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[PATCH] fix readahead pipeline break caused by block plug

From:  Shaohua Li <>
To:  lkml <>, linux-mm <>
Subject:  [PATCH] fix readahead pipeline break caused by block plug
Date:  Tue, 31 Jan 2012 15:59:40 +0800
Message-ID:  <1327996780.21268.42.camel@sli10-conroe>
Cc:  Andrew Morton <>, Jens Axboe <>, Herbert Poetzl <>, Eric Dumazet <>, Vivek Goyal <>, Wu Fengguang <>
Archive-link:  Article

Herbert Poetzl reported a performance regression since 2.6.39. The test
is a simple dd read, but with big block size. The reason is:

T1: ra (A, A+128k), (A+128k, A+256k)
T2: lock_page for page A, submit the 256k
T3: hit page A+128K, ra (A+256k, A+384). the range isn't submitted
because of plug and there isn't any lock_page till we hit page A+256k
because all pages from A to A+256k is in memory
T4: hit page A+256k, ra (A+384, A+ 512). Because of plug, the range isn't
submitted again.
T5: lock_page A+256k, so (A+256k, A+512k) will be submitted. The task is
waitting for (A+256k, A+512k) finish.

There is no request to disk in T3 and T4, so readahead pipeline breaks.

We really don't need block plug for generic_file_aio_read() for buffered
I/O. The readahead already has plug and has fine grained control when I/O
should be submitted. Deleting plug for buffered I/O fixes the regression.

One side effect is plug makes the request size 256k, the size is 128k
without it. This is because default ra size is 128k and not a reason we
need plug here.

Signed-off-by: Shaohua Li <>
Tested-by: Herbert Poetzl <>
Tested-by: Eric Dumazet <>
Signed-off-by: Wu Fengguang <>

diff --git a/mm/filemap.c b/mm/filemap.c
index 97f49ed..b662757 100644
--- a/mm/filemap.c
+++ b/mm/filemap.c
@@ -1400,15 +1400,12 @@ generic_file_aio_read(struct kiocb *iocb, const struct iovec *iov,
 	unsigned long seg = 0;
 	size_t count;
 	loff_t *ppos = &iocb->ki_pos;
-	struct blk_plug plug;
 	count = 0;
 	retval = generic_segment_checks(iov, &nr_segs, &count, VERIFY_WRITE);
 	if (retval)
 		return retval;
-	blk_start_plug(&plug);
 	/* coalesce the iovecs and go direct-to-BIO for O_DIRECT */
 	if (filp->f_flags & O_DIRECT) {
 		loff_t size;
@@ -1424,8 +1421,12 @@ generic_file_aio_read(struct kiocb *iocb, const struct iovec *iov,
 			retval = filemap_write_and_wait_range(mapping, pos,
 					pos + iov_length(iov, nr_segs) - 1);
 			if (!retval) {
+				struct blk_plug plug;
+				blk_start_plug(&plug);
 				retval = mapping->a_ops->direct_IO(READ, iocb,
 							iov, pos, nr_segs);
+				blk_finish_plug(&plug);
 			if (retval > 0) {
 				*ppos = pos + retval;
@@ -1481,7 +1482,6 @@ generic_file_aio_read(struct kiocb *iocb, const struct iovec *iov,
-	blk_finish_plug(&plug);
 	return retval;

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