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SubjectRe: [BUG] cdev_put() race condition
On Mon, Dec 08, 2008 at 09:56:26PM +0100, Hans Verkuil wrote:
> Hi Greg,
>
> Laurent found a race condition in the uvc driver that we traced to the
> way chrdev_open and cdev_put/get work.
>
> You need the following ingredients to reproduce it:
>
> 1) a hot-pluggable char device like an USB webcam.
> 2) a manually created device node for such a webcam instead of relying
> on udev.
>
> In order to easily force this situation you would also need to add a
> delay to the char device's release() function. For webcams that would
> be at the top of v4l2_chardev_release() in
> drivers/media/video/v4l2-dev.c. But adding a delay to e.g. cdev_purge
> would have the same effect.
>
> The sequence of events in the case of a webcam is as follows:
>
> 1) The USB device is removed, causing a disconnect.
>
> 2) The webcam driver unregisters the video device which in turn calls
> cdev_del().
>
> 3) When the last application using the device is closed, the cdev is
> released when the kref of the cdev's kobject goes to 0.
>
> 4) If the kref's release() call takes a while due to e.g. extra cleanup
> in the case of a webcam, then another application can try to open the
> video device. Note that this requires a device node created with mknod,
> otherwise the device nodes would already have been removed by udev.
>
> 5) chrdev_open checks inode->i_cdev. If this is NULL (i.e. this device
> node was never accessed before), then all is fine since kobj_lookup
> will fail because cdev_del() has been called earlier. However, if this
> device node was used earlier, then the else part is called:
> cdev_get(p). This 'p' is the cdev that is being released. Since the
> kref count is 0 you will get a WARN message from kref_get, but the code
> continues on, the f_op->open will (hopefully) return more-or-less
> gracefully with an error and the cdev_put at the end will cause the
> refcount to go to 0 again, which results in a SECOND call to the kref's
> release function!
>
> See this link for the original discussion on the v4l list containing
> stack traces an a patch that you need if you want to (and can) test
> this with the uvc driver:
>
> http://www.spinics.net/lists/vfl/msg39967.html

The second sentence in that message shows your problem here:
To avoid the need of a reference count in every v4l2 driver,
v4l2 moved to cdev which includes its own reference counting
infrastructure based on kobject.

cdev is not ment to handle the reference counting of any object outside
of itself, and should never be embedded within anything. I've been
thinking of taking the real "kobject" out of that structure for a long
time now, incase someone did something foolish like this.

Seems I was too late :(

So, to solve this, just remove the reliance on struct cdev in your own
structures, you don't want to do this for the very reason you have now
found (and for others, like the fact that this isn't a "real" struct
kobject in play here, just a fake one.)

Ick, what a mess.

good luck,

greg k-h


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