lists  /  announce  owl-users  owl-dev  john-users  john-dev  passwdqc-users  yescrypt  popa3d-users  /  oss-security  kernel-hardening  musl  sabotage  tlsify  passwords  /  crypt-dev  xvendor  /  Bugtraq  Full-Disclosure  linux-kernel  linux-netdev  linux-ext4  linux-hardening  PHC 
Open Source and information security mailing list archives
Hash Suite: Windows password security audit tool. GUI, reports in PDF.
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date:   Thu, 7 Jan 2021 15:47:09 +0100
From:   Jan Kara <>
To:     Eric Biggers <>
        Theodore Ts'o <>, Christoph Hellwig <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH 01/13] fs: avoid double-writing inodes on lazytime

On Mon 04-01-21 16:54:40, Eric Biggers wrote:
> From: Eric Biggers <>
> When lazytime is enabled and an inode with dirty timestamps is being
> expired, either due to dirtytime_expire_interval being exceeded or due
> to a sync or syncfs system call, we need to inform the filesystem that
> the inode is dirty so that the inode's timestamps can be copied out to
> the on-disk data structures.  That's because if the filesystem supports
> lazytime, it will have ignored the ->dirty_inode(inode, I_DIRTY_TIME)
> notification when the timestamp was modified in memory.
> Currently this is accomplished by calling mark_inode_dirty_sync() from
> __writeback_single_inode().  However, this has the unfortunate side
> effect of also putting the inode the writeback list.  That's not
> appropriate in this case, since the inode is already being written.
> That causes the inode to remain dirty after a sync.  Normally that's
> just wasteful, as it causes the inode to be written twice.  But when
> fscrypt is used this bug also partially breaks the
> FS_IOC_REMOVE_ENCRYPTION_KEY ioctl, as the ioctl reports that files are
> still in-use when they aren't.  For more details, see the original
> report at
> Fix this by calling ->dirty_inode(inode, I_DIRTY_SYNC) directly instead
> of mark_inode_dirty_sync().
> This fixes xfstest generic/580 when lazytime is enabled.
> A later patch will introduce a ->lazytime_expired method to cleanly
> separate out the lazytime expiration case, in particular for XFS which
> uses the VFS-level dirtiness tracking only for lazytime.  But that's
> separate from fixing this bug.  Also, note that XFS will incorrectly
> ignore the I_DIRTY_SYNC notification from __writeback_single_inode()
> both before and after this patch, as I_DIRTY_TIME was already cleared in
> i_state.  Later patches will fix this separate bug.
> Fixes: 0ae45f63d4ef ("vfs: add support for a lazytime mount option")
> Cc:
> Signed-off-by: Eric Biggers <>

Good catch! It could also cause issues with filesystem freezing which kind
of assumes that the filesystem will be clean after sync_filesystem()
(otherwise writeback threads can get stalled on frozen filesystem while
holding some locks and generally the system behavior becomes kind of

> diff --git a/fs/fs-writeback.c b/fs/fs-writeback.c
> index acfb55834af23..081e335cdee47 100644
> --- a/fs/fs-writeback.c
> +++ b/fs/fs-writeback.c
> @@ -1509,11 +1509,22 @@ __writeback_single_inode(struct inode *inode, struct writeback_control *wbc)
>  	spin_unlock(&inode->i_lock);
> -	if (dirty & I_DIRTY_TIME)
> -		mark_inode_dirty_sync(inode);
>  	/* Don't write the inode if only I_DIRTY_PAGES was set */
>  	if (dirty & ~I_DIRTY_PAGES) {
> -		int err = write_inode(inode, wbc);
> +		int err;
> +
> +		/*
> +		 * If the inode is being written due to a lazytime timestamp
> +		 * expiration, then the filesystem needs to be notified about it
> +		 * so that e.g. the filesystem can update on-disk fields and
> +		 * journal the timestamp update.  Just calling write_inode()
> +		 * isn't enough.  Don't call mark_inode_dirty_sync(), as that
> +		 * would put the inode back on the dirty list.
> +		 */
> +		if ((dirty & I_DIRTY_TIME) && inode->i_sb->s_op->dirty_inode)
> +			inode->i_sb->s_op->dirty_inode(inode, I_DIRTY_SYNC);
> +
> +		err = write_inode(inode, wbc);
>  		if (ret == 0)
>  			ret = err;
>  	}

I have to say I dislike this special call of ->dirty_inode(). It works but
it makes me wonder, didn't we forget about something or won't we forget in
the future? Because it's very easy to miss this special case...

I think attached patch (compile-tested only) should actually fix the
problem as well without this special ->dirty_inode() call. It basically
only moves the mark_inode_dirty_sync() before inode->i_state clearing.
Because conceptually mark_inode_dirty_sync() is IMO the right function to
call. It will take care of clearing I_DIRTY_TIME flag (because we are
setting I_DIRTY_SYNC), it will also not touch inode->i_io_list if the inode
is queued for sync (I_SYNC_QUEUED is set in that case). The only problem
with calling it was that it was called *after* clearing dirty bits from
i_state... What do you think?

Jan Kara <>

View attachment "0001-fs-Make-sure-inode-is-clean-after-__writeback_single.patch" of type "text/x-patch" (1915 bytes)

Powered by blists - more mailing lists