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Subject[PATCH 4.10 152/167] md linear: fix a race between linear_add() and linear_congested()
4.10-stable review patch.  If anyone has any objections, please let me know.


From: <>

commit 03a9e24ef2aaa5f1f9837356aed79c860521407a upstream.

Recently I receive a bug report that on Linux v3.0 based kerenl, hot add
disk to a md linear device causes kernel crash at linear_congested(). From
the crash image analysis, I find in linear_congested(), mddev->raid_disks
contains value N, but conf->disks[] only has N-1 pointers available. Then
a NULL pointer deference crashes the kernel.

There is a race between linear_add() and linear_congested(), RCU stuffs
used in these two functions cannot avoid the race. Since Linuv v4.0
RCU code is replaced by introducing mddev_suspend(). After checking the
upstream code, it seems linear_congested() is not called in
generic_make_request() code patch, so mddev_suspend() cannot provent it
from being called. The possible race still exists.

Here I explain how the race still exists in current code. For a machine
has many CPUs, on one CPU, linear_add() is called to add a hard disk to a
md linear device; at the same time on other CPU, linear_congested() is
called to detect whether this md linear device is congested before issuing
an I/O request onto it.

Now I use a possible code execution time sequence to demo how the possible
race happens,

seq linear_add() linear_congested()
0 conf=mddev->private
1 oldconf=mddev->private
2 mddev->raid_disks++
3 for (i=0; i<mddev->raid_disks;i++)
4 bdev_get_queue(conf->disks[i].rdev->bdev)
5 mddev->private=newconf

In linear_add() mddev->raid_disks is increased in time seq 2, and on
another CPU in linear_congested() the for-loop iterates conf->disks[i] by
the increased mddev->raid_disks in time seq 3,4. But conf with one more
element (which is a pointer to struct dev_info type) to conf->disks[] is
not updated yet, accessing its structure member in time seq 4 will cause a
NULL pointer deference fault.

To fix this race, there are 2 parts of modification in the patch,
1) Add 'int raid_disks' in struct linear_conf, as a copy of
mddev->raid_disks. It is initialized in linear_conf(), always being
consistent with pointers number of 'struct dev_info disks[]'. When
iterating conf->disks[] in linear_congested(), use conf->raid_disks to
replace mddev->raid_disks in the for-loop, then NULL pointer deference
will not happen again.
2) RCU stuffs are back again, and use kfree_rcu() in linear_add() to
free oldconf memory. Because oldconf may be referenced as mddev->private
in linear_congested(), kfree_rcu() makes sure that its memory will not
be released until no one uses it any more.
Also some code comments are added in this patch, to make this modification
to be easier understandable.

This patch can be applied for kernels since v4.0 after commit:
3be260cc18f8 ("md/linear: remove rcu protections in favour of
suspend/resume"). But this bug is reported on Linux v3.0 based kernel, for
people who maintain kernels before Linux v4.0, they need to do some back
back port to this patch.

- V3: add 'int raid_disks' in struct linear_conf, and use kfree_rcu() to
replace rcu_call() in linear_add().
- v2: add RCU stuffs by suggestion from Shaohua and Neil.
- v1: initial effort.

Signed-off-by: Coly Li <>
Cc: Shaohua Li <>
Cc: Neil Brown <>
Signed-off-by: Shaohua Li <>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>

drivers/md/linear.c | 39 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-----
drivers/md/linear.h | 1 +
2 files changed, 35 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

--- a/drivers/md/linear.c
+++ b/drivers/md/linear.c
@@ -53,18 +53,26 @@ static inline struct dev_info *which_dev
return conf->disks + lo;

+ * In linear_congested() conf->raid_disks is used as a copy of
+ * mddev->raid_disks to iterate conf->disks[], because conf->raid_disks
+ * and conf->disks[] are created in linear_conf(), they are always
+ * consitent with each other, but mddev->raid_disks does not.
+ */
static int linear_congested(struct mddev *mddev, int bits)
struct linear_conf *conf;
int i, ret = 0;

- conf = mddev->private;
+ rcu_read_lock();
+ conf = rcu_dereference(mddev->private);

- for (i = 0; i < mddev->raid_disks && !ret ; i++) {
+ for (i = 0; i < conf->raid_disks && !ret ; i++) {
struct request_queue *q = bdev_get_queue(conf->disks[i].rdev->bdev);
ret |= bdi_congested(&q->backing_dev_info, bits);

+ rcu_read_unlock();
return ret;

@@ -144,6 +152,19 @@ static struct linear_conf *linear_conf(s
conf->disks[i-1].end_sector +

+ /*
+ * conf->raid_disks is copy of mddev->raid_disks. The reason to
+ * keep a copy of mddev->raid_disks in struct linear_conf is,
+ * mddev->raid_disks may not be consistent with pointers number of
+ * conf->disks[] when it is updated in linear_add() and used to
+ * iterate old conf->disks[] earray in linear_congested().
+ * Here conf->raid_disks is always consitent with number of
+ * pointers in conf->disks[] array, and mddev->private is updated
+ * with rcu_assign_pointer() in linear_addr(), such race can be
+ * avoided.
+ */
+ conf->raid_disks = raid_disks;
return conf;

@@ -196,15 +217,23 @@ static int linear_add(struct mddev *mdde
if (!newconf)
return -ENOMEM;

+ /* newconf->raid_disks already keeps a copy of * the increased
+ * value of mddev->raid_disks, WARN_ONCE() is just used to make
+ * sure of this. It is possible that oldconf is still referenced
+ * in linear_congested(), therefore kfree_rcu() is used to free
+ * oldconf until no one uses it anymore.
+ */
- oldconf = mddev->private;
+ oldconf = rcu_dereference(mddev->private);
- mddev->private = newconf;
+ WARN_ONCE(mddev->raid_disks != newconf->raid_disks,
+ "copied raid_disks doesn't match mddev->raid_disks");
+ rcu_assign_pointer(mddev->private, newconf);
md_set_array_sectors(mddev, linear_size(mddev, 0, 0));
set_capacity(mddev->gendisk, mddev->array_sectors);
- kfree(oldconf);
+ kfree_rcu(oldconf, rcu);
return 0;

--- a/drivers/md/linear.h
+++ b/drivers/md/linear.h
@@ -10,6 +10,7 @@ struct linear_conf
struct rcu_head rcu;
sector_t array_sectors;
+ int raid_disks; /* a copy of mddev->raid_disks */
struct dev_info disks[0];

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