xfs_vm_writepage+0x5ce/0x630 [xfs]
>  [<ffffffff8316f759>] shrink_page_list+0x8f9/0xb90
>  [<ffffffff83170123>] shrink_inactive_list+0x253/0x510
>  [<ffffffff83170c93>] shrink_lruvec+0x563/0x6c0
>  [<ffffffff83170e2b>] shrink_zone+0x3b/0x100
>  [<ffffffff831710e1>] shrink_zones+0x1f1/0x3c0
>  [<ffffffff83171414>] try_to_free_pages+0x164/0x380
>  [<ffffffff83163e52>] __alloc_pages_nodemask+0x822/0xc90
>  [<ffffffff831abeff>] alloc_pages_vma+0xaf/0x1c0
>  [<ffffffff8318a931>] handle_mm_fault+0xa31/0xc50
> etc.
>  970   if (WARN_ON_ONCE((current->flags & (PF_MEMALLOC|PF_KSWAPD)) ==
>  971                   PF_MEMALLOC))
> I did not respond at the time, because a glance at the PageDirty block
> in shrink_page_list() quickly shows that this is impossible: we don't do
> writeback on file pages (other than tmpfs) from direct reclaim nowadays.
> Dave was hallucinating, but it would have been disrespectful to say so.
> However, my own /var/log/messages now shows similar complaints
> WARNING: CPU: 1 PID: 28814 at fs/ext4/inode.c:1881 ext4_writepage+0xa7/0x38b()
> WARNING: CPU: 0 PID: 27347 at fs/ext4/inode.c:1764 ext4_writepage+0xa7/0x38b()
> from stressing some mmotm trees during July.
> Could a dirty xfs or ext4 file page somehow get marked PageSwapBacked,
> so fail shrink_page_list()'s page_is_file_cache() test, and so proceed
> to mapping->a_ops->writepage()?
> Yes, 3.16-rc1's 68711a746345 ("mm, migration: add destination page
> freeing callback") has provided such a way to compaction: if migrating
> a SwapBacked page fails, its newpage may be put back on the list for
> later use with PageSwapBacked still set, and nothing will clear it.
> Whether that can do anything worse than issue WARN_ON_ONCEs, and get
> some statistics wrong, is unclear: easier to fix than to think through
> the consequences.
> Fixing it here, before the put_new_page(), addresses the bug directly,
> but is probably the worst place to fix it.  Page migration is doing too
> many parts of the job on too many levels: fixing it in move_to_new_page()
> to complement its SetPageSwapBacked would be preferable, except why is it
> (and newpage->mapping and newpage->index) done there, rather than down in
> migrate_page_move_mapping(), once we are sure of success?  Not a cleanup
> to get into right now, especially not with memcg cleanups coming in 3.17.

That needs verification that no ->migratepage() expects mapping
(working PageAnon()) and index to be set up on newpage.

The freelist putback looks quite fragile, we should probably add
something like free_pages_prepare() / free_page_check() in there.

> Reported-by: Dave Jones <>
> Signed-off-by: Hugh Dickins <>

Acked-by: Johannes Weiner <>
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