Re: mem=16MB laptop testing
From: Andrew Morton
Date: Tue Oct 14 2003 - 06:53:52 EST
William Lee Irwin III <wli@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> So I tried mem=16m on my laptop (stinkpad T21).
Thanks for doing this. We should try to not suck in this situation.
> (a) The profile buffer requires about a 5MB bootmem allocation;
> this near halves MemTotal when used. I refrained from using it,
> as otherwise it's a test of mem=8m instead of mem=16m.
OK, so don't boot with `profile=N', yes?
> (b) bootmem allocations aren't adding up; after kernel text, data,
> and tracing __alloc_bootmem_core(), there is still about 0.5MB
> still missing from MemTotal. I still haven't found where it's
> gone. mem_map's bootmem allocation also didn't show up in the
> logs, but it should only be 160KB for 16MB of RAM, not 512KB.
> Matt Mackall spotted this, too.
Perhaps drop a printk(size) and a dump_stack() into the bootmem allocator,
then postprocess the dmesg output after it's booted?
> (c) mem= no longer bounds the highest physical address, but rather
> the sum of memory in e820 entries post-sanitization. This
> means a ZONE_NORMAL with about 384KB showed up, with duly
> perverse heuristic consequences for page_alloc.c
I don't understand this. You mean almost all memory was in ZONE_DMA?
"mem=" does not accurately emulate having that much memory. So a 512M box
booted with "mem=256M" has a different amount of memory from a 256M box
booted with no "mem=" option. It would be nice to fix that, but I've never
looked into it.
> (d) The system thrashed heavily on boot, allowing the largest mm
> to acquire an RSS no larger than about 100KB. This needed
> turning /proc/sys/vm/min_free_kb down to 128 to make the
> system behave closer to normally. Matt Mackall spotted this.
hrm. min_free_kbytes is normally 1024. I'm surprised that the additional
900k made so much difference. We must be on the hairy edge.
It looks like we need to precalculate/scale min_free_kbytes, yes?
> (e) About 4.8MB are consumed by slab allocations at runtime.
> The top 10 slab abusers are:
> inode_cache 840K 840K 100.00%
> dentry_cache 746K 753K 99.07%
> ext3_inode_cache 591K 592K 99.84%
> size-4096 504K 504K 100.00%
> size-512 203K 204K 99.75%
> size-2048 182K 204K 89.22%
> pgd 188K 188K 100.00%
> task_struct 100K 108K 92.86%
> vm_area_struct 93K 101K 92.28%
> blkdev_requests 101K 101K 100.00%
> The inode_cache culprit is the obvious butt of many complaints:
> # find /sys | wc -l
> ... which accounts for 100% of the 840KB. TANSTAAFL. OTOH, maybe we
> need to learn to do better than pinning dentries and inodes in-core...
I guess not mounting /sys doesn't help here. It would be nice. Maybe with
a CONFIG_I_WILL_NEVER_MOUNT_SYSFS we could avoid all those allocations.
> Load control, anyone?
Roger Luethi is working on it; I need to pay some attention to his patch.
I expect we'll have something for post-2.6.0.
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