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:	Sat, 17 Mar 2012 10:21:43 -0400 (EDT)
From:	Alan Stern <>
To:	Theodore Tso <>
cc:	Greg KH <>, Paul Taysom <>,
	Paul Taysom <>,
	Mandeep Baines <>,
	Jens Axboe <>, Andrew Morton <>,
	<>, <>,
	Alexander Viro <>,
	<>, <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] fs: Fix mod_timer crash when removing USB sticks

On Fri, 16 Mar 2012, Theodore Tso wrote:

> I thought another fix at the USB layer also went in that attempted to
> fix this problem for 3.2, and so with two separate band-aid patches, I
> think we had thought the problem had been addressed.

I can't recall any USB fix like that.  The only thing I remember is 
your change to ext4 (leaving the problem still present in ext3).

> The real problem is that all of the patches which I've seen to date
> are band-aids, in that we aren't properly sending a "device as
> disappeared" notification to the file system layer, but instead we are
> trying to keep enough of the pointers valid (while also freeing other
> data structures), such that the file system can blindly write into a
> partially dismantled block device, and hopefully not oops.

That's not a band-aid approach; it's the way reference counting is 
_intended_ to work.  The whole idea of refcounting is that instead of 
synchronizing every single operation, you keep data structures around 
so long as anyone might be using them.

> Some have argued that my suggested approach of having an explicit
> super_ops revoke() function, which tells the file system that the
> block device is gone, etc., isn't necessary because this can be solved
> in userspace somehow.  Personally I think that's nuts, since we'll
> continue to play whack-a-mole, but I haven't had time to work up
> patches addressing this --- since this is really only a problem for
> naive users who pull USB sticks without unmounting them first (and so
> it never happens to me :-), and I've got a lot of other fish to
> try.....

I suspect Paul's patch is the right thing to do.  It might even make
the ext4 fix unnecessary, although I don't understand the details well
enough to verify it.  Maybe Paul can check -- the commit I'm referring
to is 7c2e70879fc0949b4220ee61b7c4553f6976a94d (ext4: add ext4-specific
kludge to avoid an oops after the disk disappears).

Alan Stern

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at

Powered by blists - more mailing lists