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Date:   Sun, 13 Jan 2019 19:34:02 +0100
From:   Michal Hocko <>
To:     Shakeel Butt <>
Cc:     Johannes Weiner <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        Vladimir Davydov <>,
        Cgroups <>, Linux MM <>,
        LKML <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v3] memcg: schedule high reclaim for remote memcgs on

On Fri 11-01-19 14:54:32, Shakeel Butt wrote:
> Hi Johannes,
> On Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 12:59 PM Johannes Weiner <> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Shakeel,
> >
> > On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 09:44:32AM -0800, Shakeel Butt wrote:
> > > If a memcg is over high limit, memory reclaim is scheduled to run on
> > > return-to-userland.  However it is assumed that the memcg is the current
> > > process's memcg.  With remote memcg charging for kmem or swapping in a
> > > page charged to remote memcg, current process can trigger reclaim on
> > > remote memcg.  So, schduling reclaim on return-to-userland for remote
> > > memcgs will ignore the high reclaim altogether. So, record the memcg
> > > needing high reclaim and trigger high reclaim for that memcg on
> > > return-to-userland.  However if the memcg is already recorded for high
> > > reclaim and the recorded memcg is not the descendant of the the memcg
> > > needing high reclaim, punt the high reclaim to the work queue.
> >
> > The idea behind remote charging is that the thread allocating the
> > memory is not responsible for that memory, but a different cgroup
> > is. Why would the same thread then have to work off any high excess
> > this could produce in that unrelated group?
> >
> > Say you have a inotify/dnotify listener that is restricted in its
> > memory use - now everybody sending notification events from outside
> > that listener's group would get throttled on a cgroup over which it
> > has no control. That sounds like a recipe for priority inversions.
> >
> > It seems to me we should only do reclaim-on-return when current is in
> > the ill-behaved cgroup, and punt everything else - interrupts and
> > remote charges - to the workqueue.
> This is what v1 of this patch was doing but Michal suggested to do
> what this version is doing. Michal's argument was that the current is
> already charging and maybe reclaiming a remote memcg then why not do
> the high excess reclaim as well.

Johannes has a good point about the priority inversion problems which I
haven't thought about.

> Personally I don't have any strong opinion either way. What I actually
> wanted was to punt this high reclaim to some process in that remote
> memcg. However I didn't explore much on that direction thinking if
> that complexity is worth it. Maybe I should at least explore it, so,
> we can compare the solutions. What do you think?

My question would be whether we really care all that much. Do we know of
workloads which would generate a large high limit excess?
Michal Hocko

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