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SubjectUpdated Linux 2.4 issues page

OK, here's the latest Linux 2.4 issues/bug list, to celebrate the
rebirth of the linux-kernel list. :-)

As always, please let me know if there are any corrections that need to
be made to this list, and remember that the version of at the web page may be more recent than this e-mail


- Ted

Linux 2.4 Status/TODO Page

This list is almost always out of date, by definition, since kernel
development moves so quickly. I try to keep it as up to date as
possible, though. Please send updates to

Every few days or so, I periodically send updated versions of this
list to the linux-kernel list, but you should consult to get the latest information.

Last modified: [tytso:20000820.0315EDT]

Hopefully up to date as of: test7-pre5

1. Should Be Fixed (Confirmation Wanted)

* Fbcon races (cursor problems when running continual streaming
output mixed with printk + races when switching from X while doing
continuous rapid printing --- Alan)

2. Capable Of Corrupting Your FS

* Use PCI DMA by default in IDE is unsafe (must not do so on via
VPx, x < 3) (requires chipset tuning to be enabled according to
Andre Hedrick --- we need to turn this on by default -- TYT)
* Fix the OOPS in usb-storage from the error-recovery handler.
(reported by Matthew Dharm)
* Innd data corruption, probably caused by bug in filemap.c? (Rik
van Riel)

3. Security

* Fix module remove race bug (still to be done: TTY, ldisc, I2C,
video_device - Al Viro) (Rogier Wolff will handle ATM) (ipchains
modules -- Rusty)

4. Boot Time Failures

* Use PCI DMA 'lost interrupt' problem with some hw [which ?] (NEC
Versa LX with PIIX tuning)
* HT6560/UMC8672 ide sets up stuff too early (before region stuff
can be done)
* Crashes on boot on some Compaqs ? (may be fixed)
* Boot hangs on a range of Dell docking stations (Latitude)
+ Almost certainly related: PCI code doesn't see devices behind
DECchip 21150 PCI bridges (used in Dell Latitude). Reported
by Simon Trimmer .
+ Derek Fawcus at Cisco reports similar problems with Toshiba
Tecra 8000 attached to the DeskStation V+ docking station.
(once again, caused by bridge returning 0 when reading the
I/O base/limit and Memory base/limit registers which confuses
the new PCI resource code).
* Some Ultra-I sbus sparc64 systems fail to boot since 2.4.0-test3,
may be due to specific memory configurations.
* IBM Thinkpad 390 won't boot since 2.3.11 (See Decklin Foster for
more info)

5. Compile errors

* netfilter doesn't compile correctly (test7-pre3, reported by Pau
* If all the ISO NLS's are modules, there can be an undefined ref to
CONFIG_NLS_DEFAULT in inode.c (Dale Amon)

6. In Progress

* Finish I2O merge (Intel/Alan)
* Restore O_SYNC functionality (Stephen) - core code and ext2 done
* Fix all remaining PCI code to use pci_enable_device (mostly done)
* Fix, um, interesting races around dup2() and friends. (Al Viro)
* Finish the audit/code review of the code dealing with descriptor
tables. (Al Viro)
* NCR5380 isnt smp safe (Frank Davis)
* DMFE is not SMP safe (Frank Davis)
* Audit all char and block drivers to ensure they are safe with the
2.3 locking - a lot of them are not especially on the
read()/write() path. (Frank Davis)

7. Obvious Projects For People (well if you have the hardware..)

* Make syncppp use new ppp code
* Fix SPX socket code

8. Fix Exists But Isnt Merged

* Update SGI VisWS to new-style IRQ handling (Ingo)
* Support MP table above 1Gig (Ingo)
* Dont panic on boot when meeting HP boxes with wacked APIC table
numbering (AC)
* Scheduler bugs in RT (Dimitris)
* AIC7xxx doesnt work non PCI ? (Doug says OK, new version due
* Fix boards with different TSC per CPU and kill TSC use on them
* Floppy last block cache flush error
* PPC-specific: won't boot on 601 CPU's (powermac) (Andreas Tobler;
Paul Mackerras has fix in PPC tree)
* IRDA fixes (patches from Russell King sent to Linus and DAG)
+ IRDA calls get_random_bytes before random is set up
+ Infinite loop in IrDA parameter code
+ Device name in /proc/net/irda/irias is not updated when
/proc/sys/net/irda/devname is written
+ IrDA Discovery slot allocation is not random
* Splitting a posix lock causes an infinite loop (Stephen Rothwell)
* Symbol clashes from ppp and irda compression code (Arjan van de

