Based on kernel version 3.12. Page generated on 2013-11-13 21:59 EST.
1 REDUCING OS JITTER DUE TO PER-CPU KTHREADS 2 3 This document lists per-CPU kthreads in the Linux kernel and presents 4 options to control their OS jitter. Note that non-per-CPU kthreads are 5 not listed here. To reduce OS jitter from non-per-CPU kthreads, bind 6 them to a "housekeeping" CPU dedicated to such work. 7 8 9 REFERENCES 10 11 o Documentation/IRQ-affinity.txt: Binding interrupts to sets of CPUs. 12 13 o Documentation/cgroups: Using cgroups to bind tasks to sets of CPUs. 14 15 o man taskset: Using the taskset command to bind tasks to sets 16 of CPUs. 17 18 o man sched_setaffinity: Using the sched_setaffinity() system 19 call to bind tasks to sets of CPUs. 20 21 o /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuN/online: Control CPU N's hotplug state, 22 writing "0" to offline and "1" to online. 23 24 o In order to locate kernel-generated OS jitter on CPU N: 25 26 cd /sys/kernel/debug/tracing 27 echo 1 > max_graph_depth # Increase the "1" for more detail 28 echo function_graph > current_tracer 29 # run workload 30 cat per_cpu/cpuN/trace 31 32 33 KTHREADS 34 35 Name: ehca_comp/%u 36 Purpose: Periodically process Infiniband-related work. 37 To reduce its OS jitter, do any of the following: 38 1. Don't use eHCA Infiniband hardware, instead choosing hardware 39 that does not require per-CPU kthreads. This will prevent these 40 kthreads from being created in the first place. (This will 41 work for most people, as this hardware, though important, is 42 relatively old and is produced in relatively low unit volumes.) 43 2. Do all eHCA-Infiniband-related work on other CPUs, including 44 interrupts. 45 3. Rework the eHCA driver so that its per-CPU kthreads are 46 provisioned only on selected CPUs. 47 48 49 Name: irq/%d-%s 50 Purpose: Handle threaded interrupts. 51 To reduce its OS jitter, do the following: 52 1. Use irq affinity to force the irq threads to execute on 53 some other CPU. 54 55 Name: kcmtpd_ctr_%d 56 Purpose: Handle Bluetooth work. 57 To reduce its OS jitter, do one of the following: 58 1. Don't use Bluetooth, in which case these kthreads won't be 59 created in the first place. 60 2. Use irq affinity to force Bluetooth-related interrupts to 61 occur on some other CPU and furthermore initiate all 62 Bluetooth activity on some other CPU. 63 64 Name: ksoftirqd/%u 65 Purpose: Execute softirq handlers when threaded or when under heavy load. 66 To reduce its OS jitter, each softirq vector must be handled 67 separately as follows: 68 TIMER_SOFTIRQ: Do all of the following: 69 1. To the extent possible, keep the CPU out of the kernel when it 70 is non-idle, for example, by avoiding system calls and by forcing 71 both kernel threads and interrupts to execute elsewhere. 72 2. Build with CONFIG_HOTPLUG_CPU=y. After boot completes, force 73 the CPU offline, then bring it back online. This forces 74 recurring timers to migrate elsewhere. If you are concerned 75 with multiple CPUs, force them all offline before bringing the 76 first one back online. Once you have onlined the CPUs in question, 77 do not offline any other CPUs, because doing so could force the 78 timer back onto one of the CPUs in question. 79 NET_TX_SOFTIRQ and NET_RX_SOFTIRQ: Do all of the following: 80 1. Force networking interrupts onto other CPUs. 81 2. Initiate any network I/O on other CPUs. 82 3. Once your application has started, prevent CPU-hotplug operations 83 from being initiated from tasks that might run on the CPU to 84 be de-jittered. (It is OK to force this CPU offline and then 85 bring it back online before you start your application.) 86 BLOCK_SOFTIRQ: Do all of the following: 87 1. Force block-device interrupts onto some other CPU. 88 2. Initiate any block I/O on other CPUs. 89 3. Once your application has started, prevent CPU-hotplug operations 90 from being initiated from tasks that might run on the CPU to 91 be de-jittered. (It is OK to force this CPU offline and then 92 bring it back online before you start your application.) 93 BLOCK_IOPOLL_SOFTIRQ: Do all of the following: 94 1. Force block-device interrupts onto some other CPU. 95 2. Initiate any block I/O and block-I/O polling on other CPUs. 96 3. Once your application has started, prevent CPU-hotplug operations 97 from being initiated from tasks that might run on the CPU to 98 be de-jittered. (It is OK to force this CPU offline and then 99 bring it back online before you start your application.) 