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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 13:02:28 -0400
From: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
To: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
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Now, the great kernel hacker, ac, said that 2.2 is better at vm in low memo=
ry situations than 2.4 is. Why is this? Why hasnt someone fixed the 2.4 cod=
e?

Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com


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Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
To: unkn...@panax.com (Patrick McFarland)
Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 18:16:00 +0100 (BST)
Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
In-Reply-To: <20011013130228.E249@localhost> from "Patrick McFarland" at Oct 13, 2001 01:02:28 PM
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From: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
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> Now, the great kernel hacker, ac, said that 2.2 is better at vm in low memo=
> ry situations than 2.4 is. Why is this? Why hasnt someone fixed the 2.4 cod=
> e?

Actually they have on thw whole. However VM tuning is a hard problem
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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 13:33:01 -0400
From: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
To: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
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Hmm, it seems that I didnt realize I had to cc that to the list, because I =
belive this is something that should be on the list.

Anyhow, exactly how much tweeking did you do, and isnt the ac tree suppost =
to be unstable?

On 13-Oct-2001, Alan Cox wrote:

> > Now as of the tuning problem, that seems to be deep magic to me. How would
> > one tune 2.4 for a p133 with 16 megs of memory? Or should I just give up an
> > d try to tune 2.2?

> I've been running 2.4.12-ac1 happily on both 20Mb and 32Mb boxes. The
> performance of the kernel has been good. Indeed the tuning work I had to do
> on the 20Mb PC110 has been userspace.

> Alan


Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com


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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 13:49:27 -0400
From: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
To: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
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Well, I dont actually need anything thats provided in 2.4 thats not provide=
d in 2.2. I tend to use standard hardware. Would 2.2 be a better choice?

On 13-Oct-2001, Alan Cox wrote:

> > Hmm, it seems that I didnt realize I had to cc that to the list, because I 
> > belive this is something that should be on the list.

> > Anyhow, exactly how much tweeking did you do, and isnt the ac tree suppost
> > to be unstable?

> The -ac patches vary in stability. The release announcement for each one is
> intended to be a guide to how stable I expect it to be.


Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com


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From: "M. Edward Borasky" <zn...@aracnet.com>
To: "Linux-Kernel@Vger. Kernel. Org" <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: RE: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 11:06:16 -0700
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-kernel-ow...@vger.kernel.org
> [mailto:linux-kernel-ow...@vger.kernel.org]On Behalf Of Alan Cox
> Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 10:16 AM
> To: Patrick McFarland
> Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
> Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
> > Now, the great kernel hacker, ac, said that 2.2 is better at vm
> in low memo=
> > ry situations than 2.4 is. Why is this? Why hasnt someone fixed
> the 2.4 cod=
> > e?
> Actually they have on thw whole. However VM tuning is a hard problem

Ah! Finally the t-word!! Yes, VM "tuning" is a hard problem. Because any
full-strength operating system, whether Windows NT, Linux, some other flavor
of UNIX or even MVS, can be used to support a variety of computational
endeavors, it is almost impossible to come up with a fixed "algorithm" that
will effectively support all legitimate usage patterns while protecting
users as much as possible from pathological usage patterns. Therefore ...

Most operating systems allow one to *measure* performance variables and give
system managers *control knobs* they can use to tune policy to a given
usage. For example, I once worked on a system where there were three modes.
During the day, the system was tuned for interactive users, on the swing
shift it was tuned to a mix of batch jobs and system administration
functions like backups, and on the graveyard shift it ran nothing but huge
batch jobs.

Linux certainly has the measurement capabilities; I've been able to find
everything I need in /proc for the monitoring and analysis I need to do. On
the control knobs, I think Linux falls short relative to, say, Solaris,
Tru64, VMS and Windows 2000. Nearly all decisions seem to be "hard-wired" in
Linux, for example, the goodness boosts given to processes to promote soft
affinity, the time slice, and the fractions of memory allocated to the
various functions: buffers, cached, etc. They are set as #defines in header
files. Even having them as variables would be an improvement; then they
could be examined and modified with a debugger.

