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SubjectRe: Boot failure with ext2 and initrds
On Wed, 15 Nov 2006 14:17:01 +0000 (GMT)
Hugh Dickins <> wrote:

> On Tue, 14 Nov 2006, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> > On Tue, 14 Nov 2006, Andrew Morton wrote:
> > >
> > > The below might help.
> >
> > Indeed it does (with Martin's E2FSBLK warning fix),
> > seems to be running well on all machines now.
> i386 and ppc64 still doing builds, but after an hour on x86_64,
> an ld got stuck in a loop under ext2_try_to_allocate_with_rsv,
> alternating between ext2_rsv_window_add and rsv_window_remove.
> Send me a patch and I'll try it...
> ext2_try_to_allocate_with_rsv+0x288
> ext2_new_blocks+0x21e
> ext2_get_blocks+0x398
> ext2_get_block+0x46
> __block_prepare_write+0x171
> block_prepare_write+0x39
> ext2_prepare_write+0x2c
> generic_file_buffered_write+0x2b0
> __generic_file_aio_write_nolock+0x4bc
> generic_file_aio_write+0x6d
> do_sync_write+0xf9
> vfs_write+0xc8
> sys_write+0x51

OK, I have a theory.

This must have been the seventeenth damn time I've stared at
find_next_zero_bit() wondering what the damn return value is and wondering
how any even slightly non-sadistic person could write a damn function like
that and not damn well document it.

int find_next_zero_bit(const unsigned long *addr, int size, int offset)

It returns the offset of the first zero bit relative to addr.

ext3's bitmap_search_next_usable_block() assumed that find_next_zero_bit()
returns the offset of the first zero bit relative to (addr+offset).

The while loop in ext3's bitmap_search_next_usable_block() serendipitously
covered that bug up.

ext2's bitmap_search_next_usable_block() doesn't need that while loop, so
ext3's benign bug became ext2's fatal bug.


--- a/fs/ext2/balloc.c~a
+++ a/fs/ext2/balloc.c
@@ -524,7 +524,7 @@ bitmap_search_next_usable_block(ext2_grp
ext2_grpblk_t next;

next = ext2_find_next_zero_bit(bh->b_data, maxblocks, start);
- if (next >= maxblocks)
+ if (next >= start + maxblocks)
return -1;
return next;
Anyway, I think that's the bug. Or a bug, at least. If so, the cause of
this bug is inadequate code commenting, pure and simple. And ext3 and ext4
need fixing.

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