kernel-2.2.17-4 as present in rawhide has a vm-backout patch that
removes a fix for a bug in the 2.2.17 VM. This bug is triggered
by, for example, writing large amounts of data to a block device with a
very large command queue, such as the Mylex AcceleRaid 170. Without the
fix, mke2fs on a 100G partition on such a device will cause kflushd
to run out of pages, thereby leading the VM subsystem to go around
killing processes. With the fix this does not happen, and
there is merely some loss of interactive performance.
Rewriting the SPEC file so as to not include the vm-backout patch reveals
a requirement for a tiny change in the raid patch and somewhat more
substantial changes in the bigmem patches.