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VM: Manual and Automatic page cache reclaim

From:  Martin Hicks <mort@sgi.com>
To:  Andrew Morton <akpm@osdl.org>, Linux-MM <linux-mm@kvack.org>
Subject:  [PATCH/RFC 0/4] VM: Manual and Automatic page cache reclaim
Date:  Wed, 27 Apr 2005 11:08:48 -0400
Cc:  Ray Bryant <raybry@sgi.com>, ak@suse.de
Archive-link:  Article, Thread

Hi,

The following set of patches is response to the first round of comments
that were sent out in February

http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linux-kernel&m=110839...

The consensus of this thread was that manual reclaim should happen
through a syscall and be per-node, and that automatic reclaim should
probably happen through mempolicy hints.

This set is against 2.6.12-rc2-mm2  (sorry for not being against -mm3.
It doesn't boot correctly on Altix)

The patches introduce two different ways to free up page cache from a
node: manually through a syscall and automatically through flag
modifiers to a mempolicy.

Currently if a job is started and there is page cache lying around on a
particular node then allocations will spill onto remote nodes and page
cache won't be reclaimed until the whole system is short on memory.
This can result in a signficiant performance hit for HPC applications
that planned on that memory being allocated locally.

Here's a little summary of the pages in the set:

1/4:  Merge LRU pages

This is the opposite of isolate_lru_pages().  It merges pages from
a list back onto the appropriate LRU lists.

2/4:  Local reclaim core

The reclaim code.  It extends shrink_list() so it can be used to scan
the active list as well.  The core of all of this is
reclaim_clean_pages().  It tries to remove a specified number of pages
from a zone's cache.  It does this without swapping or doing writebacks.
The goal here is to free easily freeable pages.

3/4:  toss_page_cache_node() syscall

This adds the manual reclaim method via a syscall.

4/4:  localreclaim flags for mempolicies

Adds a flags argument to set_mempolicy() and add a new mempolicy.

mh

-- 
Martin Hicks   ||   Silicon Graphics Inc.   ||   mort@sgi.com
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