lists  /  announce  owl-users  owl-dev  john-users  john-dev  passwdqc-users  yescrypt  popa3d-users  /  oss-security  kernel-hardening  musl  sabotage  tlsify  passwords  /  crypt-dev  xvendor  /  Bugtraq  Full-Disclosure  linux-kernel  linux-netdev  linux-ext4  linux-hardening  PHC 
Open Source and information security mailing list archives
Hash Suite: Windows password security audit tool. GUI, reports in PDF.
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date:	Wed, 06 Apr 2011 16:40:15 +0900
From:	Toshiyuki Okajima <>
To:	Jan Kara <>
CC:	Ted Ts'o <>,
	Masayoshi MIZUMA <>,
	Andreas Dilger <>,,,
Subject: Re: [RFC][PATCH] Re: [BUG] ext4: cannot unfreeze a filesystem due
 to a deadlock


(2011/04/06 14:57), Jan Kara wrote:
> On Wed 06-04-11 14:09:14, Toshiyuki Okajima wrote:
>> (2011/04/06 7:54), Jan Kara wrote:
>>> 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...

>> I have not understood the code around writeback thread very much...
>> Please explain me the concrete function name which blocks some writes?
>    It would block in ext4_da_writepages() function.
In ext4 with delayed allocation case, I understand it blocks.
(Original deadlock problem is just this case.)
But in ext4 without delayed allocation or other filesystems case, which function
can block writing?

>> Mizuma-san's reproducer also writes the data which maps to the file (mmap).
>> The original problem happens after the fsfreeze operation is done.
>> I understand the normal write operation (not mmap) can be blocked while
>> fsfreezing. So, I guess we don't always block all the write operation
>> while fsfreezing.
>    Technically speaking, we block all the transaction starts which means we
> end up blocking all the writes from going to disk. But that does not mean
> we block all the writes from going to in-memory cache - as you properly
> note the mmap case is one of such exceptions.
Hm, I also think we can allow the writes to in-memory cache but we can't allow
the writes to disk while fsfreezing. I am considering that mmap path can
write to disk while fsfreezing because this deadlock problem happens after
fsfreeze operation is done...

Toshiyuki Okajima

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-ext4" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at

Powered by blists - more mailing lists