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SubjectRe: [PATCH] [0/16] HWPOISON: Intro
On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 05:18:07PM +0800, Nick Piggin wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 05:07:03PM +0800, Wu Fengguang wrote:
> > On Tue, Jun 09, 2009 at 06:20:14PM +0800, Nick Piggin wrote:
> > > On Wed, Jun 03, 2009 at 08:46:31PM +0200, Andi Kleen wrote:
> > > > Also I thought a bit about the fsync() error scenario. It's really
> > > > a problem that can already happen even without hwpoison, e.g.
> > > > when a page is dropped at the wrong time.
> > >
> > > No, the page will never be "dropped" like that except with
> > > this hwpoison. Errors, sure, might get dropped sometimes
> > > due to implementation bugs, but this is adding semantics that
> > > basically break fsync by-design.
> >
> > You mean the non persistent EIO is undesirable?
> >
> > In the other hand, sticky EIO that can only be explicitly cleared by
> > user can also be annoying. How about auto clearing the EIO bit when
> > the last active user closes the file?
> Well the existing EIO semantics IMO are not great, but that
> does not have a big bearing on this new situation. What you


> are doing is deliberately throwing away the dirty data, and
> giving EIO back in some cases. (but perhaps not others, a
> subsequent read or write syscall is not going to get EIO is
> it? only fsync).

Right, only fsync/msync and close on nfs will report the error.

write() is normally cached, so obviously it cannot report the later IO

We can make read() IO succeed even if the relevant pages are corrupted
- they can be isolated transparent to user space readers :-)

> So even if we did change existing EIO semantics then the
> memory corruption case of throwing away dirty data is still
> going to be "different" (wrong, I would say).

Oh well.

> > > I really want to resolve the EIO issue because as I said, it
> > > is a user-abi issue and too many of those just get shoved
> > > through only for someone to care about fundamental breakage
> > > after some years.
> >
> > Yup.
> >
> > > You say that SIGKILL is overkill for such pages, but in fact
> > > this is exactly what you do with mapped pages anyway, so why
> > > not with other pages as well? I think it is perfectly fine to
> > > do so (and maybe a new error code can be introduced and that
> > > can be delivered to processes that can handle it rather than
> > > SIGKILL).
> >
> > We can make it a user selectable policy.
> Really? Does it need to be? Can the admin sanely make that
> choice?

I just recalled another fact. See below.

> > They are different in that, mapped dirty pages are normally more vital
> > (data structures etc.) for correct execution, while write() operates
> > more often on normal data.
> read and write, remember. That might be somewhat true, but
> definitely there are exceptions both ways. How do you
> quantify that or justify it? Just handwaving? Why not make
> it more consistent overall and just do SIGKILL for everyone?

1) under read IO hwpoison pages can be hidden to user space
2) under write IO hwpoison pages are normally committed by pdflush,
so cannot find the impacted application to kill at all.
3) fsync() users can be caught though. But then the application
have the option to check its return code. If it doesn't do it,
it may well don't care. So why kill it?

Think about a multimedia server. Shall we kill the daemon if some IO
page in the movie get corrupted? And a mission critical server?
Obviously the admin will want the right to choose.

> > > Last request: do you have a panic-on-memory-error option?
> > > I think HA systems and ones with properly designed data
> > > integrity at the application layer will much prefer to
> > > halt the system than attempt ad-hoc recovery that does not
> > > always work and might screw things up worse.
> >
> > Good suggestion. We'll consider such an option. But unconditionally
> > panic may be undesirable. For example, a corrupted free page or a
> > clean unmapped file page can be simply isolated - they won't impact
> > anything.
> I thought you were worried about introducing races where the
> data can be consumed when doing things such as lock_page and
> wait_on_page_writeback. But if things can definitely be
> discarded with no references or chances of being consumed, yes
> you would not panic for that. But panic for dirty data or
> corrupted kernel memory etc. makes a lot of sense.

OK. We can panic on dirty/writeback pages, and do try_lock to check
for active users :)


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