100 TASKLET_SOFTIRQ: Do one or more of the following: 101 1. Avoid use of drivers that use tasklets. (Such drivers will contain 102 calls to things like tasklet_schedule().) 103 2. Convert all drivers that you must use from tasklets to workqueues. 104 3. Force interrupts for drivers using tasklets onto other CPUs, 105 and also do I/O involving these drivers on other CPUs. 106 SCHED_SOFTIRQ: Do all of the following: 107 1. Avoid sending scheduler IPIs to the CPU to be de-jittered, 108 for example, ensure that at most one runnable kthread is present 109 on that CPU. If a thread that expects to run on the de-jittered 110 CPU awakens, the scheduler will send an IPI that can result in 111 a subsequent SCHED_SOFTIRQ. 112 2. Build with CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU=y, CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU_ALL=y, 113 CONFIG_NO_HZ_FULL=y, and, in addition, ensure that the CPU 114 to be de-jittered is marked as an adaptive-ticks CPU using the 115 "nohz_full=" boot parameter. This reduces the number of 116 scheduler-clock interrupts that the de-jittered CPU receives, 117 minimizing its chances of being selected to do the load balancing 118 work that runs in SCHED_SOFTIRQ context. 119 3. To the extent possible, keep the CPU out of the kernel when it 120 is non-idle, for example, by avoiding system calls and by 121 forcing both kernel threads and interrupts to execute elsewhere. 122 This further reduces the number of scheduler-clock interrupts 123 received by the de-jittered CPU. 124 HRTIMER_SOFTIRQ: Do all of the following: 125 1. To the extent possible, keep the CPU out of the kernel when it 126 is non-idle. For example, avoid system calls and force both 127 kernel threads and interrupts to execute elsewhere. 128 2. Build with CONFIG_HOTPLUG_CPU=y. Once boot completes, force the 129 CPU offline, then bring it back online. This forces recurring 130 timers to migrate elsewhere. If you are concerned with multiple 131 CPUs, force them all offline before bringing the first one 132 back online. Once you have onlined the CPUs in question, do not 133 offline any other CPUs, because doing so could force the timer 134 back onto one of the CPUs in question. 135 RCU_SOFTIRQ: Do at least one of the following: 136 1. Offload callbacks and keep the CPU in either dyntick-idle or 137 adaptive-ticks state by doing all of the following: 138 a. Build with CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU=y, CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU_ALL=y, 139 CONFIG_NO_HZ_FULL=y, and, in addition ensure that the CPU 140 to be de-jittered is marked as an adaptive-ticks CPU using 141 the "nohz_full=" boot parameter. Bind the rcuo kthreads 142 to housekeeping CPUs, which can tolerate OS jitter. 143 b. To the extent possible, keep the CPU out of the kernel 144 when it is non-idle, for example, by avoiding system 145 calls and by forcing both kernel threads and interrupts 146 to execute elsewhere. 147 2. Enable RCU to do its processing remotely via dyntick-idle by 148 doing all of the following: 149 a. Build with CONFIG_NO_HZ=y and CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ=y. 150 b. Ensure that the CPU goes idle frequently, allowing other 151 CPUs to detect that it has passed through an RCU quiescent 152 state. If the kernel is built with CONFIG_NO_HZ_FULL=y, 153 userspace execution also allows other CPUs to detect that 154 the CPU in question has passed through a quiescent state. 155 c. To the extent possible, keep the CPU out of the kernel 156 when it is non-idle, for example, by avoiding system 157 calls and by forcing both kernel threads and interrupts 158 to execute elsewhere. 159 160 Name: kworker/%u:%d%s (cpu, id, priority) 161 Purpose: Execute workqueue requests 162 To reduce its OS jitter, do any of the following: 163 1. Run your workload at a real-time priority, which will allow 164 preempting the kworker daemons. 165 2. Do any of the following needed to avoid jitter that your 166 application cannot tolerate: 167 a. Build your kernel with CONFIG_SLUB=y rather than 168 CONFIG_SLAB=y, thus avoiding the slab allocator's periodic 169 use of each CPU's workqueues to run its cache_reap() 170 function. 