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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/2] dax: fix bdev NULL pointer dereferences
On Thu, Feb 04, 2016 at 10:15:58AM +0100, Jan Kara wrote:
> Yes, you are right. filemap_write_and_wait_range() actually doesn't
> guarantee data durability. That function only means all dirty data has been
> sent to storage and the storage has acknowledged them. This is noop for
> PMEM. So we are perfectly fine ignoring calls to
> filemap_write_and_wait_range(). What guarantees data durability are only
> ->fsync() and ->sync_fs() calls. But some code could get upset by seeing
> that filemap_write_and_wait_range() didn't actually get rid of dirty pages
> (in some special cases like inode eviction or similar). That's why I'd
> choose one of the two options for consistency:
> 1) Treat inode indexes to flush as close to dirty pages as we can - this
> means inode is dirty with all the tracking associated with it, radix tree
> entries have dirty tag, we get rid of these in ->writepages(). We are close
> to this currently.

I think we're actually pretty far from this, at least for v4.5. The issue is
that I don't think we can safely clear radix tree dirty entries during the DAX
code that is called via ->writepages(). To do this correctly we would need to
also mark the PTE as clean so that when the userspace process next writes to
their mmap mapping we would get a new fault to make the page writable. This
would allow us to re-dirty the DAX entry in the radix tree.

I implemented code to do this in v2 of my set, but ripped it out in v3: (DAX fsync v2) (DAX fsync v3)

The race that compelled this removal is described here:

(sorry for all the links)

Anyway, for v4.5 I think whatever solution we come up with must be okay with
an ever growing list of dirty radix tree entries, as we currently have. Are
you aware of a reason why this won't work, or was the cleaning of the radix
tree entries just a good goal to have? (And I agree it is a good goal, I just
don't know how to do it safely.)

> 2) Completely avoid the dirty tracking and writeback code and reimplement
> everything in DAX code.
> Because some hybrid between these is IMHO bound to provoke weird (and very
> hard to find) bugs.
> > > So revisiting the decision I see two options:
> > >
> > > 1) Move the DAX flushing code from filemap_write_and_wait() into
> > > ->writepages() fs callback. There the filesystem can provide all the
> > > information it needs including bdev, get_block callback, or whatever.
> >
> > This seems fine as long as we add it to ->fsync as well since ->writepages is
> > never called in that path, and as long as we are okay with skipping DAX
> > writebacks on hole punch, truncate, and block relocation.
> Look at ext4_sync_file() -> filemap_write_and_wait_range() ->
> __filemap_fdatawrite_range() -> do_writepages(). Except those nrpages > 0
> checks which would need to be changed.

Ah, cool, I missed this path. Thank you for setting me straight.

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