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Date:	Thu, 2 Dec 2010 16:22:27 -0500
From:	Mike Snitzer <>
To:	LVM general discussion and development <>
Cc:	Spelic <>,
	Christoph Hellwig <>,
	"" <>,,,
Subject: Re: Bugs in mkfs.xfs, device mapper, xfs, and /dev/ram

On Thu, Dec 02 2010 at  9:17am -0500,
Christoph Hellwig <> wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 02, 2010 at 03:14:28PM +0100, Spelic wrote:
> > On 12/02/2010 03:11 PM, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > >I'm pretty sure you have CONFIG_DEBUG_BLOCK_EXT_DEVT enabled.  This
> > >option must never be enabled, as it causes block devices to be
> > >randomly renumered.  Together with the ramdisk driver overloading
> > >the BLKFLSBUF ioctl to discard all data it guarantees you to get
> > >data loss like yours.
> > 
> > Nope...
> > 
> Hmm, I suspect dm-linear's dumb forwarding of ioctls has the same
> effect.

For the benefit of others:
- mkfs.xfs will avoid sending BLKFLSBUF to any device whose major is
  ramdisk's major, this dates back to 2004:
- but because a kpartx partition overlay (linear DM mapping) is used for
  the /dev/ram0p1 device, mkfs.xfs only sees a device with DM's major 
- so mkfs.xfs sends BLKFLSBUF to the DM device blissfully unaware that
  the backing device (behind the DM linear target) is a brd device
- DM will forward the BLKFLSBUF ioctl to brd, which triggers
  drivers/block/brd.c:brd_ioctl (nuking the entire ramdisk in the

So coming full circle this is what hch was referring to when he
1) "ramdisk driver overloading the BLKFLSBUF ioctl ..."
2) "dm-linear's dumb forwarding of ioctls ..."

I really can't see DM adding a specific check for ramdisk's major when
forwarding the BLKFLSBUF ioctl.

brd has direct partition support (see commit d7853d1f8932c) so maybe
kpartx should just blacklist /dev/ram devices?

Alternatively, what about switching brd away from overloading BLKFLSBUF
to a real implementation of (overloaded) BLKDISCARD support in brd.c?
One that doesn't blindly nuke the entire device but that properly
processes the discard request.

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