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[PATCH] circular buffer + hash for jobs.c:bgpids

From: John Fremlin
Subject: [PATCH] circular buffer + hash for jobs.c:bgpids
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 00:59:21 +0000
User-agent: Microsoft-MacOutlook/

Over time, a long running bash process with ulimit –u set high (e.g. 100k) will 
gradually use more and more CPU. My last patch does not actually fix the 
problem in all cases, just stores fewer things in this structure.

This second patch changes the bpgids structure to use a hash table pointing to 
a contiguous circular buffer and frees it after fork. 

To see the slowdown and improvement set ulimit -u 30000 (many production 
systems have this over 100k) and run something like

while true; do (:) & (:); done

And look at top.

Alternatively, this command shows it clearly

/usr/bin/time -p bash -c 'start=$(date +%s); end=$(($start+2000)); now=$start; 
while test $now -le $end; do count=0; while test $(date +%s) = $now; do (:) & 
(:); count=$((count+1)); done; now=$(date +%s); echo $(($now - $start)) $count; 

The output is in both cases real 2000

With patch it is dominated by copying page table entries on fork

user 94.14
sys 657.74

Without patch most time is spent in bgp_* functions

user 1637.16
sys 1337.58

Number of iterations of this busy loop is much higher with the patch too :)

Any feedback much appreciated!

From:  John Fremlin
Date:  Monday, April 13, 2015 at 9:54 PM
To:  "address@hidden"
Subject:  Only store revealed pids in bgpids data structure

Bash instances running in loops get slower over time, as the bgpids data 
structure grows. Here is a small patch to alleviate one issue :)

The jobs.c:bgpids data structure is used as a cache for the wait syscall, to 
store the status of dead processes, so that scripts can wait on pids even 
multiple times (a bash extension not in POSIX that only allows it once).

Some pids cannot ever be waited for in this way because they run in the 
foreground and there is no way to see their process id.

This patch chooses to only insert the dead pids that could have been known 
about into the bgpids structure. This has a *huge* performance implication for 
long running bash processes that naturally spawn many sub-shells over
 their life, and can gradually slow down.

First set ulimit -u 30000 (this is used by bash to determine the size of bgpids)

With the patch:

address@hidden:~/Programs/bash$ (time -p ./bash -c 'j=30000; for i in $(seq 1 
$j); do (:); (:) ; (:); done; wait')
real 32.31
user 1.21
sys 10.37

Without the patch:

address@hidden:~/Programs/bash$ (time -p ./bash-unpatched -c 'j=30000; for i in 
$(seq 1 $j); do (:); (:) ; (:); done; wait')
real 104.03
user 44.16
sys 48.57

Maybe the number j=30000 will need to be modified according to your system’s 

The number of pids in bgpids is determined normally by the number of user 
processes or ulimit -u, which can be very high on modern systems (e.g. >100k). 
As this is the number of allowed *living* processes and bgpids is just
 about *dead* processes, maybe this limit should be revisited - actually to 
increase it (perhaps at least 1024 + number of living processes — this would 
accommodate those systems that set low limits on living processes to constrain 
resource usage but allow
 people to obtain the exit status of their processes termination). 

I ran make check and it has 0 exit status :) - not sure if this is the right 
way of guessing whether a pid was revealed, would love feedback! I have a 
bigger patch I changing bgpids to a hash table etc. that makes general
 workloads much faster

Attachment: bash-circular-bgpids.patch
Description: bash-circular-bgpids.patch

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