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Date:	Thu, 27 Jun 2013 13:36:52 -0400
From:	Theodore Ts'o <>
To:	Nagachandra P <>
Cc:	Vikram MP <>,
Subject: Re: Memory allocation can cause ext4 filesystem to be remounted r/o

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 06:28:21PM +0530, Nagachandra P wrote:
> Hi Theodore,
> Could you point me to the code where ext4_std_err is not triggered
> because of LMK? As I see it, if a memory allocation returns error in
> some of the case ext4_std_error would invariably be called. Please
> consider the following call stack

Yes, that's one example where a memory allocation failure can lead to
ext4_std_error() getting called, and I've already acknowledged that's
one that we need to fix (although as I said, fixing it may be tricky,
short of calling congestion_wait() and then retrying the allocation,
and hoping that in the meantime the OOM killer has freed up some

If you'd could give me a list of other memory allocations where
ext4_std_error() could get called, please let me know.  Note that in
the jbd2 layer, though, we handle a memory allocation failure by
retrying the allocation, to avoid this the file system getting marked
read/only.  Examples of this include in jbd2_journal_write_metadata_buffer(),
and in jbd2_journal_add_journal_head() when it calls
journal_alloc_journal_head().  (Although the way we're doing the retry
in the latter case is a bit ugly and we're not sleeping with a call to
congestion_wait(), so it's something we should clean up.)

To give you an example of the intended use of ext4_std_error(), if the
journal commit code runs into a disk I/O error while writing to the
journal, the jbd2 code has to mark the journal as aborted.  This could
happen because the disk has gone off-line, or the HDD has run out of
spare disk sectors in its bad block replacement pool, so it has to
return a write error to the OS.  Once the journal has been marked as
aborted, the next time the ext4 code tries to access the journal, by
starting a new journal handle, or marking a metadata block dirty, the
jbd2 function will return an error, and this will cause
ext4_std_error() to be called so the file system can be marked as
requiring a file system check.


					- Ted
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