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Date:	Fri, 26 Aug 2011 15:42:11 +0800
From:	Tao Ma <>
To:	Dave Chinner <>
CC:	Theodore Ts'o <>, Jiaying Zhang <>,
Subject: Re: [URGENT PATCH] ext4: fix potential deadlock in ext4_evict_inode()

Hi Dave,
On 08/26/2011 03:35 PM, Dave Chinner wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 11:33:44PM -0400, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
>> Note: this will probably need to be sent to Linus as an emergency
>> bugfix ASAP, since it was introduced in 3.1-rc1, so it represents a
>> regression.
> It doesn't appear to be a bug. All of the new ext4 lockdep reports
> in 3.1 I've seen (except for the mmap_sem/i_mutex one) are false
> positives....
> .....
>> =======================================================
>> [ INFO: possible circular locking dependency detected ]
>> 3.1.0-rc3-00012-g2a22fc1 #1839
>> -------------------------------------------------------
>> dd/7677 is trying to acquire lock:
>>  (&type->s_umount_key#18){++++..}, at: [<c021ea77>] writeback_inodes_sb_if_idle+0x26/0x3d
>> but task is already holding lock:
>>  (&sb->s_type->i_mutex_key#3){+.+.+.}, at: [<c01d5956>] generic_file_aio_write+0x52/0xba
>> which lock already depends on the new lock.
>> the existing dependency chain (in reverse order) is:
>> -> #1 (&sb->s_type->i_mutex_key#3){+.+.+.}:
>>        [<c018eb02>] lock_acquire+0x99/0xbd
>>        [<c06a53b5>] __mutex_lock_common+0x33/0x2fb
>>        [<c06a572b>] mutex_lock_nested+0x26/0x2f
>>        [<c026c2db>] ext4_evict_inode+0x3e/0x2bd
>>        [<c0214bb0>] evict+0x8e/0x131
>>        [<c0214de6>] dispose_list+0x36/0x40
>>        [<c0215239>] evict_inodes+0xcd/0xd5
>>        [<c0204a23>] generic_shutdown_super+0x3d/0xaa
>>        [<c0204ab2>] kill_block_super+0x22/0x5e
>>        [<c0204cb8>] deactivate_locked_super+0x22/0x4e
>>        [<c02055b2>] deactivate_super+0x3d/0x43
>>        [<c0218427>] mntput_no_expire+0xda/0xdf
>>        [<c0219486>] sys_umount+0x286/0x2ab
>>        [<c02194bd>] sys_oldumount+0x12/0x14
>>        [<c06a6ac5>] syscall_call+0x7/0xb
>> -> #0 (&type->s_umount_key#18){++++..}:
>>        [<c018e262>] __lock_acquire+0x967/0xbd2
>>        [<c018eb02>] lock_acquire+0x99/0xbd
>>        [<c06a5991>] down_read+0x28/0x65
>>        [<c021ea77>] writeback_inodes_sb_if_idle+0x26/0x3d
>>        [<c0269630>] ext4_nonda_switch+0xd0/0xe1
>>        [<c026e953>] ext4_da_write_begin+0x3c/0x1cf
>>        [<c01d46ad>] generic_file_buffered_write+0xc0/0x1b4
>>        [<c01d58d3>] __generic_file_aio_write+0x254/0x285
>>        [<c01d596e>] generic_file_aio_write+0x6a/0xba
>>        [<c026732f>] ext4_file_write+0x1d6/0x227
>>        [<c0202789>] do_sync_write+0x8f/0xca
>>        [<c02030d5>] vfs_write+0x85/0xe3
>>        [<c02031d4>] sys_write+0x40/0x65
>>        [<c06a6ac5>] syscall_call+0x7/0xb
> That's definitely a false positive - sys_write() will have an active
> reference to the inode, and evict is only called on inodes without
> active references. Hence you can never get a deadlock between an
> inode context with an active reference and the same inode in the
> evict/dispose path because inode cannot be in both places at once...
yeah, the fact is that lockdep isn't that smart. ;)
> This is why XFS changes the lockdep context for the its iolock as
> soon as .evict is called on the inode - to stop these false
> positives from being emitted whenever memory reclaim or unmount
> evicts inodes.
I don't think ext4 can change the lockdep context here since we have
another ext4_end_io_work which can work and have mutex_lock(i_mutex)
with inode->i_count=0. It isn't safe for us to abruptly change the
lockdep here I guess.

What I am trying to do here is to avoid the ext4_end_io_work in case of
i_count = 0, so that we can either change the lockdep context or remove
the mutex_lock here completely.

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