9. To Do

* Check all devices use resources properly (Everyone now has to use
request_region and check the return since we no longer single
thread driver inits in all module cases. Also memory regions are
now requestable and a lot of old drivers dont know this yet. --
Alan Cox)
* Tulip hang on rmmod/crashes sometimes
* Devfs races (mostly done - Al Viro)
* Fix further NFS races (Al Viro)
* Test other file systems on write
* Fix mount failures due to copy_* user mishandling
* Check all file systems are either LFS compliant or error large
* Issue with notifiers that try to deregister themselves? (lnz;
notifier locking change by Garzik should backed out, according to
* Mount of new fs over existing mointpoint should return an error
unless forced (Andrew McNabb, Alan Cox)
* Kernel build has race conditions when building modversions.h
(Mikael Pettersson)
* Misc locking problems
+ drivers/pcmcia/ds.c: ds_read & ds_write. SMP locks are
missing, on UP the sleep_on() use is unsafe.
+ drivers/usb/*.c
o unsafe sleep_on in ibmcam and ov511 drivers
o usbpl_{read,write}(): on UP concurrent read/write
operations could corrupt the urb structures if
copy_to_user sleeps, on SMP it's worse.
+ do_execve (Al Viro, reported by Manfred)
+ fix the quota races (Al Viro)
+ complete the ext2 races fixes (truncate) (Al Viro)
+ fix the UFS, minixfs and sysvfs SMP races(the latter couple
is broken as ext2 was, UFS is _completely_ broken; eats
filesystems) (Al Viro)
* Fix sysinfo interface so it is binary compatible with 2.2.x (i.e.
mem_unit=1), except when memory >= 4Gb (Erik Andersen)
* SCSI CD-ROM doesn't work on filesystems with < 2kb block size
(Jens Axboe will fix)
* Audit list of drivers that dereference ioremap's return (Abramo
* 2.4.0-test2 breaks the behaviour of the ether=0,0,eth1 boot
parameter (dwguest)
* Writing to tapes > 2.4G causes tar to fail with EIO (using
2.4.0-test7-pre5; it works under 2.4.0-test1-ac18 --- Tigran
* USB Pegasus driver explodes on disconnect (lots of printk and/or
OOPS spewage to the console. David Ford)

10. To Do But Non Showstopper

* Go through as 2.4pre kicks in and figure what we should mark
obsolete for the final 2.4 (i.e. XT hard disk support?)
* Union mount (Al Viro)
* Per Process rtsigio limit
* iget abuse in knfsd
* Some people report 2.3.x serial problems
* ISAPnP IRQ handling failing on SB1000 + resource handling bug
* Parallel ports should set SA_SHIRQ if PCI (eg in Plip)
* Devfs compiled in but not mounted causes crap for ->mnt_devname of
root (Al Viro)
* PCMCIA/Cardbus hangs (Basically unusable - Hinds pcmcia code is
+ PCMCIA crashes on unloading pci_socket
* RTL 8139 cards sometimes stop responding. Both drivers don't
handle this quite good enough yet. (reported by Rogier Wolff)
* ATM phy-chip-driver interface change for Firestream ATM card
(Rogier Wolff)

