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Date:	Wed, 18 Jun 2008 17:30:45 +0200
From:	Miquel van Smoorenburg <>
Subject: [PATCH] tcp.c: calculate tcp_mem based on low memory instead of
	all memory

I started upgrading a bunch of machines in my nntp server farm
to a recent kernel- 2.6.25.x. They were running on
32 bits, and I upgraded them to 2.6.25.x on 64 bits.

All went fine until I noticed a few machines didn't have a 64
bit capable processor, so I had to keep them on a 32 bit kernel.
These are machines with dual xeons 3 Ghz and 8 GB of RAM.

On the 32 bit machines I keep getting the error below, and a flood
of these on a 9600 baud serial console essentially kills the machine:

diablo invoked oom-killer: gfp_mask=0xd0, order=0, oomkilladj=0
Pid: 4459, comm: diablo Not tainted #1
 [<c0249660>] oom_kill_process+0x120/0x210
 [<c0227ff8>] __capable+0x8/0x20
 [<c0249898>] badness+0x128/0x1c0
 [<c0249b1c>] out_of_memory+0x17c/0x1c0
 [<c024bdf4>] __alloc_pages+0x254/0x350
 [<c03b75ad>] tcp_sendmsg+0x5cd/0xb50
 [<c0381672>] sock_aio_write+0xe2/0x100
 [<c02681e7>] do_sync_write+0xc7/0x110
 [<c0232f20>] autoremove_wake_function+0x0/0x50
 [<c0268af3>] vfs_write+0x133/0x140
 [<c0269131>] sys_write+0x41/0x70
 [<c0202e5e>] syscall_call+0x7/0xb

After some investigation, I found out that the values of
/proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_mem are quite different between
these two versions:
$ cat tcp_mem 
98304	131072	196608

# cat tcp_mem 
804672	1072896	1609344

Somwehere between and 2.6.25, the calculation method of
the tcp_mem array was changed. Now 1609344 pages is 6.5 GB,
and that will ofcourse never fit in x86_32's low memory ..

I am not quite sure what the correct solution is here, I think
something like the patch below.

Alternatively we could use the existing calculation but limit 'limit'
to 3/4 of (totalram_pages - totalhigh_pages) if (totalhigh_pages > 0) ?


[PATCH] tcp.c: calculate tcp_mem based on low memory instead of all memory

The tcp_mem array which contains limits on the total amount of
memory used by TCP sockets is calculated based on nr_all_pages.
On a 32 bits x86 system, we should base this on the number of
lowmem pages.

Signed-off-by: Miquel van Smoorenburg <>

--- linux-2.6.26-rc6.orig/net/ipv4/tcp.c	2008-06-12 23:22:24.000000000 +0200
+++ linux-2.6.26-rc6/net/ipv4/tcp.c	2008-06-16 15:04:16.000000000 +0200
@@ -260,6 +260,8 @@
 #include <linux/socket.h>
 #include <linux/random.h>
 #include <linux/bootmem.h>
+#include <linux/highmem.h>
+#include <linux/swap.h>
 #include <linux/cache.h>
 #include <linux/err.h>
 #include <linux/crypto.h>
@@ -2616,7 +2618,7 @@
 void __init tcp_init(void)
 	struct sk_buff *skb = NULL;
-	unsigned long limit;
+	unsigned long nr_pages, limit;
 	int order, i, max_share;
 	BUILD_BUG_ON(sizeof(struct tcp_skb_cb) > sizeof(skb->cb));
@@ -2685,8 +2687,9 @@
 	 * is up to 1/2 at 256 MB, decreasing toward zero with the amount of
 	 * memory, with a floor of 128 pages.
-	limit = min(nr_all_pages, 1UL<<(28-PAGE_SHIFT)) >> (20-PAGE_SHIFT);
-	limit = (limit * (nr_all_pages >> (20-PAGE_SHIFT))) >> (PAGE_SHIFT-11);
+	nr_pages = totalram_pages - totalhigh_pages;
+	limit = min(nr_pages, 1UL<<(28-PAGE_SHIFT)) >> (20-PAGE_SHIFT);
+	limit = (limit * (nr_pages >> (20-PAGE_SHIFT))) >> (PAGE_SHIFT-11);
 	limit = max(limit, 128UL);
 	sysctl_tcp_mem[0] = limit / 4 * 3;
 	sysctl_tcp_mem[1] = limit;

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