Test Day:2009-09-17 Virtualization Hugepages

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     Domain foo started
 
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This should result in a huge page back guest launch
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This should result in a huge page backed guest launch
 
which may be verified as above.
 
which may be verified as above.
  

Revision as of 06:53, 17 September 2009

DATE TIME WHERE
Thursday Sep 17, 2009 All day #fedora-test-day (webchat)

Contents

What to test?

This part of today's Fedora Test Day will focus on testing the KVM Huge Page Backed Memory feature in Fedora 12.

If you come to this page after the test day is completed, your testing is still valuable, and you can use the information on this page to test huge pages support and provide feedback.

Who's available

John Cooper is your host for today.

The following people have also agreed to be available for testing, workarounds, bug fixes, and general discussion:

What's needed to test

Test Cases

This is the procedure I used to create the initial patch which allows libvirt to recognize/generate a huge page backed guest xml definition. NB: While fairly low-level and useful to unit test, it is however not a mechanism directly visible to a typical user.

The goal here was to allow libvirt to request guest backing by huge pages, which are essentially of 2MB size vs. that of a standard 4KB page. Doing so offers a significant performance benefit in certain application scenarios.


Prepare the Host


Populate the huge page pool of a size suitable to support the guest image(s) which will be created:

   # grep Huge /proc/meminfo
   HugePages_Total:       0
   HugePages_Free:        0
   HugePages_Rsvd:        0
   HugePages_Surp:        0
   Hugepagesize:       2048 kB
   # echo 500 > /proc/sys/vm/nr_hugepages
   # grep Huge /proc/meminfo
   HugePages_Total:     500
   HugePages_Free:      500
   HugePages_Rsvd:        0
   HugePages_Surp:        0
   Hugepagesize:       2048 kB

Note the above may take a considerable amount of time on a machine with fragmented physical memory. So it is best to do so as soon after boot as possible. Also on machines with limited memory, populating a smaller number of pages may be necessary.

Having created the free huge page pool, mount hugetlbfs on the host. If the mount point doesn't exist, create it first:

   # mkdir /dev/hugepages
   # mount -t hugetlbfs hugetlbfs /dev/hugepages

Note the mount above must be in place before launcing libvirtd as the daemon currently checks for a hugetlbfs mount only upon startup. So if the daemon is currently running, terminate it:

   # kill `cat /usr/local/var/run/libvirtd.pid`

Then (re)start the daemon. Doing so in separate window running in the foreground will allow diagnostics to make their way to stdout:

   # <path_to_daemon>/libvirtd


Launch the Guest


To launch the guest conventionally from virsh:

   # <path_to_virsh>/virsh --connect qemu:///system
   virsh #

At this point a guest must be defined by specifying an XML definition (more on this below), for example:

   virsh # define /etc/libvirt/qemu/hp_danpb-on.xml
   Domain foo defined from /etc/libvirt/qemu/hp_danpb-on.xml

In the above example the guest is tagged with the name "foo" in the associated XML definition:

   virsh # list --all
    Id Name                 State
   ----------------------------------
     - foo                  shut off

The guest may be launched via:

   virsh # start foo
   Domain foo started

And a VNC connection to the guest console can be made via:

   # vncviewer localhost:5900

If all goes well the guest should launch successfully with its image backed by huge pages. [Note it won't unless the guest XML definition specifies huge page usage correctly as below. But proceeding here is instructive in any event.]

Successful launch of a huge page backed guest may be evidenced by observing the huge page free pool decreasing:

   # grep Huge /proc/meminfo
   HugePages_Total:     500
   HugePages_Free:      481
   HugePages_Rsvd:      247
   HugePages_Surp:        0
   Hugepagesize:       2048 kB

In the likely case HugePages_Free == HugePages_Total take a look at the XML definition for the guest, For example:

   virsh # dumpxml foo
   <domain type='qemu'>
     <name>foo</name>
     <uuid>4c58c2a6-1b52-688e-bcfb-e57159f50961</uuid>
     <memory>524288</memory>
     <currentMemory>524288</currentMemory>
     <vcpu>1</vcpu>
     <os>
       <type arch='x86_64' machine='pc'>hvm</type>
       <boot dev='hd'/>
     </os>
       :

The above does not specify a memory backing mechanism and therefore defaults to backing by 4KB pages. To specify huge page backing a <memoryBacking> clause is needed:

   virsh # dumpxml foo
   <domain type='qemu'>
     <name>foo</name>
     <uuid>4c58c2a6-1b52-688e-bcfb-e57159f50961</uuid>
     <memory>524288</memory>
     <currentMemory>524288</currentMemory>
     <memoryBacking>
       <hugepages/>
     </memoryBacking>
     <vcpu>1</vcpu>
     <os>
       <type arch='x86_64' machine='pc'>hvm</type>
       <boot dev='hd'/>
     </os>
       :


To add this to the XML definition, edit the corresponding file to add the <memoryBacking> clause as above, undefine, and redefine the guest:

   virsh # undefine foo
   Domain foo has been undefined
   virsh # define /etc/libvirt/qemu/hp_danpb-on.xml    [edited XML def]
   Domain foo defined from /etc/libvirt/qemu/hp_danpb-on.xml
   virsh # start foo
   Domain foo started

This should result in a huge page backed guest launch which may be verified as above.


Possible Caveat


There was a modification to the default disposition of selinux genfscon fs types affecting (among others) hugetlbfs in the kernel 2.6.29-2.6.30 timeframe. This manifests as failure of chcon(1) on hugetlbfs files. Correction requires a selinux policy change for hugetlbfs and a corresponding kernel fs change. Neither of which have been conclusively tested as of this writing on prospective FC12. Thus there is a possibility SELINUX may need to be disabled to allow successful launch of a huge page backed guest.

Issues that were identified

Tester Description Bug references Status
#XXXXX ASSIGNED