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SubjectRe: Another proposal for DAX fault locking
On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 2:32 AM, Jan Kara <> wrote:
> On Tue 09-02-16 10:18:53, Dan Williams wrote:
>> On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 9:24 AM, Jan Kara <> wrote:
>> > Hello,
>> >
>> > I was thinking about current issues with DAX fault locking [1] (data
>> > corruption due to racing faults allocating blocks) and also races which
>> > currently don't allow us to clear dirty tags in the radix tree due to races
>> > between faults and cache flushing [2]. Both of these exist because we don't
>> > have an equivalent of page lock available for DAX. While we have a
>> > reasonable solution available for problem [1], so far I'm not aware of a
>> > decent solution for [2]. After briefly discussing the issue with Mel he had
>> > a bright idea that we could used hashed locks to deal with [2] (and I think
>> > we can solve [1] with them as well). So my proposal looks as follows:
>> >
>> > DAX will have an array of mutexes (the array can be made per device but
>> > initially a global one should be OK). We will use mutexes in the array as a
>> > replacement for page lock - we will use hashfn(mapping, index) to get
>> > particular mutex protecting our offset in the mapping. On fault / page
>> > mkwrite, we'll grab the mutex similarly to page lock and release it once we
>> > are done updating page tables. This deals with races in [1]. When flushing
>> > caches we grab the mutex before clearing writeable bit in page tables
>> > and clearing dirty bit in the radix tree and drop it after we have flushed
>> > caches for the pfn. This deals with races in [2].
>> >
>> > Thoughts?
>> >
>> I like the fact that this makes the locking explicit and
>> straightforward rather than something more tricky. Can we make the
>> hashfn pfn based? I'm thinking we could later reuse this as part of
>> the solution for eliminating the need to allocate struct page, and we
>> don't have the 'mapping' available in all paths...
> So Mel originally suggested to use pfn for hashing as well. My concern with
> using pfn is that e.g. if you want to fill a hole, you don't have a pfn to
> lock. What you really need to protect is a logical offset in the file to
> serialize allocation of underlying blocks, its mapping into page tables,
> and flushing the blocks out of caches. So using inode/mapping and offset
> for the hashing is easier (it isn't obvious to me we can fix hole filling
> races with pfn-based locking).
> I'm not sure for which other purposes you'd like to use this lock and
> whether propagating file+offset to those call sites would make sense or
> not. struct page has the advantage that block mapping information is only
> attached to it, so when filling a hole, we can just allocate some page,
> attach it to the radix tree, use page lock for synchronization, and allocate
> blocks only after that. With pfns we cannot do this...

Right, I am thinking of the direct-I/O path's use of the page lock and
the occasions where it relies on page->mapping lookups.

Given we already have support for dynamically allocating struct page I
don't think we need to have a "pfn to lock" lookup in the initial
implementation of this locking scheme.

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