Natty SRU: vmscan: fix a livelock in kswapd

Tim Gardner timg at
Wed Jul 20 21:47:14 UTC 2011

>From 64ba82a4b63a45fd0c102dd97ea81c59fc522b76 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Shaohua Li < at>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 08:49:26 -0700
Subject: [PATCH] vmscan: fix a livelock in kswapd


I'm running a workload which triggers a lot of swap in a machine with 4
nodes.  After I kill the workload, I found a kswapd livelock.  Sometimes
kswapd3 or kswapd2 are keeping running and I can't access filesystem,
but most memory is free.

This looks like a regression since commit 08951e545918c159 ("mm: vmscan:
correct check for kswapd sleeping in sleeping_prematurely").

Node 2 and 3 have only ZONE_NORMAL, but balance_pgdat() will return 0
for classzone_idx.  The reason is end_zone in balance_pgdat() is 0 by
default, if all zones have watermark ok, end_zone will keep 0.

Later sleeping_prematurely() always returns true.  Because this is an
order 3 wakeup, and if classzone_idx is 0, both balanced_pages and
present_pages in pgdat_balanced() are 0.  We add a special case here.
If a zone has no page, we think it's balanced.  This fixes the livelock.

Signed-off-by: Shaohua Li < at>
Acked-by: Mel Gorman <mgorman at>
Cc: Minchan Kim < at>
Cc: <stable at>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <akpm at>
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <torvalds at>
(cherry picked from commit 4746efded84d7c5a9c8d64d4c6e814ff0cf9fb42)

Signed-off-by: Tim Gardner <tim.gardner at>
 mm/vmscan.c |    3 ++-
 1 files changed, 2 insertions(+), 1 deletions(-)

diff --git a/mm/vmscan.c b/mm/vmscan.c
index 4b8b37c..1e0eefe 100644
--- a/mm/vmscan.c
+++ b/mm/vmscan.c
@@ -2245,7 +2245,8 @@ static bool pgdat_balanced(pg_data_t *pgdat, unsigned long balanced_pages,
 	for (i = 0; i <= classzone_idx; i++)
 		present_pages += pgdat->node_zones[i].present_pages;
-	return balanced_pages > (present_pages >> 2);
+	/* A special case here: if zone has no page, we think it's balanced */
+	return balanced_pages >= (present_pages >> 2);
 /* is kswapd sleeping prematurely? */

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