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From e3455ccc52d50010fdbd1940d7efebd28c65f3ad Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Kevin Wolf <>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 17:12:27 +0000
Subject: [PATCH 02/15] docs: Document the new default sizes of the qcow2

RH-Author: Kevin Wolf <>
Message-id: <>
Patchwork-id: 83297
O-Subject: [RHEL-8.0 qemu-kvm PATCH 02/15] docs: Document the new default sizes of the qcow2 caches
Bugzilla: 1656507
RH-Acked-by: Max Reitz <>
RH-Acked-by: John Snow <>
RH-Acked-by: Stefan Hajnoczi <>

From: Alberto Garcia <>

We have just reduced the refcount cache size to the minimum unless
the user explicitly requests a larger one, so we have to update the
documentation to reflect this change.

Signed-off-by: Alberto Garcia <>
Reviewed-by: Eric Blake <>
Signed-off-by: Max Reitz <>
(cherry picked from commit 603790ef3aec6a19b1c095188a1d2171934a27de)
Signed-off-by: Kevin Wolf <>
Signed-off-by: Danilo C. L. de Paula <>
 docs/qcow2-cache.txt | 33 ++++++++++++++++-----------------
 1 file changed, 16 insertions(+), 17 deletions(-)

diff --git a/docs/qcow2-cache.txt b/docs/qcow2-cache.txt
index 170191a..8a09a5c 100644
--- a/docs/qcow2-cache.txt
+++ b/docs/qcow2-cache.txt
@@ -116,31 +116,30 @@ There are three options available, and all of them take bytes:
 "refcount-cache-size":   maximum size of the refcount block cache
 "cache-size":            maximum size of both caches combined
-There are two things that need to be taken into account:
+There are a few things that need to be taken into account:
  - Both caches must have a size that is a multiple of the cluster size
    (or the cache entry size: see "Using smaller cache sizes" below).
- - If you only set one of the options above, QEMU will automatically
-   adjust the others so that the L2 cache is 4 times bigger than the
-   refcount cache.
+ - The default L2 cache size is 8 clusters or 1MB (whichever is more),
+   and the minimum is 2 clusters (or 2 cache entries, see below).
-This means that these options are equivalent:
+ - The default (and minimum) refcount cache size is 4 clusters.
-   -drive file=hd.qcow2,l2-cache-size=2097152
-   -drive file=hd.qcow2,refcount-cache-size=524288
-   -drive file=hd.qcow2,cache-size=2621440
+ - If only "cache-size" is specified then QEMU will assign as much
+   memory as possible to the L2 cache before increasing the refcount
+   cache size.
-The reason for this 1/4 ratio is to ensure that both caches cover the
-same amount of disk space. Note however that this is only valid with
-the default value of refcount_bits (16). If you are using a different
-value you might want to calculate both cache sizes yourself since QEMU
-will always use the same 1/4 ratio.
+Unlike L2 tables, refcount blocks are not used during normal I/O but
+only during allocations and internal snapshots. In most cases they are
+accessed sequentially (even during random guest I/O) so increasing the
+refcount cache size won't have any measurable effect in performance
+(this can change if you are using internal snapshots, so you may want
+to think about increasing the cache size if you use them heavily).
-It's also worth mentioning that there's no strict need for both caches
-to cover the same amount of disk space. The refcount cache is used
-much less often than the L2 cache, so it's perfectly reasonable to
-keep it small.
+Before QEMU 2.12 the refcount cache had a default size of 1/4 of the
+L2 cache size. This resulted in unnecessarily large caches, so now the
+refcount cache is as small as possible unless overridden by the user.
 Using smaller cache entries