Re: Disabling in-memory write cache for x86-64 in Linux II

From: NeilBrown
Date: Fri Oct 25 2013 - 16:44:35 EST

On Fri, 25 Oct 2013 18:26:23 +0000 (UTC) "Artem S. Tashkinov"
<t.artem@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Oct 25, 2013 05:26:45 PM, david wrote:
> On Fri, 25 Oct 2013, NeilBrown wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> What exactly is bothering you about this? The amount of memory used or the
> >> time until data is flushed?
> >
> >actually, I think the problem is more the impact of the huge write later on.
> Exactly. And not being able to use applications which show you IO performance
> like Midnight Commander. You might prefer to use "cp -a" but I cannot imagine
> my life without being able to see the progress of a copying operation. With the current
> dirty cache there's no way to understand how you storage media actually behaves.

So fix Midnight Commander. If you want the copy to be actually finished when
it says it is finished, then it needs to call 'fsync()' at the end.

> Hopefully this issue won't dissolve into obscurity and someone will actually make
> up a plan (and a patch) how to make dirty write cache behave in a sane manner
> considering the fact that there are devices with very different write speeds and
> requirements. It'd be ever better, if I could specify dirty cache as a mount option
> (though sane defaults or semi-automatic values based on runtime estimates
> won't hurt).
> Per device dirty cache seems like a nice idea, I, for one, would like to disable it
> altogether or make it an absolute minimum for things like USB flash drives - because
> I don't care about multithreaded performance or delayed allocation on such devices -
> I'm interested in my data reaching my USB stick ASAP - because it's how most people
> use them.

As has already been said, you can substantially disable the cache by tuning
down various values in /proc/sys/vm/.
Have you tried?


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