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Date:   Sun, 08 Jan 2017 14:16:43 -0500
From:   Mimi Zohar <zohar@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>
To:     James Bottomley <James.Bottomley@...senPartnership.com>
Cc:     Christoph Hellwig <hch@....de>, linux-xfs@...r.kernel.org,
        Dave Chinner <david@...morbit.com>,
        linux-fsdevel <linux-fsdevel@...r.kernel.org>,
        linux-kernel <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
        Al Viro <viro@...IV.linux.org.uk>
Subject: Re: xfs:  commit 6552321831dc "xfs: remove i_iolock and use i_rwsem
 in the VFS inode instead"  change causes hang

On Sun, 2017-01-08 at 10:57 -0800, James Bottomley wrote:
> On Sun, 2017-01-08 at 19:18 +0100, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > On Sun, Jan 08, 2017 at 09:59:25AM -0800, James Bottomley wrote:
> > > Hey, that's not really true: the inode lock (i_rwsem) is used in 
> > > all sorts of generic places, including generic_file_write_iter(). 
> > >  That's, I think, why ima is using it to try to prevent writes 
> > > while it measures the file.
> > 
> > But all these are _below_ file_operations.  The only place where take
> > them in the VFS is for namespace locking, e.g. before calling into
> > inode_operations (to generalize a little).
> 
> Definitely agree we need an abstraction with defined semantics.
> 
> > > > So the answer here is that ima needs to stop playing with
> > > > i_rwsem.
> > > 
> > > Isn't there a happy medium? most sensible filesystems will allow 
> > > shared reading (unless they want to tank performance) so we can 
> > > rely on the fact that even if a fs does use i_rwsem internally on 
> > > the read path, it will have to be shared.
> > 
> > At least for direct I/O that doesn't always have to be true.
> 
> I'm unsure about the DIO case, so lets try defining the semantics and
> see if they're implementable for DIO, otherwise simply exclude it.
> 
> > > So simply replacing the inode_lock() in ima
> > > with inode_lock_shared() should do what ima wants and not interact
> > > badly even if the underlying FS uses i_rwsem.  If there's ever a FS
> > > that takes it exclusively in the read path, ima can simply
> > > blacklist
> > > it.
> > 
> > IFF we actually allow recursive readers for rw_semaphores this would
> > work around the issue (but I'm not sure about that fact, at least
> > in the past we didn't).  It won't fix IMA for all the file systems
> > use other synchronization for reads, e.g. the cluster locks in ocfs2
> > or gfs2.  It won't fix NFS which will exhibit exacly the same issue
> > as Mimi reported.
> > 
> > Last but not least it won't solve the problem that IMA has never been
> > designed and does neither document the requires it has from a file 
> > system, nor is there any systematic testing for it.  It will keep on 
> > breaking because it has all kinds of weird implicit assumptions never 
> > written down or verified, and the test coverage for it is basically
> > non-existing.
> 
> OK, so how about we define it.  I think we need two vfs calls:
> 
> inode_block_local_writes(inode)
> inode_unblock_local_writes(inode)
> 
> With semantics that between these two, all write attempts to the file
> backed by the inode on this system block but reads of the underlying
> file are allowed (I added local so we don't have to implement for
> remote filesystems).  inode_block_local_writes() will block until all
> local writes to the file have finished, so you're guaranteed the file
> only allows reads when it succeeds.
> 
> As for implementation in the vfs, I suspect an outstanding write count
> in the inode might be the better way?

As a reference point, what you're suggesting is similar to the current
locks that prevent writing to an executable, while it is being executed
(eg. bprm).

Mimi

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