mm/page_counter.c: fix protection usage propagation

When workload runs in cgroups that aren't directly below root cgroup and
their parent specifies reclaim protection, it may end up ineffective.

The reason is that propagate_protected_usage() is not called in all
hierarchy up.  All the protected usage is incorrectly accumulated in the
workload's parent.  This means that siblings_low_usage is overestimated
and effective protection underestimated.  Even though it is transitional
phenomenon (uncharge path does correct propagation and fixes the wrong
children_low_usage), it can undermine the intended protection

We have noticed this problem while seeing a swap out in a descendant of a
protected memcg (intermediate node) while the parent was conveniently
under its protection limit and the memory pressure was external to that
hierarchy.  Michal has pinpointed this down to the wrong
siblings_low_usage which led to the unwanted reclaim.

The fix is simply updating children_low_usage in respective ancestors also
in the charging path.

Fixes: 230671533d64 ("mm: memory.low hierarchical behavior")
Signed-off-by: Michal Koutný <>
Signed-off-by: Michal Hocko <>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <>
Acked-by: Michal Hocko <>
Acked-by: Roman Gushchin <>
Cc: Johannes Weiner <>
Cc: Tejun Heo <>
Cc: <>	[4.18+]
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <>
1 file changed