171 b. Avoid using oprofile, thus avoiding OS jitter from 172 wq_sync_buffer(). 173 c. Limit your CPU frequency so that a CPU-frequency 174 governor is not required, possibly enlisting the aid of 175 special heatsinks or other cooling technologies. If done 176 correctly, and if you CPU architecture permits, you should 177 be able to build your kernel with CONFIG_CPU_FREQ=n to 178 avoid the CPU-frequency governor periodically running 179 on each CPU, including cs_dbs_timer() and od_dbs_timer(). 180 WARNING: Please check your CPU specifications to 181 make sure that this is safe on your particular system. 182 d. It is not possible to entirely get rid of OS jitter 183 from vmstat_update() on CONFIG_SMP=y systems, but you 184 can decrease its frequency by writing a large value to 185 /proc/sys/vm/stat_interval. The default value is HZ, 186 for an interval of one second. Of course, larger values 187 will make your virtual-memory statistics update more 188 slowly. Of course, you can also run your workload at 189 a real-time priority, thus preempting vmstat_update(). 190 e. If running on high-end powerpc servers, build with 191 CONFIG_PPC_RTAS_DAEMON=n. This prevents the RTAS 192 daemon from running on each CPU every second or so. 193 (This will require editing Kconfig files and will defeat 194 this platform's RAS functionality.) This avoids jitter 195 due to the rtas_event_scan() function. 196 WARNING: Please check your CPU specifications to 197 make sure that this is safe on your particular system. 198 f. If running on Cell Processor, build your kernel with 199 CBE_CPUFREQ_SPU_GOVERNOR=n to avoid OS jitter from 200 spu_gov_work(). 201 WARNING: Please check your CPU specifications to 202 make sure that this is safe on your particular system. 203 g. If running on PowerMAC, build your kernel with 204 CONFIG_PMAC_RACKMETER=n to disable the CPU-meter, 205 avoiding OS jitter from rackmeter_do_timer(). 206 207 Name: rcuc/%u 208 Purpose: Execute RCU callbacks in CONFIG_RCU_BOOST=y kernels. 209 To reduce its OS jitter, do at least one of the following: 210 1. Build the kernel with CONFIG_PREEMPT=n. This prevents these 211 kthreads from being created in the first place, and also obviates 212 the need for RCU priority boosting. This approach is feasible 213 for workloads that do not require high degrees of responsiveness. 214 2. Build the kernel with CONFIG_RCU_BOOST=n. This prevents these 215 kthreads from being created in the first place. This approach 216 is feasible only if your workload never requires RCU priority 217 boosting, for example, if you ensure frequent idle time on all 218 CPUs that might execute within the kernel. 219 3. Build with CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU=y and CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU_ALL=y, 220 which offloads all RCU callbacks to kthreads that can be moved 221 off of CPUs susceptible to OS jitter. This approach prevents the 222 rcuc/%u kthreads from having any work to do, so that they are 223 never awakened. 224 4. Ensure that the CPU never enters the kernel, and, in particular, 225 avoid initiating any CPU hotplug operations on this CPU. This is 226 another way of preventing any callbacks from being queued on the 227 CPU, again preventing the rcuc/%u kthreads from having any work 228 to do. 229 230 Name: rcuob/%d, rcuop/%d, and rcuos/%d 231 Purpose: Offload RCU callbacks from the corresponding CPU. 232 To reduce its OS jitter, do at least one of the following: 233 1. Use affinity, cgroups, or other mechanism to force these kthreads 234 to execute on some other CPU. 235 2. Build with CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU=n, which will prevent these 236 kthreads from being created in the first place. However, please 237 note that this will not eliminate OS jitter, but will instead 238 shift it to RCU_SOFTIRQ. 239 240 Name: watchdog/%u 241 Purpose: Detect software lockups on each CPU. 242 To reduce its OS jitter, do at least one of the following: 243 1. Build with CONFIG_LOCKUP_DETECTOR=n, which will prevent these 244 kthreads from being created in the first place. 245 2. Echo a zero to /proc/sys/kernel/watchdog to disable the 246 watchdog timer. 247 3. Echo a large number of /proc/sys/kernel/watchdog_thresh in 248 order to reduce the frequency of OS jitter due to the watchdog 249 timer down to a level that is acceptable for your workload.