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SubjectRe: [patch] fs: aio fix rcu lookup
Nick Piggin <> writes:

> On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 6:07 AM, Jeff Moyer <> wrote:
>> Nick Piggin <> writes:
>>> On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 1:52 AM, Jeff Moyer <> wrote:
>>>> Nick Piggin <> writes:
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>> While hunting down a bug in NFS's AIO, I believe I found this
>>>>> buggy code...
>>>>> fs: aio fix rcu ioctx lookup
>>>>> aio-dio-invalidate-failure GPFs in aio_put_req from io_submit.
>>>>> lookup_ioctx doesn't implement the rcu lookup pattern properly.
>>>>> rcu_read_lock does not prevent refcount going to zero, so we
>>>>> might take a refcount on a zero count ioctx.
>>>> So, does this patch fix the problem?  You didn't actually say....
>>> No, it seemd to be an NFS AIO problem, although it was a
>>> slightly older kernel so I'll re test after -rc1 if I haven't heard
>>> back about it.
>> OK.
>>> Do you agree with the theoretical problem? I didn't try to
>>> write a racer to break it yet. Inserting a delay before the
>>> get_ioctx might do the trick.
>> I'm not convinced, no.  The last reference to the kioctx is always the
>> process, released in the exit_aio path, or via sys_io_destroy.  In both
>> cases, we cancel all aios, then wait for them all to complete before
>> dropping the final reference to the context.
> That wouldn't appear to prevent a concurrent thread from doing an
> io operation that requires ioctx lookup, and taking the last reference
> after the io_cancel thread drops the ref.

io_cancel isn't of any concern here. When io_setup is called, it
creates the ioctx and takes 2 references to it. There are two paths to
destroying the ioctx: one is through process exit, the other is through
a call to sys_io_destroy. The former means that you can't submit more
I/O anyway (which in turn means that there won't be any more lookups on
the ioctx), so I'll focus on the latter.

What you're asking about, then, is a race between lookup_ioctx and
io_destroy. The first thing io_destroy does is to set ctx->dead to 1
and remove the ioctx from the list:

was_dead = ioctx->dead;
ioctx->dead = 1;

if (likely(!was_dead))
put_ioctx(ioctx); /* twice for the list */


put_ioctx(ioctx); /* once for the lookup */

The lookup code is this:


hlist_for_each_entry_rcu(ctx, n, &mm->ioctx_list, list) {
if (ctx->user_id == ctx_id && !ctx->dead) {
ret = ctx;

In order for the race to occur, the lookup code would have to find the
ioctx on the list without the dead mark set. Then, the io_destroy code
would have to do all of its work, including its two put_ioctx calls, and
finally the get_ioctx from the lookup would have to happen.

Possible? Maybe. It certainly isn't explicitly protected against. Go
ahead and re-post the patch. I agree that it's a theoretical race. =)

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