I would like to be able to set up a test system in my laboratory, fire up a
benchmark that emulates a real-world workload and tweak these parameters
somewhere in /proc in real time, while watching the response times of my
benchmark transactions. I can do this in Tru64, I can do this in a number of
other operating systems. Right now, for all practical purposes, when I want
to perform an experiment like this, I need to recompile, quite often, the
*entire* kernel, reboot and re-run my benchmark. In other words, if the
parameters were tunable, what now takes *days* to do could be accomplished
in hours, even minutes, with just a little up-front work.
--
M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Chief Scientist, Borasky Research
http://www.borasky-research.net
mailto:zn...@borasky-research.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BoraskyResearchJournal

Q: How do you tell when a pineapple is ready to eat?
A: It picks up its knife and fork.

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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 14:17:09 -0400
From: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
To: "M. Edward Borasky" <zn...@aracnet.com>
Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
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Hmm, I see that as very bad. There should be a bunch of sysctls to do that =
easily. Also, I heard that 2.4 (and I'm assuming 2.2 as well) swaps pages o=
n a last-used-age basis, instead of either a number-of-times-used or a hybr=
id of the two. That kinda seems stupid, especially if you get a bunch of ap=
ps running that just cycle thru pages, instead of the most used pages stayi=
ng in memory, and the least used being swapped back and forth with about 2 =
or 3 megs of memory used to store the least used pages in memory

On 13-Oct-2001, M. Edward Borasky wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: linux-kernel-ow...@vger.kernel.org
> > [mailto:linux-kernel-ow...@vger.kernel.org]On Behalf Of Alan Cox
> > Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 10:16 AM
> > To: Patrick McFarland
> > Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
> > Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
> > > Now, the great kernel hacker, ac, said that 2.2 is better at vm
> > in low memo=3D
> > > ry situations than 2.4 is. Why is this? Why hasnt someone fixed
> > the 2.4 cod=3D
> > > e?
> > Actually they have on thw whole. However VM tuning is a hard problem
>=20
> Ah! Finally the t-word!! Yes, VM "tuning" is a hard problem. Because any
> full-strength operating system, whether Windows NT, Linux, some other fla=
vor
> of UNIX or even MVS, can be used to support a variety of computational
> endeavors, it is almost impossible to come up with a fixed "algorithm" th=
at
> will effectively support all legitimate usage patterns while protecting
> users as much as possible from pathological usage patterns. Therefore ...
>=20
> Most operating systems allow one to *measure* performance variables and g=
ive
> system managers *control knobs* they can use to tune policy to a given
> usage. For example, I once worked on a system where there were three mode=
s.
> During the day, the system was tuned for interactive users, on the swing
> shift it was tuned to a mix of batch jobs and system administration
> functions like backups, and on the graveyard shift it ran nothing but huge
> batch jobs.
>=20
> Linux certainly has the measurement capabilities; I've been able to find
> everything I need in /proc for the monitoring and analysis I need to do. =
On
> the control knobs, I think Linux falls short relative to, say, Solaris,
> Tru64, VMS and Windows 2000. Nearly all decisions seem to be "hard-wired"=
 in
> Linux, for example, the goodness boosts given to processes to promote soft
> affinity, the time slice, and the fractions of memory allocated to the
> various functions: buffers, cached, etc. They are set as #defines in head=
er
> files. Even having them as variables would be an improvement; then they
> could be examined and modified with a debugger.
>=20
> I would like to be able to set up a test system in my laboratory, fire up=
 a
> benchmark that emulates a real-world workload and tweak these parameters
> somewhere in /proc in real time, while watching the response times of my
> benchmark transactions. I can do this in Tru64, I can do this in a number=
 of
> other operating systems. Right now, for all practical purposes, when I wa=
nt
> to perform an experiment like this, I need to recompile, quite often, the
> *entire* kernel, reboot and re-run my benchmark. In other words, if the
> parameters were tunable, what now takes *days* to do could be accomplished
> in hours, even minutes, with just a little up-front work.
> --
> M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Chief Scientist, Borasky Research
> http://www.borasky-research.net
> mailto:zn...@borasky-research.net
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BoraskyResearchJournal
>=20
> Q: How do you tell when a pineapple is ready to eat?
> A: It picks up its knife and fork.
>=20
> -
> To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
> the body of a message to majord...@vger.kernel.org
> More majordomo info at  http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html
> Please read the FAQ at  http://www.tux.org/lkml/
>=20

Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com


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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 15:29:44 -0300 (BRST)
From: Rik van Riel <r...@conectiva.com.br>
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To: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
Cc: "M. Edward Borasky" <zn...@aracnet.com>, <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
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On Sat, 13 Oct 2001, Patrick McFarland wrote:

> Hmm, I see that as very bad. There should be a bunch of sysctls to do
> that easily.

See /proc/sys/vm/* and the documentation ;)

> Also, I heard that 2.4 (and I'm assuming 2.2 as well) swaps pages on a
> last-used-age basis, instead of either a number-of-times-used or a
> hybrid of the two. That kinda seems stupid,

Don't worry since it's not true, at least the VM in the -ac
kernels _does_ use a hybrid of access recency and frequency
to determine page replacement.

The -linus kernel, however only has LRU-like selection.

At the moment the -linus kernel is faster than the -ac kernel
for some workloads. This may have something to do with better
clusterable IO ... when page replacement is less precise the
chance that IO is clusterable is probably larger due to the
way we scan.

I plan to do more explicit IO clustering in -ac to try and
remedy this difference.

regards,

Rik
-- 
DMCA, SSSCA, W3C?  Who cares?  http://thefreeworld.net/  (volunteers needed)

http://www.surriel.com/		http://distro.conectiva.com/

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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 14:42:20 -0400
From: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
To: Rik van Riel <r...@conectiva.com.br>
Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
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Ill reiterate something here, im on a p133 with 16 megs. Yeah, the kind of =
the crappy ide controller that eats cpu time to swap. (Enough so that my mo=
use pointer will freeze in X that its swapping so much. Swapping is the onl=
y thing ive found that can pull that off) Swapping the least ammount would =
be the best for a box like that.

On 13-Oct-2001, Rik van Riel wrote:
> On Sat, 13 Oct 2001, Patrick McFarland wrote:
>=20
> > Hmm, I see that as very bad. There should be a bunch of sysctls to do
> > that easily.
>=20
> See /proc/sys/vm/* and the documentation ;)
>=20
> > Also, I heard that 2.4 (and I'm assuming 2.2 as well) swaps pages on a
> > last-used-age basis, instead of either a number-of-times-used or a
> > hybrid of the two. That kinda seems stupid,
>=20
> Don't worry since it's not true, at least the VM in the -ac
> kernels _does_ use a hybrid of access recency and frequency
> to determine page replacement.
>=20
> The -linus kernel, however only has LRU-like selection.
>=20
> At the moment the -linus kernel is faster than the -ac kernel
> for some workloads. This may have something to do with better
> clusterable IO ... when page replacement is less precise the
> chance that IO is clusterable is probably larger due to the
> way we scan.
>=20
> I plan to do more explicit IO clustering in -ac to try and
> remedy this difference.
>=20
> regards,
>=20
> Rik
> --=20
> DMCA, SSSCA, W3C?  Who cares?  http://thefreeworld.net/  (volunteers need=
ed)
>=20
> http://www.surriel.com/		http://distro.conectiva.com/
>=20

Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com


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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 14:53:42 -0400
From: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
To: Rik van Riel <r...@conectiva.com.br>
Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
Original-Message-ID: <20011013145341.R249@localhost>
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Also, I'd like to say about the documentation...

