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SubjectRe: __make_request() bug and a fix variant
On Sat, 20 Sep 2003 13:37:37 +0200
Jens Axboe <> wrote:

> You can see the initialisor for buffer_heads is
> init_buffer_head, which memsets the entire buffer_head. When a
> buffer_head is detached from the request list, b_reqnext is cleared
> too.
I did some more research on this subject. Indeed, I was wrong. The
problem is that when you acquire a buffer_head by calling
kmem_cache_alloc and you return it with kmem_cache_free the returned
buffer can be filled with any garbage *except* the b_reqnext field
which *should* be set to NULL, otherwise the next driver who'll get this
buffer_head will most probably crash.

Not that relying on this field being NULL is a bad practice (because
in kernel performance is top priority), but it's not clean (and
nowhere mentioned - even in the source code). So I think it would be a
Good Thing{tm} to mention somewhere(say at least in buffers.c before
put_unused_buffer_head) that before returning a buffer to the common
pool you should ensure that b_reqnext is NULL (although it is not
related only to put_unused_buffer_head but to kmem_cache_free as well -
but the later is not related to buffer_head's:).

Sorry for borrowed time and thank very much for assistance.

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