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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/2] block: Avoid deadlocks with bio allocation by stacking drivers
Hello, Kent.

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 02:56:33PM -0700, Kent Overstreet wrote:
> commit df7e63cbffa3065fcc4ba2b9a93418d7c7312243
> Author: Kent Overstreet <>
> Date: Mon Sep 10 14:33:46 2012 -0700
> block: Avoid deadlocks with bio allocation by stacking drivers
> Previously, if we ever try to allocate more than once from the same bio
> set while running under generic_make_request() (i.e. a stacking block
> driver), we risk deadlock.
> This is because of the code in generic_make_request() that converts
> recursion to iteration; any bios we submit won't actually be submitted
> (so they can complete and eventually be freed) until after we return -
> this means if we allocate a second bio, we're blocking the first one
> from ever being freed.
> Thus if enough threads call into a stacking block driver at the same
> time with bios that need multiple splits, and the bio_set's reserve gets
> used up, we deadlock.
> This can be worked around in the driver code - we could check if we're
> running under generic_make_request(), then mask out __GFP_WAIT when we
> go to allocate a bio, and if the allocation fails punt to workqueue and
> retry the allocation.
> But this is tricky and not a generic solution. This patch solves it for
> all users by inverting the previously described technique. We allocate a
> rescuer workqueue for each bio_set, and then in the allocation code if
> there are bios on current->bio_list we would be blocking, we punt them
> to the rescuer workqueue to be submitted.
> This guarantees forward progress for bio allocations under
> generic_make_request() provided each bio is submitted before allocating
> the next, and provided the bios are freed after they complete.
> Note that this doesn't do anything for allocation from other mempools.
> Instead of allocating per bio data structures from a mempool, code
> should use bio_set's front_pad.
> Tested it by forcing the rescue codepath to be taken (by disabling the
> first GFP_NOWAIT) attempt, and then ran it with bcache (which does a lot
> of arbitrary bio splitting) and verified that the rescuer was being
> invoked.
> Signed-off-by: Kent Overstreet <>
> CC: Jens Axboe <>

I'm still a bit scared but think this is correct.

Acked-by: Tejun Heo <>

One last thing is that we may want to add @name on bioset creation so
that we can name the workqueue properly but that's for another patch.



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