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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/3] fs: rcu protect inode hash lookups
On Mon, Nov 01, 2010 at 10:38:07AM +0100, Eric Dumazet wrote:
> Le lundi 01 novembre 2010 à 16:33 +1100, Dave Chinner a écrit :
> > From: Dave Chinner <>
> >
> > Now that inodes are using RCU freeing, we can walk the hash lists
> > using RCU protection during lookups. Convert all the hash list
> > operations to use RCU-based operators and drop the inode_hash_lock
> > around pure lookup operations.
> >
> > Signed-off-by: Dave Chinner <>
> You probably should copy Paul on this stuff, I added him in Cc, because
> SLAB_DESTROY_BY_RCU is really tricky, and Paul review is a must.
> > repeat:
> > + rcu_read_lock();
> > hlist_for_each_entry(inode, node, head, i_hash) {
> > if (inode->i_sb != sb)
> > continue;
> > if (!test(inode, data))
> > continue;
> > spin_lock(&inode->i_lock);
> Problem with SLAB_DESTROY_BY_RCU is the inode can be freed, and reused
> immediately (no grace period) by another cpu.
> So you need to recheck test(inode, data) _after_ getting a stable
> reference on the inode (spin_lock() in this case), to make sure you
> indeed found the inode you are looking for, not another one.

Possibly. The test callback is a private callback to determine if,
indeed, it is the inode the caller is looking for. I need to do a
deeper look into what ordering is required for this callback.

> The test on inode->i_sb != sb can be omitted, _if_ each sb has its own
> kmem_cache (but I am not sure, please check if this is the case)

There's a slab cache per filesystem type, not per filesystem, so the
check is necessary.

> Also, you should make sure the allocation of inode is careful of not
> overwriting some fields (the i_lock in particular), since you could
> break a concurrent lookup. This is really tricky, you cannot use
> spin_lock_init(&inode->i_lock) anymore in inode_init_always().

Yes, I missed that one. Good catch. I'm used to the XFS code where
most locks are initialised only once in the slab constructor....

The other fields of note:

i_sb: overwritten in inode_init_always(). Should be safe
simply by rechecking after validating the inode is not in
the freed state as you suggest.
i_ino: overwritten just before the inode is re-inserted into
the hash. redo check like i_sb.
i_state: initialised atomically with hash insert via i_lock.
i_hash: inserted into hash list under i_lock

My intent is that the i_state/i_hash atomicity acts as the real
guard against reusing a freed inode, but you are right that the
other fields needs to be rechecked for validity after establishing
that it is not a freed inode.

> You can read Documentation/RCU/rculist_nulls.txt for some doc I wrote
> when adding SLAB_DESTROY_BY_RCU to UDP/TCP sockets. Sockets stable

Perhaps you should rename that file "slab_destroy_by_rcu-tips.txt",
because the current name seems unrelated to the contents. :/

> reference is not a spinlock, but a refcount, so it was easier to init
> this refcount. With a spinlock, I believe you might need to use SLAB
> constructor, to initialize the spinlock only on fresh objects, not on
> reused ones.

Yeah, that is what I intended.

Thanks for the comments, Eric.


Dave Chinner
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