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SubjectRe: [rfc][patch] remove racy sync_page?
Andrew Morton wrote:

>On Tue, 30 May 2006 10:08:06 +1000
>Nick Piggin <nickpiggin@yahoo.com.au> wrote:
>
>
>>Which is what I want to know. I don't exactly have an interesting
>>disk setup.
>>
>
>You don't need one - just a single disk should show up such problems. I
>forget which workloads though. Perhaps just a linear read (readahead
>queues the I/O but doesn't unplug, subsequent lock_page() sulks).
>

I guess so. Is plugging still needed now that the IO layer should
get larger requests? Disabling it might result in a small initial
request (although even that may be good for pipelining)...

Otherwise, we could make set_page_dirty_lock use a weird non-unplugging
variant (although maybe that will upset Ken), but I'd rather look
at simplification first ;)

>
>>Yes. So set_page_dirty_lock is broken, right?
>>
>
>yup.
>
>
>>And the wait_on_page_stuff needs an inode ref.
>>Also splice seems to have broken sync_page.
>>
>
>Please describe the splice() problem which you've observed.
>

sync_page wants to get either the current mapping, or a NULL one.
The sync_page methods must then be able to handle running into a
NULL mapping.

With splice, the mapping can change, so you can have the wrong
sync_page callback run against the page.

>
>>Well yes, writing to a page would be the main reason to set it dirty.
>>Is splice broken as well? I'm not sure that it always has a ref on the
>>inode when stealing a page.
>>
>
>Whereabouts?
>

The ->pin() calls in pipe_to_file and pipe_to_sendpage?

>
>>It sounds like you think fixing the set_page_dirty_lock callers wouldn't
>>be too difficult? I wouldn't know (although the ptrace one should be
>>able to be turned into a set_page_dirty, because we're holding mmap_sem).
>>
>
>No, I think it's damn impossible ;)
>
>get_user_pages() has gotten us a random pagecache page. How do we
>non-racily get at the address_space prior to locking that page?
>
>I don't think we can.
>

But the vma isn't going to disappear because mmap_sem is held; and the
vma should hold a ref on the inode I think?

>
>>You're sure about all other lock_page()rs? I'm not, given that
>>set_page_dirty_lock got it so wrong. But you'd have a better idea than
>>me.
>>
>
>No, I'm not sure.
>
>However it is rare for the kernel to play with pagecache pages against
>which the caller doesn't have an inode ref. Think: how did the caller look
>up that page in the first place if not from the address_space in the first
>place?
>
>- get_user_pages(): the current problem
>
>- page LRU: OK, uses trylock first.
>
>- pagetable walk??
>

Am I wrong about mmap_sem?

Anyway, it is possible that most of the problems could be solved by locking
the page at the time of lookup, and unlocking it on completion/dirtying...
it's just that that would be a bit of a task. Can we somehow add BUG_ONs to
lock_page to ensure we've got an inode ref?

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