mm, compaction: prevent infinite loop in compact_zone

Several people have reported occasionally seeing processes stuck in
compact_zone(), even triggering soft lockups, in 3.18-rc2+.

Testing a revert of commit e14c720efdd7 ("mm, compaction: remember
position within pageblock in free pages scanner") fixed the issue,
although the stuck processes do not appear to involve the free scanner.

Finally, by code inspection, the bug was found in isolate_migratepages()
which uses a slightly different condition to detect if the migration and
free scanners have met, than compact_finished().  That has not been a
problem until commit e14c720efdd7 allowed the free scanner position
between individual invocations to be in the middle of a pageblock.

In a relatively rare case, the migration scanner position can end up at
the beginning of a pageblock, with the free scanner position in the
middle of the same pageblock.  If it's the migration scanner's turn,
isolate_migratepages() exits immediately (without updating the
position), while compact_finished() decides to continue compaction,
resulting in a potentially infinite loop.  The system can recover only
if another process creates enough high-order pages to make the watermark
checks in compact_finished() pass.

This patch fixes the immediate problem by bumping the migration
scanner's position to meet the free scanner in isolate_migratepages(),
when both are within the same pageblock.  This causes compact_finished()
to terminate properly.  A more robust check in compact_finished() is
planned as a cleanup for better future maintainability.

Fixes: e14c720efdd73 ("mm, compaction: remember position within pageblock in free pages scanner)
Signed-off-by: Vlastimil Babka <>
Reported-by: P. Christeas <>
Tested-by: P. Christeas <>
Reported-by: Norbert Preining <>
Tested-by: Norbert Preining <>
Reported-by: Pavel Machek <>
Cc: Joonsoo Kim <>
Cc: David Rientjes <>
Cc: Mel Gorman <>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <>
1 file changed