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SubjectRe: BUG: Failure to send REQ_FLUSH on unmount on ext3, ext4, and FS in general
On Sun 22-05-11 20:11:08, Alex Bligh wrote:
> I have been doing some testing to see what file systems successfully send
> REQ_FLUSH after all writes to the file system in the case of an unmount.
> Results so far:
> 1. ext2, ext3 (with default options), never send REQ_FLUSH
> 2. ext3 (with barrier=1) and ext4 do send REQ_FLUSH but then
> send further writes afterwards.
> 3. btrfs and xfs do things right (i.e. either end with a REQ_FLUSH in
> xfs's case, or a REQ_FLUSH and a REQ_FUA in btrfs's case)
> So the first bug is that ext3 and ext4 appear to send writes (without a
> subsequent flush/fia) before an unmount, and thus will never fully
> flush a write-behind cache. They look like this:
Yeah, I think ext3/4 write journal superblock and fs superblock without
issuing a barrier after everything is synced.

> But quite aside from the question of whether the FS supports barriers,
> should the kernel itself (rather than the FS) not be sending REQ_FLUSH on
> an unmount as the last thing that happens? IE shouldn't we see a flush
> even on (say) ext2 which is never going to support barriers. If the kernel
> itself generated a REQ_FLUSH for the block device, this would keep
> filesystems that don't support barriers safe provided the unmount
> completed successfully and would have no impact on ones that had already
> flushed the write-behind cache.
Yes, I think that generic VFS helpers should send barriers in cases where
it makes sense and umount is one of them. There even have been some
attempts to do so if I recall right but they didn't go anywhere.

Jan Kara <>

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