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Re: Slow(er) loading of Grub starting after commit 887f98f0d

From: Daniel Kiper
Subject: Re: Slow(er) loading of Grub starting after commit 887f98f0d
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2022 18:21:07 +0200
User-agent: NeoMutt/20170113 (1.7.2)

Adding folks who may be interested in this...

Sorry for delay but I was on vacation...

Somehow related issue was reported here [1]...

On Fri, Sep 02, 2022 at 01:45:28PM +0800, Gary Lin via Grub-devel wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 01, 2022 at 06:44:24PM +0200, Marcel Langner via Grub-devel wrote:
> > Hi,
> > just subscribed coming from arch forum
> > ( to report slower loading
> > of grub after commit 887f98f0d.
> > The additional delay is around 20s and happens right after I get the message
> > Slot 0 opened (as I have a luks encrypted partition) and after selecting a
> > menu entry.
> I also encountered a similar delay when backporting
> 887f98f0db4..1df2934822df to openSUSE grub2. The loading of the grub2
> menu with openSUSE theme was delayed around 2~3 seconds after applying
> the patch set. Without the patch set, the menu showed right after the
> "Welcome to Grub" message.
> > From what I have figured out already a new way of allocating memory more
> > dynamically was introduced.
> > So I played a bit with the code and figured out, that increasing the newly
> > introduced DEFAULT_HEAP_SIZE speeds up the boot process again, until it has
> > reached no noticeable change from before. At 2MB it was already faster
> > loading, at 4MB I could not see any difference from before the change
> > anymore.
> >
> For my case, I have to increase the default heap size to 8MB to eliminate
> the delay totally.
> > My guess is that the now additional calls to get the needed memory slows
> > down the process. Not all users that reported in the arch forum seem to be
> > impacted. I guess it depends on what modules they use and how much memory
> > internally is used depending on what is individually configured and how
> > (e.g. encryption, type of root fs...).
> >
> > I understood the former logic of allocation in a way that (if needed) either
> > a maximum 1.6GB of memory is allocated or 1/4 of the installed memory. For
> > my system the new code now starts at 1MB (instead of over 1GB) and needs to
> > work its way up.
> > This new way of allocating seems to try to not simply cancel if a hard coded
> > allocation value fails but starts at a very low minimum and tries until the
> > available system memory is really exhausted. So basically tries to also
> > support lower memory situations better but assuming a minimum of 1MB.
> > So far my understanding.
> >
> > Assuming my findings can be supported by you, maybe an adjusted allocation
> > scheme where 1/4 of the available memory can be used as the default and if
> > this is not 1MB one could still cancel and throw errors?
> >
> It sounds feasible to bring back the old heap size setting since the setting
> already works for years, and the extra memory demands can be covered by the
> new dynamic allocation patches.

IMO it is an overkill. I think we should increase DEFAULT_HEAP_SIZE to
32 MiB first as it was suggested by Daniel A. in the [1] thread. Or more
if needed. I would revert old behavior if increasing DEFAULT_HEAP_SIZE
does not work well.

Daniel A., could you also fix the issue which you mentioned here [2]?



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