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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 1/1] hugepages: Fix race between hugetlbfs umount and quota update.
On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 14:14:11 -0500
Andrew Barry <> wrote:

> This patch fixes a use-after-free problem in free_huge_page, with a quota update
> happening after hugetlbfs umount. The problem results when a device driver,
> which has mapped a hugepage, does a put_page. Put_page, calls free_huge_page,
> which does a hugetlb_put_quota. As written, hugetlb_put_quota takes an
> address_space struct pointer "mapping" as an argument. If the put_page occurs
> after the hugetlbfs filesystem is unmounted, mapping points to freed memory.

OK. This sounds screwed up. If a device driver is currently using a
page from a hugetlbfs file then the unmount shouldn't have succeeded in
the first place!

Or is it the case that the device driver got a reference to the page by
other means, bypassing hugetlbfs? And there's undesirable/incorrect
interaction between the non-hugetlbfs operation and hugetlbfs?

Or something else?

<starts reading the mailing list>

OK, important missing information from the above is that the driver got
at this page via get_user_pages() and happened to stumble across a
hugetlbfs page. So it's indeed an incorrect interaction between a
non-hugetlbfs operation and hugetlbfs.

What's different about hugetlbfs? Why don't other filesystems hit this?

<investigates further>

OK so the incorrect interaction happened in free_huge_page(), which is
called via the compound page destructor (this dtor is "what's different
about hugetlbfs"). What is incorrect about this is

a) that we're doing fs operations in response to a
get_user_pages()/put_page() operation which has *nothing* to do with

b) that we continue to try to do that fs operation against an fs
which was unmounted and freed three days ago. duh.

So I hereby pronounce that

a) It was wrong to manipulate hugetlbfs quotas within
free_huge_page(). Because free_huge_page() is a low-level
page-management function which shouldn't know about one of its
specific clients (in this case, hugetlbfs).

In fact it's wrong for there to be *any* mention of hugetlbfs
within hugetlb.c.

b) I shouldn't have merged that hugetlbfs quota code. whodidthat.
Mel, Adam, Dave, at least...

c) The proper fix here is to get that hugetlbfs quota code out of
free_huge_page() and do it all where it belongs: within hugetlbfs

Regular filesystems don't need to diddle quota counts within
page_cache_release(). Why should hugetlbfs need to?

> ...
> + /*Free only if used quota is zero. */

Missing a space there.

> --- a/include/linux/hugetlb.h
> +++ b/include/linux/hugetlb.h
> @@ -142,11 +142,16 @@ struct hugetlbfs_config {
> struct hstate *hstate;
> };
> +#define HPAGE_INACTIVE 0
> +#define HPAGE_ACTIVE 1

The above need documenting, please. That documentation would perhaps
help me understand why we need both an "active" flag *and* a refcount.

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