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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/2] md: make devices disappear when they are no longer needed.
(cc'ing Greg)

NeilBrown wrote:
> Currently md devices, once created, never disappear until the module
> is unloaded. This is essentially because the gendisk holds a
> reference to the mddev, and the mddev holds a reference to the
> gendisk, this a circular reference.
>
> If we drop the reference from mddev to gendisk, then we need to ensure
> that the mddev is destroyed when the gendisk is destroyed. However it
> is not possible to hook into the gendisk destruction process to enable
> this.
>
> So we drop the reference from the gendisk to the mddev and destroy the
> gendisk when the mddev gets destroyed. However this has a
> complication.
> Between the call
> __blkdev_get->get_gendisk->kobj_lookup->md_probe
> and the call
> __blkdev_get->md_open
>
> there is no obvious way to hold a reference on the mddev any more, so
> unless something is done, it will disappear and gendisk will be
> destroyed prematurely.
>
> Also, once we decide to destroy the mddev, there will be an unlockable
> moment before the gendisk is unlinked (blk_unregister_region) during
> which a new reference to the gendisk can be created. We need to
> ensure that this reference can not be used. i.e. the ->open must
> fail.

Ah... I'm not really sure I'm following all of this correctly but would
it be possible to just add ->release to genhd and do regular reference
counting rather than this complex dancing? ->release was recently added
to cdev so it'll be nicely parallel.

Thanks.

--
tejun


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