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Date:   Mon, 4 Feb 2019 10:45:20 +0100
From:   Jan Kara <>
To:     "Theodore Y. Ts'o" <>
Cc:     Jan Kara <>,
        Ext4 Developers List <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Revert "ext4: use ext4_write_inode() when fsyncing w/o a

On Fri 01-02-19 23:08:11, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 01, 2019 at 10:21:20PM +0100, Jan Kara wrote:
> > On Thu 31-01-19 23:42:19, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> > > This reverts commit ad211f3e94b314a910d4af03178a0b52a7d1ee0a.
> > > 
> > > As Jan Kara pointed out, this change was unsafe since it means we lose
> > > the call to sync_mapping_buffers() in the nojournal case.  The
> > > original point of the commit was avoid taking the inode mutex (since
> > > it causes a lockdep warning in generic/113); but we need the mutex in
> > > order to call sync_mapping_buffers().
> > 
> > Actually, I don't think sync_mapping_buffers() needs inode mutex (i_rwsem
> > these days). It uses blkdev_mapping->private_lock for synchronization of
> > operations on the list of buffers and fsync_buffers_list() seems to be
> > pretty careful about races with mark_buffer_dirty_inode(). So why do you
> > think we need i_rwsem?
> Hmm, I think you're right.  I wonder if we can therefore remove the
> inode_lock() in __generic_file_fsync() then...   What do you think?

That's actually a good question. I was thinking about why we have
inode_lock() in __generic_file_fsync().  The only reason I could come up
with is that when fsync(2) races with write(2) or truncate(2), with
inode_lock() in __generic_file_fsync() you will either get old or new
metadata state on disk. Without inode_lock() you could get some
intermediate metadata state and thus after a crash may not be able to see
even the old data. We are here on the thin ice of how good data consistency
do we provide after a crash for non-journalling filesystems. It is never
going to be perfect but this change would seem like a noticeable regression
to me. What do you think?

Jan Kara <>

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