From: Michal Hocko <>

3.4.113-rc1 review patch.  If anyone has any objections, please let me know.


commit 373ccbe5927034b55bdc80b0f8b54d6e13fe8d12 upstream.

Tetsuo Handa has reported that the system might basically livelock in
OOM condition without triggering the OOM killer.

The issue is caused by internal dependency of the direct reclaim on
vmstat counter updates (via zone_reclaimable) which are performed from
the workqueue context.  If all the current workers get assigned to an
allocation request, though, they will be looping inside the allocator
trying to reclaim memory but zone_reclaimable can see stalled numbers so
it will consider a zone reclaimable even though it has been scanned way
too much.  WQ concurrency logic will not consider this situation as a
congested workqueue because it relies that worker would have to sleep in
such a situation.  This also means that it doesn't try to spawn new
workers or invoke the rescuer thread if the one is assigned to the

In order to fix this issue we need to do two things.  First we have to
let wq concurrency code know that we are in trouble so we have to do a
short sleep.  In order to prevent from issues handled by 0e093d99763e
("writeback: do not sleep on the congestion queue if there are no
congested BDIs or if significant congestion is not being encountered in
the current zone") we limit the sleep only to worker threads which are
the ones of the interest anyway.

The second thing to do is to create a dedicated workqueue for vmstat and
mark it WQ_MEM_RECLAIM to note it participates in the reclaim and to
have a spare worker thread for it.

Signed-off-by: Michal Hocko <>
Reported-by: Tetsuo Handa <>
Cc: Tejun Heo <>
Cc: Cristopher Lameter <>
Cc: Joonsoo Kim <>
Cc: Arkadiusz Miskiewicz <>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <>
[lizf: Backported to 3.4: adjust context]
Signed-off-by: Zefan Li <>
 mm/backing-dev.c | 19 ++++++++++++++++---
 mm/vmstat.c      |  6 ++++--
 2 files changed, 20 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

diff --git a/mm/backing-dev.c b/mm/backing-dev.c
index dd8e2aa..3f54b7d 100644
--- a/mm/backing-dev.c
+++ b/mm/backing-dev.c
@@ -843,8 +843,9 @@ EXPORT_SYMBOL(congestion_wait);
  * jiffies for either a BDI to exit congestion of the given @sync queue
  * or a write to complete.
- * In the absence of zone congestion, cond_resched() is called to yield
- * the processor if necessary but otherwise does not sleep.
+ * In the absence of zone congestion, a short sleep or a cond_resched is
+ * performed to yield the processor and to allow other subsystems to make
+ * a forward progress.
  * The return value is 0 if the sleep is for the full timeout. Otherwise,
  * it is the number of jiffies that were still remaining when the function
@@ -864,7 +865,19 @@ long wait_iff_congested(struct zone *zone, int sync, long 
        if (atomic_read(&nr_bdi_congested[sync]) == 0 ||
                        !zone_is_reclaim_congested(zone)) {
-               cond_resched();
+               /*
+                * Memory allocation/reclaim might be called from a WQ
+                * context and the current implementation of the WQ
+                * concurrency control doesn't recognize that a particular
+                * WQ is congested if the worker thread is looping without
+                * ever sleeping. Therefore we have to do a short sleep
+                * here rather than calling cond_resched().
+                */
+               if (current->flags & PF_WQ_WORKER)
+                       schedule_timeout(1);
+               else
+                       cond_resched();
                /* In case we scheduled, work out time remaining */
                ret = timeout - (jiffies - start);
diff --git a/mm/vmstat.c b/mm/vmstat.c
index 7db1b9b..e89c0f6 100644
--- a/mm/vmstat.c
+++ b/mm/vmstat.c
@@ -1139,13 +1139,14 @@ static const struct file_operations 
proc_vmstat_file_operations = {
 #endif /* CONFIG_PROC_FS */
 #ifdef CONFIG_SMP
+static struct workqueue_struct *vmstat_wq;
 static DEFINE_PER_CPU(struct delayed_work, vmstat_work);
 int sysctl_stat_interval __read_mostly = HZ;
 static void vmstat_update(struct work_struct *w)
-       schedule_delayed_work(&__get_cpu_var(vmstat_work),
+       queue_delayed_work(vmstat_wq, &__get_cpu_var(vmstat_work),
@@ -1154,7 +1155,7 @@ static void __cpuinit start_cpu_timer(int cpu)
        struct delayed_work *work = &per_cpu(vmstat_work, cpu);
        INIT_DELAYED_WORK_DEFERRABLE(work, vmstat_update);
-       schedule_delayed_work_on(cpu, work, __round_jiffies_relative(HZ, cpu));
+       queue_delayed_work_on(cpu, vmstat_wq, work, 
__round_jiffies_relative(HZ, cpu));
@@ -1204,6 +1205,7 @@ static int __init setup_vmstat(void)
+       vmstat_wq = alloc_workqueue("vmstat", WQ_FREEZABLE|WQ_MEM_RECLAIM, 0);

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