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[Bug 1154876] Re: 3.2.0-38 and earlier systems hang with heavy memory usage


Christopher, its looks like I actually have  a reasonable record of the
VMWare version I was using for this reproduction despite having
regularly updated my VMWare. .  The VMWare installer has a log that
shows that at the time of the reproduction/report here I was running the
VMWare vmplayer 4.0.4 x86_64 version build#744019.

Since I was causing reproductions of this issue well before and after
the dates in March that I reported it here, I'm quite certain that I've
reproduced this issue across multiple versions of the vmplayer.   And
we've seen similar-appearing issues on our real servers.  Hope this

Thanks for looking into this!  Its still an ongoing issue, especially
with the 2.6 kernels in another bug I wrote related to this one.

** Changed in: linux (Ubuntu)
       Status: Incomplete => Confirmed

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  3.2.0-38 and earlier systems hang with heavy memory usage

Status in “linux” package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:

  We've been experiencing mysterious hangs on our 2.6.38-16 Ubuntu 10.04
  systems in the field.  The systems have large amounts of memory and disk,
  along with up to a couple dozen CPU threads.  Our operations folks have
  to power-cycle the machines to recover them, they do not panic.  Our use
  of "hang" means the system will no longer respond to any current shell
  prompts, will not accept new logins, and may not even respond to pings.
  It appears totally dead.

  Using log files and the "sar" utility from the "sysstat" package we
  gradually put together the following clues to the hangs:

    Numerous "INFO: task <task-name>:<pid> blocked for more than 120 seconds"
    High CPU usage suddenly on all CPUs heading into the hang, 92% or higher
    Very high kswapd page scan rates (pgscank/s) - up to 7 million per second
    Very high direct page scan rates (pgscand/s) - up to 3 million per second

  In addition to noting the above events just before the hangs, we have
  some evidence that the high kswapd scans occur at other times for no
  seemingly obvious reason.  Such as when there is a signficant (25%) amount
  of kbmemfree.  Also, we've seen cases where there are application errors
  related to a system's responsiveness and that has sometimes correlated
  with either high pgscank/s or pgscand/s that lasts for some number of
  sar records before the system returns to normal running.  The peaks of
  these transients aren't usually as high as those we see leading to a
  solid system hang/failure.  And sometimes these are not "transients",
  but last for hours with no apparent event related to the starting or
  stopping of this behavior!

  So we decided to see if we can reproduce these symptoms on a VMware
  testbed that we could easily examine with kdb and snapshot/dump.
  Through a combination of tar, find, and cat commands launched from
  a shell script we could recreate a system hang on both our 2.6.38-16
  systems as well as the various flavors of the 3.2 kernels, with the
  one crashdump'ed here being the latest 3.2.0-38 at the time of testing.
  The "sar" utility on our 2.6 testing confirmed similar behavior of the
  CPUs, kswapd scans, and direct scans leading up to the testbed hangs as
  to what we see in the field failures of our servers.

  Details on the shell scripts can be found in the file referenced below.
  Its important to read the information below on how the crash dump was
  taken before investigating it.  Reproduction on a 2-CPU VM took 1.5-4
  days for a 3.2 kernel, usually considerably less for a 2.6 kernel.

  Hang/crashdump details:

  In the crashdump the crash "dmesg" command will also show Call Traces that
  occured *after* kdb investigations started.  Its important to note the
  kernel timestamp that indicates the start of those kdb actions and only
  examine prior to that for clues as to the hang proper:

  [160512.756748] SysRq : DEBUG
  [164936.052464] psmouse serio1: Wheel Mouse at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost synchronization, throwing 2 bytes away.
  [164943.764441] psmouse serio1: resync failed, issuing reconnect request
  [165296.817468] SysRq : DEBUG

  Everything previous to the above "dmesg" output occurs prior (or during)
  the full system hang.  The kdb session started over 12 hours after the
  hang, the system was totally non-responsive at either its serial console
  or GUI.  Did not try a "ping" in this instance.

  The "kdb actions" taken may be seen in an actual log of that session
  recorded in console_kdb_session.txt.  It shows where these 3.2 kernels
  are spending their time when hung in our testbed ("spinning" in
  __alloc_pages_slowpath by failing an allocation, sleeping, retrying).
  We see the same behavior for the 2.6 kernels/tests as well except for
  one difference described below.  For the 3.2 dump included here all our
  script/load processes, as well as system processes, are constantly failing
  to allocate a page, sleeping briefly, and trying again.  This occurs
  across all CPUs (2 CPUs in this system/dump), which fits with what we
  believe we see in our field machines for the 2.6 kernels.

