Questions regarding journal replay

Ralf Hildebrandt Ralf.Hildebrandt at
Wed Feb 25 17:39:07 UTC 2009

* Theodore Tso <tytso at>:
> On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 10:31:42AM -0600, Eric Sandeen wrote:
> > 
> > It'd be better to get to the bottom of the problem ... maybe iostat
> > while it's happening to see if IO is actually happening; run blktrace to
> > see where IO is going, do a few sysrq-t's to see where threads are at, etc.
> > 
> > Can you find a way to reproduce this at will?
> > 
> > Journal replay should *never* take this long, AFAIK.
> Indeed.  The journal is 128 megs, as I recall.  So even if the journal
> was completely full, if it's taking 800 seconds, that's a write rate
> of 0.16 Mb/S (164 kb/second).   That is indeed way too slow.  

The problem seems to be with the external journal which I recently
changed to. It's a 32GB partition. My timings seem to indicate that
ALL OF IT was being replayed

> I assume this wasn't your boot partition, so the journal replay was
> being done by e2fsck, right?


> Or are you guys skipping e2fsck and the journal replay was happening
> when you mounted the partition?

Both. We tried both ways :)

> If the journal replay is happening via e2fsck, is fsck running any
> other filesystem checks in parallel? 

No, it's running alone.

> Also, what is the geometry of your raid?  How many disks, what RAID
> level, and what is the chunk size?  The journal replay is done a
> filesystem block at a time, so it could be that it's turning into a
> large number of read-modify-writes, which is trashing your performance
> if the chunk size is really large.

The RAID is made up from one logical volume, consisting of two drives
sda and sdb, each containing 6 disks in a hardware RAID5 setup.
> The other thing that might explain the performan problem is if the
> somehow the number of multiple outstanding requests allowed by the
> hard drive has been clamped down to a very small number, and so a
> large number of small read/write requests is really killing
> performance.  The system dmesg log might have some hidden clues about
> that.

dmesg is silent

Ralf Hildebrandt                                Ralf.Hildebrandt at
Charite - Universitätsmedizin Berlin            Tel.  +49 (0)30-450 570-155
Geschäftsbereich IT | Abt. Netzwerk             Fax.  +49 (0)30-450 570-962
Hindenburgdamm 30 | 12200 Berlin

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