11. To Check

* Check O_APPEND atomicity bug fixing is complete
* Protection on i_size (sct) [Al Viro mostly done]
* Mikulas claims we need to fix the getblk/mark_buffer_uptodate
thing for 2.3.x as well
* Network block device seems broken by block device changes
* VFS?VM - mmap/write deadlock (demo code seems to show lock is
* kiobuf seperate lock functions/bounce/page_address fixes
* Fix routing by fwmark
* rw semaphores on inodes to fix read/truncate races ? [Probably
* Not all device drivers are safe now the write inode lock isnt
taken on write
* Multiwrite IDE breaks on a disk error [minor issue at best]
(hopefully fixed)
* ACPI/APM suspend issue - IDE related stuff ? (requires full
taskfile support that was vetoed by Linus)
* NFS bugs are fixed
* Chase reports of SMB not working
* Some AWE cards are not being found by ISAPnP ??
* SHM segments not always being detached and destroyed right ?
(problem reported by Lincoln Dale)
* RAM disk contents vanishing on cramfs (block change) and bforget
* ACPI hangs on boot for some systems (Are there any cases left ?)
* Disappointing performance of Software Raid, esp. write performance
(reported by Nils Rennebarth)
* List of potential problems found by Stanford students using g++
+ Andy Chou's list of mismatched spinlocks and interrupts/bh
+ Seth Andrew Hallem's list potentially sleeping functions
called with interrupts off or spinlocks held.
+ Dawson Engler's list of potential kmalloc/kfree bugs
* Potential races in file locking code (Christian Ehrhardt)
+ locks_verify_area checks the wrong range if O_APPEND is set
and the current file position is not at the end of the file.
+ dito if the file position changes between the call to
locks_verify_area and the actual read/write (requires a
shared file pointer, an attacker can use this to circumvent
virtually any mandatory lock).
+ active writes should prevent anyone from getting mandatory
locks for the area beeing written.
+ active reads should prevent anyone from getting mandatory
write locks for the area beeing read.
* Possible ppp problem (fail to connect; may be user error; reported
by Matt Spong; claims worked on 2.3.40)

12. Probably Post 2.4

* per super block write_super needs an async flag
* addres_space needs a VM pressure/flush callback (Ingo)
* per file_op rw_kiovec
* rw sempahores on page faults (mmap_sem) (Currently protected by