<quote>
Currently, these files are in /proc/sys/vm:
- bdflush
- buffermem
- freepages
- kswapd
- overcommit_memory
- page-cluster
- pagecache
- pagetable_cache
</quote>

but a simple ls of /proc/sys/vm reports:
bdflush  kswapd  overcommit_memory  page-cluster  pagetable_cache

Shouldnt the documentation be updated, seeing for the fact it was written i=
n the 2.2.10 days?

On 13-Oct-2001, Patrick McFarland wrote:
> Ill reiterate something here, im on a p133 with 16 megs. Yeah, the kind o=
f the crappy ide controller that eats cpu time to swap. (Enough so that my =
mouse pointer will freeze in X that its swapping so much. Swapping is the o=
nly thing ive found that can pull that off) Swapping the least ammount woul=
d be the best for a box like that.
>=20
> On 13-Oct-2001, Rik van Riel wrote:
> > On Sat, 13 Oct 2001, Patrick McFarland wrote:
> >=20
> > > Hmm, I see that as very bad. There should be a bunch of sysctls to do
> > > that easily.
> >=20
> > See /proc/sys/vm/* and the documentation ;)
> >=20
> > > Also, I heard that 2.4 (and I'm assuming 2.2 as well) swaps pages on a
> > > last-used-age basis, instead of either a number-of-times-used or a
> > > hybrid of the two. That kinda seems stupid,
> >=20
> > Don't worry since it's not true, at least the VM in the -ac
> > kernels _does_ use a hybrid of access recency and frequency
> > to determine page replacement.
> >=20
> > The -linus kernel, however only has LRU-like selection.
> >=20
> > At the moment the -linus kernel is faster than the -ac kernel
> > for some workloads. This may have something to do with better
> > clusterable IO ... when page replacement is less precise the
> > chance that IO is clusterable is probably larger due to the
> > way we scan.
> >=20
> > I plan to do more explicit IO clustering in -ac to try and
> > remedy this difference.
> >=20
> > regards,
> >=20
> > Rik
> > --=20
> > DMCA, SSSCA, W3C?  Who cares?  http://thefreeworld.net/  (volunteers ne=
eded)
> >=20
> > http://www.surriel.com/		http://distro.conectiva.com/
> >=20
>=20
> --=20
> Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com



Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com


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On Sat, 13 Oct 2001, Patrick McFarland wrote:

> Shouldnt the documentation be updated, seeing for the fact it was
> written in the 2.2.10 days?

I've sent in the patch with updated (well, 2.4.2 time)
documentation a number of times around 2.4.2 / 2.4.3.

I'll update the docs for the -ac kernel and will give
Alan the new documentation.

As for Linus his kernel, complain to Andrea about the
complete lack of documentation.

regards,

Rik
-- 
DMCA, SSSCA, W3C?  Who cares?  http://thefreeworld.net/  (volunteers needed)

http://www.surriel.com/		http://distro.conectiva.com/

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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 15:04:08 -0400
From: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
To: Rik van Riel <r...@conectiva.com.br>
Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
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Could you put the updated vm.txt up somewhere for the world to read?
Atleast if the url is here, people could grep the mailing list for "vm 
doc" or something and find it that way.

On 13-Oct-2001, Rik van Riel wrote:
> On Sat, 13 Oct 2001, Patrick McFarland wrote:
> 
> > Shouldnt the documentation be updated, seeing for the fact it was
> > written in the 2.2.10 days?
> 
> I've sent in the patch with updated (well, 2.4.2 time)
> documentation a number of times around 2.4.2 / 2.4.3.
> 
> I'll update the docs for the -ac kernel and will give
> Alan the new documentation.
> 
> As for Linus his kernel, complain to Andrea about the
> complete lack of documentation.
> 
> regards,
> 
> Rik
> -- 
> DMCA, SSSCA, W3C?  Who cares?  http://thefreeworld.net/  (volunteers needed)
> 
> http://www.surriel.com/		http://distro.conectiva.com/
> 
> -
> To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
> the body of a message to majord...@vger.kernel.org
> More majordomo info at  http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html
> Please read the FAQ at  http://www.tux.org/lkml/
> 

-- 
Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com
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On Sat, 13 Oct 2001, Patrick McFarland wrote:

> Could you put the updated vm.txt up somewhere for the world to read?
> Atleast if the url is here, people could grep the mailing list for "vm
> doc" or something and find it that way.

