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SubjectRe: Do we really need d_weak_revalidate???
On Fri, Aug 11 2017, Jeff Layton wrote:

> On Fri, 2017-08-11 at 05:55 +0000, Trond Myklebust wrote:
>> On Fri, 2017-08-11 at 14:31 +1000, NeilBrown wrote:
>> > Funny story. 4.5 years ago we discarded the FS_REVAL_DOT superblock
>> > flag and introduced the d_weak_revalidate dentry operation instead.
>> > We duly removed the flag from NFS superblocks and NFSv4 superblocks,
>> > and added the new dentry operation to NFS dentries .... but not to
>> > NFSv4
>> > dentries.
>> >
>> > And nobody noticed.
>> >
>> > Until today.
>> >
>> > A customer reports a situation where mount(....,MS_REMOUNT,..) on an
>> > NFS
>> > filesystem hangs because the network has been deconfigured. This
>> > makes
>> > perfect sense and I suggested a code change to fix the problem.
>> > However when a colleague was trying to reproduce the problem to
>> > validate
>> > the fix, he couldn't. Then nor could I.
>> >
>> > The problem is trivially reproducible with NFSv3, and not at all with
>> > NFSv4. The reason is the missing d_weak_revalidate.
>> >
>> > We could simply add d_weak_revalidate for NFSv4, but given that it
>> > has been missing for 4.5 years, and the only time anyone noticed was
>> > when the ommission resulted in a better user experience, I do wonder
>> > if
>> > we need to. Can we just discard d_weak_revalidate? What purpose
>> > does
>> > it serve? I couldn't find one.
>> >
>> > Thanks,
>> > NeilBrown
>> >
>> > For reference, see
>> > Commit: ecf3d1f1aa74 ("vfs: kill FS_REVAL_DOT by adding a
>> > d_weak_revalidate dentry op")
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > To reproduce the problem at home, on a system that uses systemd:
>> > 1/ place (or find) a filesystem image in a file on an NFS filesystem.
>> > 2/ mount the nfs filesystem with "noac" - choose v3 or v4
>> > 3/ loop-mount the filesystem image read-only somewhere
>> > 4/ reboot
>> >
>> > If you choose v4, the reboot will succeed, possibly after a 90second
>> > timeout.
>> > If you choose v3, the reboot will hang indefinitely in systemd-
>> > shutdown while
>> > remounting the nfs filesystem read-only.
>> >
>> > If you don't use "noac" it can still hang, but only if something
>> > slows
>> > down the reboot enough that attributes have timed out by the time
>> > that
>> > systemd-shutdown runs. This happens for our customer.
>> >
>> > If the loop-mounted filesystem is not read-only, you get other
>> > problems.
>> >
>> > We really want systemd to figure out that the loop-mount needs to be
>> > unmounted first. I have ideas concerning that, but it is messy. But
>> > that isn't the only bug here.
>>
>> The main purpose of d_weak_revalidate() was to catch the issues that
>> arise when someone changes the contents of the current working
>> directory or its parent on the server. Since '.' and '..' are treated
>> specially in the lookup code, they would not be revalidated without
>> special treatment. That leads to issues when looking up files as
>> ./<filename> or ../<filename>, since the client won't detect that its
>> dcache is stale until it tries to use the cached dentry+inode.
>>
>> The one thing that has changed since its introduction is, I believe,
>> the ESTALE handling in the VFS layer. That might fix a lot of the
>> dcache lookup bugs that were previously handled by d_weak_revalidate().
>> I haven't done an audit to figure out if it actually can handle all of
>> them.
>>
>
> It may also be related to 8033426e6bdb2690d302872ac1e1fadaec1a5581:
>
> vfs: allow umount to handle mountpoints without revalidating them

You say in the comment for that commit:

but there
are cases where we do want to revalidate the root of the fs.

Do you happen to remember what those cases are?

>
> Possibly the fact that we no longer try to revalidate during unmount
> means that this is no longer necessary?
>
> The original patch that added d_weak_revalidate had a reproducer in the
> patch description. Have you verified that that problem is still not
> reproducible when you remove d_weak_revalidate?

I did try the reproducer and it works as expected both with and without
d_weak_revalidate.
On reflection, the problem it displayed was caused by d_revalidate()
being called when the dentry name was irrelevant. We remove that
(fixing the problem) and introduce d_weak_revalidate because we thought
that minimum functionality was still useful. I'm currently not
convinced that even that is needed.

If we discarded d_weak_revalidate(), we could get rid of the special
handling of umount....

Thanks,
NeilBrown
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