All workers in 'D' state using sendfile

姚伟斌 nbubingo at
Mon May 28 10:06:22 UTC 2012

Hi Maxim,

Is there any planning to develop the thread version?

2012/5/12 Maxim Dounin <mdounin at>:
> Hello!
> On Sat, May 12, 2012 at 08:28:14PM +1000, Drew Wareham wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I have tried to summarize this as much as possible but it's still a lot of
>> text.  I apologize but wanted to make sure that I provide enough
>> information to explain the issue properly.
>> I'm hoping that somebody that uses nginx as a high traffic/concurrency
>> download server will be able to shed some light on this issue.  I've tried
>> as many things as I can think of and everything keeps pointing to it being
>> an issue with nginx, not the server - but I am of course more than willing
>> to try any suggestions provided.
>> *Background:*
>> Approx. 1,500 - 5,000 concurrent connections (peak / off-peak),
>> Files vary in size from 5MB to 2GB,
>> All downloads; only very small dynamic content scripts run on these servers
>> and none take more than 1-3 seconds,
>> File are hosted on direct-attached AoE storage with a dedicated 10GE link,
>> Server is running nginx-1.0.11, php-fpm 5.3 and CentOS 5.8x64
>> (
>> Specs are: Dual Xeon E5649 (6 Core), 32GB RAM, 300GB 10k SAS HDD, AoE DAS
>> over 10GE
>> Download speeds are restricted by the PHP handoff using X-Accel-Redirect,
>> but obviously not when I'm testing ;)
>> *Issue:*
>> After running for a short, but random period of time (5min ~ 90min) all
>> nginx workers will eventually end up in a 'D' state according to ps/top.
>> This causes all downloads to run extremely slowly (~25kb/s) but it doesn't
>> seem to be caused by I/O because an scp of the same file will complete at
>> the expected speed of ~750MB+/s.
>> I usually run with worker_processes set to 13, but I've had to raise this
>> to 50 to prevent the issue.  This works short term, but I'm guessing
>> eventually I will need to restart nginx to fix it.
>> *Config:*
>> I'm using sendfile with epoll, and using the following events / http
>> settings (I've removed the location block with the fastcgi handler, etc):
> With rotational disks you have to optimize iops to minimize seeks.
> This includes:
> 1. Switch off sendfile, it works bad on such workloads under linux
> due to no ability to control readahead (and hence blocks read from
> disk).
> 2. Use large output buffers, something like
>    output_buffers 1 512k
> would be a good starting point.
> 3. Try using aio to ensure better disk concurrency (and note under
> linux it needs directio as well), i.e. something like this
>    aio on;
>    directio 512;
> (this will require newer kernel though, but using 2.6.18 nowadays
> looks like bad idea, at least if you need speed)
> 4. Try tuning io scheduler, there have been reports that deadline
> might be better for such workloads.
> More details can be found here:
> Maxim Dounin
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