Consistently "high" CPU load on 10.0-STABLE

Jeremy Chadwick jdc at
Sun Jul 20 06:24:17 UTC 2014

(Please keep me CC'd as I'm not subscribed to freebsd-stable@)

Today I took the liberty of upgrading my main home server from
9.3-STABLE (r268785) to 10.0-STABLE (r268894).  The upgrade consisted of
doing a fresh install of 10.0-STABLE on a brand new unused SSD.  Most
everything went as planned, barring a couple ports-related anomalies,
and I seemed fairly impressed by the fact that buildworld times had
dropped to 27 minutes and buildkernel to 4 minutes with clang (something
I'd been avoiding like the plague for a long while).  Kudos.

But after an hour or so, I noticed a consistent (i.e. reproducible)
trend: the system load average tends to hang around 0.10 to 0.15 all the
time.  There are times where the load drops to 0.03 or 0.04 but then
something kicks it back up to 0.15 or 0.20 and then it slowly levels out
again (over the course of a few minutes) then repeats.

Obviously this is normal behaviour for a system when something is going
on periodically.  So I figured it might have been a userland process
behaving differently under 10.x than 9.x.  I let top -a -S -s 1 run and
paid very very close attention to it for several minutes.  Nothing.  It
doesn't appear to be something userland -- it appears to be something
kernel-level, but nothing in top -S shows up as taking up any CPU time
other than "[idle]" so I have no idea what might be doing it.

The box isn't doing anything like routing network traffic/NAT, it's pure
IPv4 (IPv6 disabled in world and kernel, and my home network does
basically no IPv6) and sits idle most of the time fetching mail.  It
does use ZFS, but not for /, swap, /var, /tmp, or /usr.

vmstat -i doesn't particularly show anything awful.  All the cpuX:timer
entries tend to fluctuate in rate, usually 120-200 or so; I'd expect an
interrupt storm to be showing something in the 1000+ range.

The only thing I can think of is the fact that the SSD being used has no
4K quirk entry in the kernel (and its ATA IDENTIFY responds with 512
logical, 512 physical, even though we know it's 4K).  The partitions are
all 1MB-aligned regardless.

This is all bare-metal, by the way -- no virtualisation involved.

I do have DTrace enabled/built on this box but I have absolutely no clue
how to go about profiling things.  For example maybe output of this sort
would be helpful (but I've no idea how to get it):

I'm certain I didn't see this behaviour in 9.x so I'd be happy to try
and track it down if I had a little bit of hand-holding.

I've put all the things I can think of that might be relevant to "system
config/tuning bits" up here:

I should note my kernel config is slightly inaccurate (I've removed some
stuff from the file in attempt to rebuild, but building world prior to
kernel failed due to r268896 breaking world, but anyone subscribed here
has already seen the Jenkins job of that ;-) ).


| Jeremy Chadwick                                   jdc at |
| UNIX Systems Administrator       |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.             PGP 4BD6C0CB |

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