  For the 2.6 kernels the only difference we see is that there is typically
  a call to the __alloc_pages_may_oom function which in turn selects a
  process to kill, but we see that there is already a "being killed by oom"
  process at the hang so no additional ones are selected.  And we deadlock,
  just as the comment in oom_kill.c's select_bad_process() says.  In the
  3.2 kernels we are now moving our systems to we see in our testbed hang
  that the code does not go down the __alloc_pages_may_oom path.  Yet from
  the logs we include and the "dmesg" within crash one can see that prior
  to the hang OOM killing is invoked frequently.  The key seems to be a
  difference in the "did_some_progress" variable returned when we are very
  low on memory, its always a "1" in the 3.2 kernels on our testbed.

  Though the kernel used here is 3.2.0-38-generic we have also caused this
  to occur with earlier 3.2 Ubuntu kernels.  We have also reproduced the
  failures with 2.6.38-8, 2.6.38-16, and 3.0 Ubuntu kernels.

  Quick description of included attachments (assuming this bug tool lets me add them separately):
  console_boot_output.txt - boot up messages until standard running state of OOMs
  dmesg_of_boot.txt - dmesg file from boot, mostly duplicates start of the above
  console_last_output.txt - last messages on serial console when system hung
  console_kdb_session.txt - kdb session demo'ing where system is "spinning"
  dump.201303072055 - sysrq-g dump, system was up around 2 days before hanging
  reproduction_info.txt - Machine environment and script used in our testbed

  ProblemType: Bug
  DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.04
  Package: linux-image-3.2.0-38-generic 3.2.0-38.61
  ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.2.0-38.61-generic 3.2.37
  Uname: Linux 3.2.0-38-generic x86_64
  AlsaVersion: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.24.
  ApportVersion: 2.0.1-0ubuntu17.1
  Architecture: amd64
   **** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
   card 0: AudioPCI [Ensoniq AudioPCI], device 0: ES1371/1 [ES1371 DAC2/ADC]
     Subdevices: 1/1
     Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
   /dev/snd/controlC0:  marc       2591 F.... pulseaudio
  CRDA: Error: command ['iw', 'reg', 'get'] failed with exit code 1: nl80211 not found.
   Card hw:0 'AudioPCI'/'Ensoniq AudioPCI ENS1371 at 0x20c0, irq 18'
     Mixer name	: 'Cirrus Logic CS4297A rev 3'
     Components	: 'AC97a:43525913'
     Controls      : 24
     Simple ctrls  : 13
  Date: Wed Mar 13 17:05:30 2013
  HibernationDevice: RESUME=UUID=2342cd45-2970-47d7-bb6d-6801d361cb3e
  InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" - Release amd64 (20120425)
   Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
   Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
   Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0e0f:0003 VMware, Inc. Virtual Mouse
   Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0e0f:0002 VMware, Inc. Virtual USB Hub
  MachineType: VMware, Inc. VMware Virtual Platform
  MarkForUpload: True
   PATH=(custom, no user)
  ProcFB: 0 svgadrmfb
  ProcKernelCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-38-generic root=UUID=2db72c58-0ff6-48f6-87e4-55365ee344df ro crashkernel=384M-2G:64M,2G-:128M rootdelay=60 console=ttyS1,115200n8 kgdboc=kms,kbd,ttyS1,115200n8 splash
   linux-restricted-modules-3.2.0-38-generic N/A
   linux-backports-modules-3.2.0-38-generic  N/A
   linux-firmware                            1.79.1

  SourcePackage: linux
  UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
  dmi.bios.date: 06/02/2011
  dmi.bios.vendor: Phoenix Technologies LTD
  dmi.bios.version: 6.00
  dmi.board.name: 440BX Desktop Reference Platform
  dmi.board.vendor: Intel Corporation
  dmi.board.version: None
  dmi.chassis.asset.tag: No Asset Tag
  dmi.chassis.type: 1
  dmi.chassis.vendor: No Enclosure
  dmi.chassis.version: N/A
  dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnPhoenixTechnologiesLTD:bvr6.00:bd06/02/2011:svnVMware,Inc.:pnVMwareVirtualPlatform:pvrNone:rvnIntelCorporation:rn440BXDesktopReferencePlatform:rvrNone:cvnNoEnclosure:ct1:cvrN/A:
  dmi.product.name: VMware Virtual Platform
  dmi.product.version: None
  dmi.sys.vendor: VMware, Inc.

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