Re: [Patch][RFC] epoll and half closed TCP connections

Davide Libenzi (
Sun, 13 Jul 2003 09:55:23 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 13 Jul 2003, Jamie Lokier wrote:

> Eric Varsanyi wrote:
> > > Well then, use epoll's level-triggered mode. It's quite easy - it's
> > > the default now. :)
> >
> > The problem with all the level triggered schemes (poll, select, epoll w/o
> > EPOLLET) is that they call every driver and poll status for every call into
> > the kernel. This appeared to be killing my app's performance and I verified
> > by writing some simple micro benchmarks.
> OH! :-O
> Level-triggered epoll_wait() time _should_ be scalable - proportional
> to the number of ready events, not the number of listening events. If
> this is not the case then it's a bug in epoll.

Jamie, he is talking about select here.

> Reading the code in eventpoll.c et al, I think that some time will
> be taken for fds that are transitioning on events which you're not
> interested in. Notably, each time a TCP segment is sent and
> acknowledged by the other end, poll-waiters are woken, your task will
> be woken and do some work in epoll_wait(), but no events are returned
> if you are only listening for read availability.
> I'm not 100% sure of this, but tracing through
> skb->destructor
> -> sock_wfree()
> -> tcp_write_space()
> -> wake_up_interruptible()
> -> ep_poll_callback()
> it looks as though _every_ TCP ACK you receive will cause epoll to wake up
> a task which is interested in _any_ socket events, but then in
> <context switch>
> ep_poll()
> -> ep_events_transfer()
> -> ep_send_events()
> no events are transferred, so ep_poll() will loop and try again. This
> is quite unfortunate if true, as many of the apps which need to scale
> write a lot of segments without receiving very much.

That's true, it is the beauty of the poll hook ;) I said this a long time
ago. It is addressable by a wake_up_mask() and some code all around. I did
not see (as long as other didn't) any performance impact bacause of this,
with throughput that remained steady flat under any ratio of hot/cold fds.
Since it is easily addressable and will not require an API change, I'd
rather wait for someone to report a real (or even unreal) load that makes
epoll to not flat-scale.

- Davide

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