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SubjectRe: [PATCH] mm: allow to decrease swap.max below actual swap usage
Hello, Roman.

The reclaim behavior is a bit worrisome.

* It disables an entire swap area while reclaim is in progress. Most
systems only have one swap area, so this would disable allocating
new swap area for everyone.

* The reclaim seems very inefficient. IIUC, it has to read every swap
page to see whether the page belongs to the target memcg and for
each matching page, which involves walking page mm's and page

An easy optimization would be walking swap_cgroup_ctrl so that it only
reads swap entries which belong to the target cgroup and avoid
disabling swap for others, but looking at the code, I wonder whether
we need active reclaim at all.

Swap already tries to aggressively reclaim swap entries when swap
usage > 50% of the limit, so simply reducing the limit already
triggers aggressive reclaim, and given that it's swap, just waiting it
out could be the better behavior anyway, so how about something like
the following?

------ 8< ------
From: Tejun Heo <>
Subject: mm: memcg: allow lowering memory.swap.max below the current usage

Currently an attempt to set swap.max into a value lower than the
actual swap usage fails, which causes configuration problems as
there's no way of lowering the configuration below the current usage
short of turning off swap entirely. This makes swap.max difficult to
use and allows delegatees to lock the delegator out of reducing swap

This patch updates swap_max_write() so that the limit can be lowered
below the current usage. It doesn't implement active reclaiming of
swap entries for the following reasons.

* mem_cgroup_swap_full() already tells the swap machinary to
aggressively reclaim swap entries if the usage is above 50% of
limit, so simply lowering the limit automatically triggers gradual

* Forcing back swapped out pages is likely to heavily impact the
workload and mess up the working set. Given that swap usually is a
lot less valuable and less scarce, letting the existing usage
dissipate over time through the above gradual reclaim and as they're
falted back in is likely the better behavior.

Signed-off-by: Tejun Heo <>
Cc: Roman Gushchin <>
Cc: Johannes Weiner <>
Cc: Michal Hocko <>
Cc: Shaohua Li <>
Cc: Rik van Riel <>
Documentation/cgroup-v2.txt | 5 +++++
mm/memcontrol.c | 6 +-----
2 files changed, 6 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

--- a/Documentation/cgroup-v2.txt
+++ b/Documentation/cgroup-v2.txt
@@ -1199,6 +1199,11 @@ PAGE_SIZE multiple when read back.
Swap usage hard limit. If a cgroup's swap usage reaches this
limit, anonymous memory of the cgroup will not be swapped out.

+ When reduced under the current usage, the existing swap
+ entries are reclaimed gradually and the swap usage may stay
+ higher than the limit for an extended period of time. This
+ reduces the impact on the workload and memory management.

Usage Guidelines
--- a/mm/memcontrol.c
+++ b/mm/memcontrol.c
@@ -6144,11 +6144,7 @@ static ssize_t swap_max_write(struct ker
if (err)
return err;

- mutex_lock(&memcg_limit_mutex);
- err = page_counter_limit(&memcg->swap, max);
- mutex_unlock(&memcg_limit_mutex);
- if (err)
- return err;
+ xchg(&memcg->swap.limit, max);

return nbytes;
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