* Incredibly slow loopback tcp bug (believed fixed about 2.3.48)
* COMX series WAN now merged
* VM needs rebalancing or we have a bad leak
* SHM works chroot
* SHM back compatibility
* Intel i960 problems with I2O
* Symbol clashes and other mess from _three_ copies of zlib!
* PCI buffer overruns
* Shared memory changes change the API breaking applications (eg
* Finish softnet driver port over and cleanups
* via rhine oopses under load ?
* SCSI generic driver crashes controllers (need to pass
* UMSDOS fixups resync (not quite done)
* Make NTFS sort of work
* Any user can crash FAT fs code with ftruncate
* AFFS fixups
* Directory race fix for UFS
* Security holes in execve()
* Lan Media WAN update for 2.3
* Get the Emu10K merged
* Paride seems to need fixes for the block changes yet
* Kernel corrupts fs and gs in some situations (Ulrich has demo
* 1.07 AMI MegaRAID
* Merge 2.2.15 changes (Alan)
* Get RAID 0.90 in (Ingo)
* S/390 Merge
* NFS DoS fix (security)
* Fix Space.c duplicate string/write to constants
* Elevator and block handling queue change errors are all sorted
* Make sure all drivers return 1 from their __setup functions (Done
* Enhanced disk statistics
* Complete vfsmount merge (Al Viro)
* Merge removed-buf-open directory stuff into VFS (Al Viro)
* Problems with ip autoconfig according to Zaitcev
* NFS causes dup kmem_create on reload (Trond)
* vmalloc(GFP_DMA) is needed for DMA drivers (Ingo)
* TLB flush should use highest priority (Ingo)
* SMP affinity code creates multiple dirs with the same name (Ingo)
* Set SMP affinity mask to actual cpu online mask (needed for some
boards) (Ingo)
* heavy swapping corrupts ptes (believed so)
* pci_set_master forces a 64 latency on low latency setting
devices.Some boards require all cards have latency <= 32
* msync fails on NFS (probably fixed anyway)
* Find out what has ruined disk I/O throughput. (mostly)
* The netdev name changing stuff broke GRE
* put_user is broken for i386 machines (security) - sem stuff may be
wrong too
* BusLogic crashes when you cat /proc/scsi/BusLogic/0 (Robert de
* Finish sorting out VM balancing (Rik Van Riel, Juan Quintela et
* Fix eth= command line
* 8139 + bridging fails
* RtSig limit handling bug
* Signals leak kernel memory (security) [FIX in ac tree]
* TTY and N_HDLC layer called poll_wait twice per fd and corrupt
* ATM layer calls poll_wait twice per fd and corrupts memory
* Random calls poll_wait twice per fd and corrupts memory
* PCI sound calls poll_wait twice per fd and corrupts memory
* sbus audio calls poll_wait twice per fd and corrupts memory
* IBM MCA driver breaks on Device_Inquiry at boot
* SHM code corrupts memory (Russell)
* Linux sends a 1K buffer with SCSI inquiries. The ANSI-SCSI limit
is 255.
* Linux uses TEST_UNIT_READY to chck for device presence on a
PUN/LUN. The INQUIRY is the only valid test allowed by the spec.
* truncate_inode_pages does unsafe page cache operations
* Fix the ptrace code to be back compatible and add a new PTRACE
call set for getting the PIII extra registers
* EPIC100 fixes
* Tlan and Epic100 crash under load
* Fix hpfs_unlink (Al Viro)
* exec loader permissions
* Locking on getcwd
* E820 memory setup causes crashes/corruption on some laptops[**VERY
NASTY**] (fixed in test5)
* Debian report that the gcc 2.95 possibly miscompiles fault.c or
mm/remap.c (Perl script available from Arjan) (fixed in test2 or
* Dcache threading (Al Viro)
* Sockfs races (removing NULL ->i_sb stuf) (Al Viro)
* Module remove race bug (done: anything with file_operations, fb
stuff, procfs stuff - Al Viro)
* DEFXX driver appears broken (reported fixed by Jeff Garzik)
* Some FB drivers check the A000 area and find it busy then bomb out
(checked and fixed, reported by Jeff Garzik)
* Stick lock_kernel() calls around OSS driver with issues to hard to
fix nicely for 2.4 itself (Alan, fixed)
* Merge the current Compaq RAID driver into 2.4 (fixed, reported by
* mount crashes on Alpha platforms (fixed, reported by Thorsten
* IDE fails on some VIA boards (eg the i-opener) (reported fixed by
Konrad Stepien)
* access_process_mm oops/lockup if task->mm changes (Manfred) [user
can cause deliberately]
* PCMCIA IRQ routing should now be fixed modulo ISA cards and bios
doesn't tell us that an IRQ is ISA-only (Martin Mares)
* TB Multisound driver hasnt been updated for new isa I/O totally.
(reported fixed by John Coiner; see
* yenta (PCMCIA) and pci_socket modules have mutual dependency
(cardbus_register, yenta_operations) (test5, worked in test3)
(reported fixed by Erik Mouw)
* Keyboard/mouse problems (should be fixed?)
* Loop device hangs (Peter Enderborg can duplicate by writing large
file to dosfs mounted via loop device; Steve Dodd reports deadlock
issues; Linus says fixed in test6)
* Floppy driver broken by VFS changes. Other drivers may be too
(Stuff gets called after _close now - unload race possibly too;
should be fixed in test6)
* OSS module remove races (fixed by Christoph Hellwig)
* Merge the 2.2 ServeRAID driver into 2.4 (Christoph Hellwig)
* AHA27xx is broken (maybe 28xx too) (reported fixed by Doug
* Merge the network fixes (DaveM)
* Finish 64bit vfs merges (lockf64 and friends missing -- willy?)
(Andreas Jaeger reports that lockf64 has been added for Intel and
Alpha; other architectures may not be done, but if not, they won't
build :-)
* Can't compile CONFIG_IBMTR and CONFIG_PCMCIA_IBMTR in kernel at
once; kernel link failes (rasmus; fixed in a kludgy way by not
allowing the combination by arjan)
* Merge the RIO driver
* Potential deadlock in EMU10K driver when running SMP
(, Alan)

Probably Hardware Bugs

* Data corruption on IDE disks (Generic PCI DMA and SiS support
Steven Walter) (sounds like PCChips #M599LMR motherboard doesn't
disable UDMA when a non-UDMA cable is used. If you disable UDMA in
the BIOS, then there is no problem. hardware bug?)
* AHA29xx driver appears to stomp other cards (may be BIOS; probably
motherboard has assigned to small of a range to a card, so that
it's overlapping with some other card -- Doug Ledford)
* USB hangs on APM suspend on some machines (fixed more most; Alan
has one still that fails but the BIOS has 'issues')
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