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Date:   Thu, 13 Feb 2020 10:36:00 -0500
From:   "Theodore Y. Ts'o" <>
To:     Jan Kara <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2] ext4: Fix checksum errors with indexed dirs

On Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 03:43:16PM +0100, Jan Kara wrote:
> DIR_INDEX has been introduced as a compat ext4 feature. That means that
> even kernels / tools that don't understand the feature may modify the
> filesystem. This works because for kernels not understanding indexed dir
> format, internal htree nodes appear just as empty directory entries.
> Index dir aware kernels then check the htree structure is still
> consistent before using the data. This all worked reasonably well until
> metadata checksums were introduced. The problem is that these
> effectively made DIR_INDEX only ro-compatible because internal htree
> nodes store checksums in a different place than normal directory blocks.
> Thus any modification ignorant to DIR_INDEX (or just clearing
> EXT4_INDEX_FL from the inode) will effectively cause checksum mismatch
> and trigger kernel errors. So we have to be more careful when dealing
> with indexed directories on filesystems with checksumming enabled.
> 1) We just disallow loading any directory inodes with EXT4_INDEX_FL when
> DIR_INDEX is not enabled. This is harsh but it should be very rare (it
> means someone disabled DIR_INDEX on existing filesystem and didn't run
> e2fsck), e2fsck can fix the problem, and we don't want to answer the
> difficult question: "Should we rather corrupt the directory more or
> should we ignore that DIR_INDEX feature is not set?"
> 2) When we find out htree structure is corrupted (but the filesystem and
> the directory should in support htrees), we continue just ignoring htree
> information for reading but we refuse to add new entries to the
> directory to avoid corrupting it more.
> CC:
> Fixes: dbe89444042a ("ext4: Calculate and verify checksums for htree nodes")
> Signed-off-by: Jan Kara <>

Applied, thanks.

					- Ted

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