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Date:   Fri, 8 Jan 2021 18:04:21 -0800
From:   Linus Torvalds <>
To:     Hugh Dickins <>
Cc:     Andrew Morton <>,
        Matthew Wilcox <>,
        syzbot <>,
        Linux Kernel Mailing List <>,
        Linux-MM <>,
        syzkaller-bugs <>
Subject: Re: kernel BUG at mm/page-writeback.c:LINE!

On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 11:53 AM Linus Torvalds
<> wrote:
> I took your "way to go" statement as an ack, and made it all be commit
> c2407cf7d22d ("mm: make wait_on_page_writeback() wait for multiple
> pending writebacks").

Oh, and Michael Larabel (of phoronix) reports that that one-liner does
something bad to a few PostgreSQL tests, on the order of 5-10%
regression on some machines (but apparently not others).

I suspect that's a sign of instability in the benchmark numbers, but
it probably also means that we have some silly condition where
multiple threads want to clean the same page.

I sent him a patch to try if it ends up being better to just not wake
things up early at all (instead of the "if" -> "while") conversion.
That trivial patch appended here in case anybody has comments.

Just the fact that that one-liner made a performance impact makes me
go "hmm", though. Michael didn't see the BUG_ON(), so it's presumably
some _other_ user of wait_on_page_writeback() than the
write_cache_pages() one that causes issues.

Anybody got any suspicions? Honestly, when working on the page wait
queues, I was working under the assumption that it's really just the
page lock that truly matters.

I'm thinking things like __filemap_fdatawait_range(), which doesn't
hold the page lock at all, so it's all kinds of non-serialized, and
could now be waiting for any number of IO's ro complete..

Oh well. This email doesn't really have a point, it's more of a
heads-up that that "wait to see one or multiple writebacks" thing
seems to matter more than I would have expected for some loads..


Download attachment "patch" of type "application/octet-stream" (1292 bytes)

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