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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Describe race of direct read and fork for unaligned buffers
On 2 May 2012 01:38, Jeff Moyer <> wrote:
> KOSAKI Motohiro <> writes:
>> On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM, Jeff Moyer <> wrote:
>>> KOSAKI Motohiro <> writes:
>>>>> Hello,
>>>>> Thank you revisit this. But as far as my remember is correct, this issue is NOT
>>>>> unaligned access issue. It's just get_user_pages(_fast) vs fork race issue. i.e.
>>>>> DIRECT_IO w/ multi thread process should not use fork().
>>>> The problem is, fork (and its COW logic) assume new access makes cow break,
>>>> But page table protection can't detect a DMA write. Therefore DIO may override
>>>> shared page data.
>>> Hm, I've only seen this with misaligned or multiple sub-page-sized reads
>>> in the same page.  AFAIR, aligned, page-sized I/O does not get split.
>>> But, I could be wrong...
>> If my remember is correct, the reproducer of past thread is misleading.
>> dma_thread.c in
>> has
>> align parameter. But it doesn't only change align. Because of, every
>> worker thread read 4K (pagesize), then
>>  - when offset is page aligned
>>     -> every page is accessed from only one worker
>>  - when offset is not page aligned
>>     -> every page is accessed from two workers
>> But I don't remember why two threads are important things. hmm.. I'm
>> looking into the code a while.
>> Please don't 100% trust me.
> I bet Andrea or Larry would remember the details.

KOSAKI-san is correct, I think.

The race is something like this:

page = get_user_pages()

So whether parent or child touches the page, determines who gets the
actual DMA target, and who gets the copy.

2 threads are not required, but it makes the race easier to code and a
larger window, I suspect.

It can also be hit with a single thread, using AIO.
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