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SubjectRe: [PATCH 01/10] mm: pagecache add lock
On Fri, May 18, 2018 at 03:49:00AM -0400, Kent Overstreet wrote:
> Add a per address space lock around adding pages to the pagecache - making it
> possible for fallocate INSERT_RANGE/COLLAPSE_RANGE to work correctly, and also
> hopefully making truncate and dio a bit saner.

(moving this section here from the overall description so I can reply
to it in one place)

> * pagecache add lock
>
> This is the only one that touches existing code in nontrivial ways.
> The problem it's solving is that there is no existing general mechanism
> for shooting down pages in the page and keeping them removed, which is a
> real problem if you're doing anything that modifies file data and isn't
> buffered writes.
>
> Historically, the only problematic case has been direct IO, and people
> have been willing to say "well, if you mix buffered and direct IO you
> get what you deserve", and that's probably not unreasonable. But now we
> have fallocate insert range and collapse range, and those are broken in
> ways I frankly don't want to think about if they can't ensure consistency
> with the page cache.

ext4 manages collapse-vs-pagefault with the ext4-specific i_mmap_sem.
You may get pushback on the grounds that this ought to be a
filesystem-specific lock rather than one embedded in the generic inode.

> Also, the mechanism truncate uses (i_size and sacrificing a goat) has
> historically been rather fragile, IMO it might be a good think if we
> switched it to a more general rigorous mechanism.
>
> I need this solved for bcachefs because without this mechanism, the page
> cache inconsistencies lead to various assertions popping (primarily when
> we didn't think we need to get a disk reservation going by page cache
> state, but then do the actual write and disk space accounting says oops,
> we did need one). And having to reason about what can happen without
> a locking mechanism for this is not something I care to spend brain
> cycles on.
>
> That said, my patch is kind of ugly, and it requires filesystem changes
> for other filesystems to take advantage of it. And unfortunately, since
> one of the code paths that needs locking is readahead, I don't see any
> realistic way of implementing the locking within just bcachefs code.
>
> So I'm hoping someone has an idea for something cleaner (I think I recall
> Matthew Wilcox saying he had an idea for how to use xarray to solve this),
> but if not I'll polish up my pagecache add lock patch and see what I can
> do to make it less ugly, and hopefully other people find it palatable
> or at least useful.

My idea with the XArray is that we have a number of reserved entries which
we can use as blocking entries. I was originally planning on making this
an XArray feature, but I now believe it's a page-cache-special feature.
We can always revisit that decision if it turns out to be useful to
another user.

API:

int filemap_block_range(struct address_space *mapping, loff_t start,
loff_t end);
void filemap_remove_block(struct address_space *mapping, loff_t start,
loff_t end);

- After removing a block, the pagecache is empty between [start, end].
- You have to treat the block as a single entity; don't unblock only
a subrange of the range you originally blocked.
- Lookups of a page within a blocked range return NULL.
- Attempts to add a page to a blocked range sleep on one of the
page_wait_table queues.
- Attempts to block a blocked range will also sleep on one of the
page_wait_table queues. Is this restriction acceptable for your use
case? It's clearly not a problem for fallocate insert/collapse. It
would only be a problem for Direct I/O if people are doing subpage
directio from within the same page. I think that's rare enough to
not be a problem (but please tell me if I'm wrong!)

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