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Date:	Wed, 6 Apr 2011 00:54:28 +0200
From:	Jan Kara <>
To:	Toshiyuki Okajima <>
Cc:	Jan Kara <>, Ted Ts'o <>,
	Masayoshi MIZUMA <>,
	Andreas Dilger <>,,,
Subject: Re: [RFC][PATCH] Re: [BUG] ext4: cannot unfreeze a filesystem due
 to a deadlock

On Tue 05-04-11 19:25:44, Toshiyuki Okajima wrote:
> (2011/03/31 21:03), Toshiyuki Okajima wrote:
> >Hi, thanks for your reviewing.
> >
> >(2011/03/30 23:12), Jan Kara wrote:
> >>Hello,
> >>
> >>On Mon 28-03-11 17:06:28, Toshiyuki Okajima wrote:
> >>>On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:45:52 +0100
> >>>Jan Kara<> wrote:
> >>>>On Thu 17-02-11 12:50:51, Toshiyuki Okajima wrote:
> >>>>>(2011/02/16 23:56), Jan Kara wrote:
> >>>>>>On Wed 16-02-11 08:17:46, Toshiyuki Okajima wrote:
> >>>>>>>On Tue, 15 Feb 2011 18:29:54 +0100
> >>>>>>>Jan Kara<> wrote:
> >>>>>>>>On Tue 15-02-11 12:03:52, Ted Ts'o wrote:
> >>>>>>>>>On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 05:06:30PM +0100, Jan Kara wrote:
> ><SNIP>
> >>>I have deeply continued to examined the root cause of this problem, then
> >>>I found it.
> >>>
> >>>It is that we can write a memory which is mmaped to a file. Then the memory
> >>>becomes "DIRTY" so then the flusher thread (ex. wb_do_writeback) tries to
> >>>"writeback" the memory.
> >>>
> >>>Therefore, the root cause of this hangup is not only ext4 component (with
> >>>delayed allocation feature) but also writeback mechanism for mmap. If you
> >>>use the other filesystem, you can write something to the filesystem though
> >>>you have freezed the filesystem.
> >
> >>Well, you can write something only in the caches, not to the on disk
> >>image. So it's not a problem as such.
> >My reproducer uses the loopback device(/dev/loopX). By using it, I have confirmed that
> >we can write in not only the caches but also the loopback device. However,
> >I don't still confirm that we can write to the real device(/dev/sdaX).
> >
> >>
> >>>A sample problem is attached on this mail. Try to execute it then you can
> >>>confirm that we can write some data to your filesystem while freezing the
> >>>filesystem.
> >>>(If you change FS variable in from ext3 to ext4 and you execute
> >>>"fsfreeze -u mnt" manually on other prompt, you can also confirm this deadlock.)
> >>>
> >>>I think the best approach to fix this problem is to let users not to write
> >>>memory which is mapped to a certain file while the filesystem is freezing.
> >>>However, it is very difficult to control users not to write memory which has
> >>>been already mapped to the file.
> >>It is actually possible. In case of ext4, you could add a check (+ wait)
> >>in ext4_page_mkwrite() whether the filesystem is frozen or in the process
> >>of being frozen and if so, wait for it to get unfrozen. The only tough
> >>problem here might be the locking as ext4_page_mkwrite() is called with
> >>mmap_sem held and I'm not sure we can take s_umount with mmap_sem held.
> >>But you'd have to fix all filesystems (and all paths possibly creating
> >>dirty data) in this way.
> >>
> >
> >>>Therefore, I think there is only actual method that we stop writeback thread
> >>>to resolve the mmap problem. Also, by this fix, the original problem
> >>>(ext4 delayed write vs unfreeze) can be solved.
> >>Hmm, I had a look at the code again and think we could fix the issue
> >>cleanly (i.e. all possible users of s_umount) as follows: The lock
> >>ordering will be
> >>s_umount -> "fs frozen"
> >>and there will be a new mutex s_freeze_mutex protecting changes of
> >>s_frozen.
> >>
> >>freeze_bdev() already observes this lock ordering, it will only take
> >>s_freeze_mutex for the changes of s_frozen values. The only other code
> >>that is relevant for the lock ordering is thaw_super() (the freezing
> >>process is not expected to reenter kernel for the frozen filesystem).
> >>In thaw_super() we could take s_freeze_mutex, do all the thawing work,
> >>set s_frozen, release s_freeze_mutex and put superblock reference.
> >>
> >
> >>So something like the patch below - it seems to work for me, can you test
> >>it please?
> >I think your patch looks good, so, the original problem seems to be solved.
> >OK, I will test your patch.
> >This weekend I cannot test it. So, I will reply next week.
> I have tested whether Mizuma-san's reproducer can cause to deadlock with your
> patch. And then any problems didn't hit while the reproducer was running.
> I think your patch solves the original deadlock problem which is reported by
> Mizuma-san.
  Good. Thanks.

> >Reported-by: Toshiyuki Okajima <>
> >Signed-off-by: Jan Kara <>
> >---
> > fs/super.c         |   40 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++------
> > include/linux/fs.h |    1 +
> > 2 files changed, 35 insertions(+), 6 deletions(-)
> However, I think a write which causes the deadlock is from mmapped dirty
> pages. So, I guess we also need to fix in the mmap path while fsfreezing.
  Why? If you dirty a page, writeback thread can come and try to write it -
which blocks - but now that does not matter...

Jan Kara <>
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