The patch (for linux 2.4.2) has been up on my home page for
ages now:

	http://www.surriel.com/patches/

regards,

Rik
-- 
DMCA, SSSCA, W3C?  Who cares?  http://thefreeworld.net/  (volunteers needed)

http://www.surriel.com/		http://distro.conectiva.com/

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On Sat, 13 Oct 2001, Patrick McFarland wrote:

> Ill reiterate something here, im on a p133 with 16 megs. Yeah, the
> kind of the crappy ide controller that eats cpu time to swap. (Enough
> so that my mouse pointer will freeze in X that its swapping so much.
> Swapping is the only thing ive found that can pull that off) Swapping
> the least ammount would be the best for a box like that.

Absolutely true.  Are you willing to help the VM developers test
their patches by seeing how well stuff runs on your box, so we
can try and make the VM work better for you ?

regards,

Rik
-- 
DMCA, SSSCA, W3C?  Who cares?  http://thefreeworld.net/  (volunteers needed)

http://www.surriel.com/		http://distro.conectiva.com/

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Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Patrick McFarland" <unkn...@panax.com>
To: "Rik van Riel" <r...@conectiva.com.br>
Cc: <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 2:53 PM
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4

>Also, I'd like to say about the documentation...
>
><quote>
>Currently, these files are in /proc/sys/vm:
>- bdflush
>- buffermem
>- freepages
>- kswapd
>- overcommit_memory
>- page-cluster
>- pagecache
>- pagetable_cache
></quote>
>
>but a simple ls of /proc/sys/vm reports:
>bdflush  kswapd  overcommit_memory  page-cluster  pagetable_cache
>
>Shouldnt the documentation be updated, seeing for the fact it was written
in the 2.2.10 days?

I must be confused.. What kernel are you running?
This is on 2.4.8-ac9:
[root@aeon /root]# ls /proc/sys/vm
bdflush    freepages  max_map_count  min-readahead      pagecache
pagetable_cache
buffermem  kswapd     max-readahead  overcommit_memory  page-cluster



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Original-Date: 	Sat, 13 Oct 2001 16:21:55 -0400
From: Patrick McFarland <unkn...@panax.com>
To: Wilson <defi...@null.net>
Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
Original-Message-ID: <20011013162155.A1665@localhost>
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Lines: 53

Im using 2.4.12-linus

On 13-Oct-2001, Wilson wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Patrick McFarland" <unkn...@panax.com>
> To: "Rik van Riel" <r...@conectiva.com.br>
> Cc: <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
> Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 2:53 PM
> Subject: Re: Which is better at vm, and why? 2.2 or 2.4
> 
> >Also, I'd like to say about the documentation...
> >
> ><quote>
> >Currently, these files are in /proc/sys/vm:
> >- bdflush
> >- buffermem
> >- freepages
> >- kswapd
> >- overcommit_memory
> >- page-cluster
> >- pagecache
> >- pagetable_cache
> ></quote>
> >
> >but a simple ls of /proc/sys/vm reports:
> >bdflush  kswapd  overcommit_memory  page-cluster  pagetable_cache
> >
> >Shouldnt the documentation be updated, seeing for the fact it was written
> in the 2.2.10 days?
> 
> I must be confused.. What kernel are you running?
> This is on 2.4.8-ac9:
> [root@aeon /root]# ls /proc/sys/vm
> bdflush    freepages  max_map_count  min-readahead      pagecache
> pagetable_cache
> buffermem  kswapd     max-readahead  overcommit_memory  page-cluster
> 
> 
> 
> -
> To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
> the body of a message to majord...@vger.kernel.org
> More majordomo info at  http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html
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> 

-- 
Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || unkn...@panax.com
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