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Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 2019 15:04:54 -0500
From:   Sasha Levin <>
To:     "Theodore Y. Ts'o" <>
Cc:,,, Andreas Dilger <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH AUTOSEL 4.4 27/37] ext4: work around deleting a file with
 i_nlink == 0 safely

On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:19:59AM -0500, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
>On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 10:38:03AM -0500, Sasha Levin wrote:
>> From: Theodore Ts'o <>
>> [ Upstream commit c7df4a1ecb8579838ec8c56b2bb6a6716e974f37 ]
>> If the file system is corrupted such that a file's i_links_count is
>> too small, then it's possible that when unlinking that file, i_nlink
>> will already be zero.  Previously we were working around this kind of
>> corruption by forcing i_nlink to one; but we were doing this before
>> trying to delete the directory entry --- and if the file system is
>> corrupted enough that ext4_delete_entry() fails, then we exit with
>> i_nlink elevated, and this causes the orphan inode list handling to be
>> FUBAR'ed, such that when we unmount the file system, the orphan inode
>> list can get corrupted.
>> A better way to fix this is to simply skip trying to call drop_nlink()
>> if i_nlink is already zero, thus moving the check to the place where
>> it makes the most sense.
>> Link:
>> Signed-off-by: Theodore Ts'o <>
>> Cc:
>> Reviewed-by: Andreas Dilger <>
>> Signed-off-by: Sasha Levin <>
>I'm confused; this was explicitly cc'ed to, so why
>is your AUTOSEL picking this up?  I would have thought this would get
>picked up via the normal stable kernel processes.

My mistake, appologies.


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