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Date:   Tue, 24 Nov 2020 12:19:12 +0000
From:   Matthew Wilcox <>
To:     Hugh Dickins <>
Cc:     Linus Torvalds <>,
        Jan Kara <>,
        syzbot <>,
        Andreas Dilger <>,
        Ext4 Developers List <>,
        Linux Kernel Mailing List <>,
        syzkaller-bugs <>,
        Theodore Ts'o <>, Linux-MM <>,
        Oleg Nesterov <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        "Kirill A. Shutemov" <>,
        Nicholas Piggin <>,
        Alex Shi <>, Qian Cai <>,
        Christoph Hellwig <>,
        "Darrick J. Wong" <>,
        William Kucharski <>,
        Jens Axboe <>,,
Subject: Re: kernel BUG at fs/ext4/inode.c:LINE!

On Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 08:07:24PM -0800, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> Twice now, when exercising ext4 looped on shmem huge pages, I have crashed
> on the PF_ONLY_HEAD check inside PageWaiters(): ext4_finish_bio() calling
> end_page_writeback() calling wake_up_page() on tail of a shmem huge page,
> no longer an ext4 page at all.
> The problem is that PageWriteback is not accompanied by a page reference
> (as the NOTE at the end of test_clear_page_writeback() acknowledges): as
> soon as TestClearPageWriteback has been done, that page could be removed
> from page cache, freed, and reused for something else by the time that
> wake_up_page() is reached.
> Matthew Wilcox suggested avoiding or weakening the PageWaiters() tail
> check; but I'm paranoid about even looking at an unreferenced struct page,
> lest its memory might itself have already been reused or hotremoved (and
> wake_up_page_bit() may modify that memory with its ClearPageWaiters()).
> Then on crashing a second time, realized there's a stronger reason against
> that approach.  If my testing just occasionally crashes on that check,
> when the page is reused for part of a compound page, wouldn't it be much
> more common for the page to get reused as an order-0 page before reaching
> wake_up_page()?  And on rare occasions, might that reused page already be
> marked PageWriteback by its new user, and already be waited upon?  What
> would that look like?
> It would look like BUG_ON(PageWriteback) after wait_on_page_writeback()
> in write_cache_pages() (though I have never seen that crash myself).

I don't think this is it.  write_cache_pages() holds a reference to the
page -- indeed, it holds the page lock!  So this particular race cannot
cause the page to get recycled.  I still have no good ideas what this
is :-(

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