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Date:   Wed, 29 May 2019 10:34:24 +0800
From:   Yang Shi <>
To:     David Rientjes <>
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH 0/3] Make deferred split shrinker memcg aware

On 5/29/19 9:22 AM, David Rientjes wrote:
> On Tue, 28 May 2019, Yang Shi wrote:
>> I got some reports from our internal application team about memcg OOM.
>> Even though the application has been killed by oom killer, there are
>> still a lot THPs reside, page reclaim doesn't reclaim them at all.
>> Some investigation shows they are on deferred split queue, memcg direct
>> reclaim can't shrink them since THP deferred split shrinker is not memcg
>> aware, this may cause premature OOM in memcg.  The issue can be
>> reproduced easily by the below test:
> Right, we've also encountered this.  I talked to Kirill about it a week or
> so ago where the suggestion was to split all compound pages on the
> deferred split queues under the presence of even memory pressure.
> That breaks cgroup isolation and perhaps unfairly penalizes workloads that
> are running attached to other memcg hierarchies that are not under
> pressure because their compound pages are now split as a side effect.
> There is a benefit to keeping these compound pages around while not under
> memory pressure if all pages are subsequently mapped again.

Yes, I do agree. I tried other approaches too, it sounds making deferred 
split queue per memcg is the optimal one.

>> $ cgcreate -g memory:thp
>> $ echo 4G > /sys/fs/cgroup/memory/thp/memory/limit_in_bytes
>> $ cgexec -g memory:thp ./transhuge-stress 4000
>> transhuge-stress comes from kernel selftest.
>> It is easy to hit OOM, but there are still a lot THP on the deferred split
>> queue, memcg direct reclaim can't touch them since the deferred split
>> shrinker is not memcg aware.
> Yes, we have seen this on at least 4.15 as well.
>> Convert deferred split shrinker memcg aware by introducing per memcg deferred
>> split queue.  The THP should be on either per node or per memcg deferred
>> split queue if it belongs to a memcg.  When the page is immigrated to the
>> other memcg, it will be immigrated to the target memcg's deferred split queue
>> too.
>> And, move deleting THP from deferred split queue in page free before memcg
>> uncharge so that the page's memcg information is available.
>> Reuse the second tail page's deferred_list for per memcg list since the same
>> THP can't be on multiple deferred split queues at the same time.
>> Remove THP specific destructor since it is not used anymore with memcg aware
>> THP shrinker (Please see the commit log of patch 2/3 for the details).
>> Make deferred split shrinker not depend on memcg kmem since it is not slab.
>> It doesn't make sense to not shrink THP even though memcg kmem is disabled.
>> With the above change the test demonstrated above doesn't trigger OOM anymore
>> even though with cgroup.memory=nokmem.
> I'm curious if your internal applications team is also asking for
> statistics on how much memory can be freed if the deferred split queues
> can be shrunk?  We have applications that monitor their own memory usage

No, but this reminds me. The THPs on deferred split queue should be 
accounted into available memory too.

> through memcg stats or usage and proactively try to reduce that usage when
> it is growing too large.  The deferred split queues have significantly
> increased both memcg usage and rss when they've upgraded kernels.
> How are your applications monitoring how much memory from deferred split
> queues can be freed on memory pressure?  Any thoughts on providing it as a
> memcg stat?

I don't think they have such monitor. I saw rss_huge is abormal in memcg 
stat even after the application is killed by oom, so I realized the 
deferred split queue may play a role here.

The memcg stat doesn't have counters for available memory as global 
vmstat. It may be better to have such statistics, or extending 
reclaimable "slab" to shrinkable/reclaimable "memory".

> Thanks!

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