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Date:   Mon, 29 Oct 2018 16:17:52 +1100
From:   Balbir Singh <>
To:     Michal Hocko <>
Cc:     Andrew Morton <>,
        Mel Gorman <>, Vlastimil Babka <>,
        David Rientjes <>,
        Andrea Argangeli <>,
        Zi Yan <>,
        Stefan Priebe - Profihost AG <>,
        "Kirill A. Shutemov" <>,,
        LKML <>,
        Andrea Arcangeli <>,
        Stable tree <>,
        Michal Hocko <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/2] mm: thp:  relax __GFP_THISNODE for MADV_HUGEPAGE

On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 02:03:25PM +0200, Michal Hocko wrote:
> From: Andrea Arcangeli <>
> THP allocation might be really disruptive when allocated on NUMA system
> with the local node full or hard to reclaim. Stefan has posted an
> allocation stall report on 4.12 based SLES kernel which suggests the
> same issue:
> [245513.362669] kvm: page allocation stalls for 194572ms, order:9, mode:0x4740ca(__GFP_HIGHMEM|__GFP_IO|__GFP_FS|__GFP_COMP|__GFP_NOMEMALLOC|__GFP_HARDWALL|__GFP_THISNODE|__GFP_MOVABLE|__GFP_DIRECT_RECLAIM), nodemask=(null)
> [245513.363983] kvm cpuset=/ mems_allowed=0-1
> [245513.364604] CPU: 10 PID: 84752 Comm: kvm Tainted: G        W 4.12.0+98-ph <a href="/view.php?id=1" title="[geschlossen] Integration Ramdisk" class="resolved">0000001</a> SLE15 (unreleased)
> [245513.365258] Hardware name: Supermicro SYS-1029P-WTRT/X11DDW-NT, BIOS 2.0 12/05/2017
> [245513.365905] Call Trace:
> [245513.366535]  dump_stack+0x5c/0x84
> [245513.367148]  warn_alloc+0xe0/0x180
> [245513.367769]  __alloc_pages_slowpath+0x820/0xc90
> [245513.368406]  ? __slab_free+0xa9/0x2f0
> [245513.369048]  ? __slab_free+0xa9/0x2f0
> [245513.369671]  __alloc_pages_nodemask+0x1cc/0x210
> [245513.370300]  alloc_pages_vma+0x1e5/0x280
> [245513.370921]  do_huge_pmd_wp_page+0x83f/0xf00
> [245513.371554]  ? set_huge_zero_page.isra.52.part.53+0x9b/0xb0
> [245513.372184]  ? do_huge_pmd_anonymous_page+0x631/0x6d0
> [245513.372812]  __handle_mm_fault+0x93d/0x1060
> [245513.373439]  handle_mm_fault+0xc6/0x1b0
> [245513.374042]  __do_page_fault+0x230/0x430
> [245513.374679]  ? get_vtime_delta+0x13/0xb0
> [245513.375411]  do_page_fault+0x2a/0x70
> [245513.376145]  ? page_fault+0x65/0x80
> [245513.376882]  page_fault+0x7b/0x80
> [...]
> [245513.382056] Mem-Info:
> [245513.382634] active_anon:126315487 inactive_anon:1612476 isolated_anon:5
>                  active_file:60183 inactive_file:245285 isolated_file:0
>                  unevictable:15657 dirty:286 writeback:1 unstable:0
>                  slab_reclaimable:75543 slab_unreclaimable:2509111
>                  mapped:81814 shmem:31764 pagetables:370616 bounce:0
>                  free:32294031 free_pcp:6233 free_cma:0
> [245513.386615] Node 0 active_anon:254680388kB inactive_anon:1112760kB active_file:240648kB inactive_file:981168kB unevictable:13368kB isolated(anon):0kB isolated(file):0kB mapped:280240kB dirty:1144kB writeback:0kB shmem:95832kB shmem_thp: 0kB shmem_pmdmapped: 0kB anon_thp: 81225728kB writeback_tmp:0kB unstable:0kB all_unreclaimable? no
> [245513.388650] Node 1 active_anon:250583072kB inactive_anon:5337144kB active_file:84kB inactive_file:0kB unevictable:49260kB isolated(anon):20kB isolated(file):0kB mapped:47016kB dirty:0kB writeback:4kB shmem:31224kB shmem_thp: 0kB shmem_pmdmapped: 0kB anon_thp: 31897600kB writeback_tmp:0kB unstable:0kB all_unreclaimable? no
> The defrag mode is "madvise" and from the above report it is clear that
> the THP has been allocated for MADV_HUGEPAGA vma.
> Andrea has identified that the main source of the problem is
> __GFP_THISNODE usage:
> : The problem is that direct compaction combined with the NUMA
> : __GFP_THISNODE logic in mempolicy.c is telling reclaim to swap very
> : hard the local node, instead of failing the allocation if there's no
> : THP available in the local node.
> :
> : Such logic was ok until __GFP_THISNODE was added to the THP allocation
> : path even with MPOL_DEFAULT.
> :
> : The idea behind the __GFP_THISNODE addition, is that it is better to
> : provide local memory in PAGE_SIZE units than to use remote NUMA THP
> : backed memory. That largely depends on the remote latency though, on
> : threadrippers for example the overhead is relatively low in my
> : experience.
> :
> : The combination of __GFP_THISNODE and __GFP_DIRECT_RECLAIM results in
> : extremely slow qemu startup with vfio, if the VM is larger than the
> : size of one host NUMA node. This is because it will try very hard to
> : unsuccessfully swapout get_user_pages pinned pages as result of the
> : __GFP_THISNODE being set, instead of falling back to PAGE_SIZE
> : allocations and instead of trying to allocate THP on other nodes (it
> : would be even worse without vfio type1 GUP pins of course, except it'd
> : be swapping heavily instead).
> Fix this by removing __GFP_THISNODE for THP requests which are
> requesting the direct reclaim. This effectivelly reverts 5265047ac301 on
> the grounds that the zone/node reclaim was known to be disruptive due
> to premature reclaim when there was memory free. While it made sense at
> the time for HPC workloads without NUMA awareness on rare machines, it
> was ultimately harmful in the majority of cases. The existing behaviour
> is similiar, if not as widespare as it applies to a corner case but
> crucially, it cannot be tuned around like zone_reclaim_mode can. The
> default behaviour should always be to cause the least harm for the
> common case.
> If there are specialised use cases out there that want zone_reclaim_mode
> in specific cases, then it can be built on top. Longterm we should
> consider a memory policy which allows for the node reclaim like behavior
> for the specific memory ranges which would allow a
> [1]

I think we have a similar problem elsewhere too

I've run into cases where alloc_pool_huge_page() took forever looping
in reclaim via compaction_test. My tests and tracing eventually showed
that the root cause was we were looping in should_continue_reclaim()
due to __GFP_RETRY_MAYFAIL (set in alloc_fresh_huge_page()). The
scanned value was much lesser than sc->order. I have a small RFC
patch that I am testing and it seems good to so far, having said that
the issue is hard to reproduce and takes a while to hit.

I wonder if alloc_pool_huge_page() should also trim out it's logic
of __GFP_THISNODE for the same reasons as mentioned here. I like
that we round robin to alloc the pool pages, but __GFP_THISNODE
might be an overkill for that case as well.

Balbir Singh.

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