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SubjectRe: Mysterious CFQ crash and RCU
On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 11:21:41AM -0400, Vivek Goyal wrote:
> On Sat, May 21, 2011 at 02:00:13PM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
>
> [..]
> > > In summary once in a while people notice CFQ crash. Debugging shows that
> > > we have a rcu protected hlist of elements of type cfq_io_context. Head of
> > > the list is at ioc->cic_list. We crash while traversing ioc->cic_list
> > > under rcu.
> > >
> > > Looks like an element which we are trying to fetch the next pointer from got
> > > freed to slab, and the object got poisoned with 0x6b6b6b6b.. and then we
> > > tried to fetch the next object pointer and ended up dereferencing a
> > > freed object and CFQ crashes.
> > >
> > > The function in question here is call_for_each_cic() in block/cfq-iosched.c
> > >
> > > We free the cfq_io_context object using call_rcu(). So on the surface
> > > it looks like that we decoupled a cfq_io_context object from the hash
> > > list and scheduled a call_rcu() so that it is freed after rcu grace
> > > period but somehow object got freed earlier and got released to slab
> > > and got poisoned.
> > >
> > > Is it possible? We have looked at the code many a times and we think
> > > that rcu locking around it is fine. Is it possible that a call_rcu()
> > > can fire before rcu grace period is over.
> >
> > If it does, that would be a bug in RCU.
> >
> > > I had put a debug patch in CFQ (details are in bugzilla) and I can
> > > see that after decoupling the object from the hash list, it got
> > > freed while we were still under rcu_read_lock().
> > >
> > > Is there any known issue or is there any quick tip on how can I
> > > go about debugging it further from rcu point of view.
> >
>
> Thanks for the response paul.
>
> > First for uses of RCU:
> >
> > o One thing to try would be CONFIG_PROVE_RCU, which could help
> > find missing rcu_read_lock()s and similar. Some years back, it
> > used to be the case that spin_lock() implied rcu_read_lock(),
> > but it no longer does. There might still be some cases where
> > spin_lock() needs to have an rcu_read_lock() added.
> >
>
> I believe that PaulB already had CONFIG_PROVE_RCU=y for his kernels. I
> also built a kernel CONFIG_PROVE_RCU=y and no warning popped up. In
> fact it looks like (comment 113 in bz 577968) that with 2.6.39 if PaulB
> takes fedora kernel release config andn enabled CONFIG_PROVE_RCU=y, he
> can reproduce the problem.
>
> I am wondering if CONFIG_PROVE_RCU has some side affects.
>
> > o There are a few entries in the bugzilla mentioning that elements
> > are being removed more often than expected. There is a config
> > option CONFIG_DEBUG_OBJECTS_RCU_HEAD that complains if the same
> > object is passed to call_rcu() before the grace period ends for
> > the first round.
>
> I noticed that CONFIG_DEBUG_OBJECTS_RCU_HEAD gets enabled only if
> PREEMPT is enabled. In Paul's fedora config preemption is not enabled
> and I see following.
>
> # CONFIG_PREEMPT_NONE is not set
> CONFIG_PREEMPT_VOLUNTARY=y
> # CONFIG_PREEMPT is not set
>
> So are you suggesting that we should explicitly enable preemption
> and set CONFIG_PREEMPT=y and CONFIG_DEBUG_OBJECTS_RCU_HEAD=y and try
> to reproduce the problem again?

Running under CONFIG_PREEMPT=y (along with CONFIG_TREE_PREEMPT_RCU=y)
could be very helpful in and of itself. CONFIG_DEBUG_OBJECTS_RCU_HEAD=y
can also be helpful. In post-2.6.39 mainline, it should be possible
to set CONFIG_DEBUG_OBJECTS_RCU_HEAD=y without CONFIG_PREEMPT=y, but
again, CONFIG_PREEMPT=y can help find problems.

> > o Try switching between CONFIG_TREE_RCU and CONFIG_TREE_PREEMPT_RCU.
> > These two settings are each sensitive to different forms of abuse.
> > For example, if you have CONFIG_PREEMPT=n and CONFIG_TREE_RCU=y,
> > illegally placing a synchronize_rcu() -- or anything else that
> > blocks -- in an RCU read-side critical section will silently
> > partition that RCU read-side critical section. In contrast,
> > CONFIG_TREE_PREEMPT_RCU=y will complain about this.
>
> Again CONFIG_TREE_PREEMPT_RCU is available only if PREEMPT=y. So should
> we enable preemtion and CONFIG_TREE_PREEMPT_RCU=y and try to reproduce
> the issue?

Please!

> > Second, for RCU itself, CONFIG_RCU_TRACE enables counter-based tracing
> > in RCU. Sampling each of the files in the debugfs directory "rcu"
> > before and after the badness (if possible) could help me see if anything
> > untoward is happening.
>
> This sounds doable. So you don't want periodic polling of these rcu
> files? I am assuming that this reading of rcu files is happening in
> user space. How do I do polling at specific events (before and after
> badness). Any suggestions ?
>
> After badness we try to capture the crash dump. So hopefully appropriate
> files we should be able to read from crash dump. So the key quesiton
> would be what's the easiest way to let a user space process poll these
> files before badness and display on console.

Polling is fine. Please see attached for a script to poll at 15-second
intervals. Please also feel free to adjust, just tell me what you
adjusted.

Thanx, Paul
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