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[dm-devel] Re: [PATCH] dm: Fix deadlock under high i/o load in raid1 setup.

On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 13:33:40 +0200
Heiko Carstens <heiko carstens de ibm com> wrote:

> Hi,
> the patch below went into 2.6.18. Now my question is: why doesn't it check
> if kmalloc(..., GFP_NOIO) returns with a NULL pointer?
> Did I miss anything that guarentees that this will always succeed or is it
> just a bug?

How come my computer is the only one with a reply button?


> commit c06aad854fdb9da38fcc22dccfe9d72919453e43
> Author: Daniel Kobras <kobras linux de>
> Date:   Sun Aug 27 01:23:24 2006 -0700
>     [PATCH] dm: Fix deadlock under high i/o load in raid1 setup.
>     On an nForce4-equipped machine with two SATA disk in raid1 setup using dmraid,
>     we experienced frequent deadlock of the system under high i/o load.  'cat
>     /dev/zero > ~/zero' was the most reliable way to reproduce them: Randomly
>     after a few GB, 'cp' would be left in 'D' state along with kjournald and
>     kmirrord.  The functions cp and kjournald were blocked in did vary, but
>     kmirrord's wchan always pointed to 'mempool_alloc()'.  We've seen this pattern
>     on 2.6.15 and 2.6.17 kernels.  http://lkml.org/lkml/2005/4/20/142 indicates
>     that this problem has been around even before.
>     So much for the facts, here's my interpretation: mempool_alloc() first tries
>     to atomically allocate the requested memory, or falls back to hand out
>     preallocated chunks from the mempool.  If both fail, it puts the calling
>     process (kmirrord in this case) on a private waitqueue until somebody refills
>     the pool.  Where the only 'somebody' is kmirrord itself, so we have a
>     deadlock.
>     I worked around this problem by falling back to a (blocking) kmalloc when
>     before kmirrord would have ended up on the waitqueue.  This defeats part of
>     the benefits of using the mempool, but at least keeps the system running.  And
>     it could be done with a two-line change.  Note that mempool_alloc() clears the
>     GFP_NOIO flag internally, and only uses it to decide whether to wait or return
>     an error if immediate allocation fails, so the attached patch doesn't change
>     behaviour in the non-deadlocking case.  Path is against current git
>     (2.6.18-rc4), but should apply to earlier versions as well.  I've tested on
>     2.6.15, where this patch makes the difference between random lockup and a
>     stable system.
>     Signed-off-by: Daniel Kobras <kobras linux de>
>     Acked-by: Alasdair G Kergon <agk redhat com>
>     Cc: <stable kernel org>
>     Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <akpm osdl org>
>     Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <torvalds osdl org>
> diff --git a/drivers/md/dm-raid1.c b/drivers/md/dm-raid1.c
> index be48ced..c54de98 100644
> --- a/drivers/md/dm-raid1.c
> +++ b/drivers/md/dm-raid1.c
> @@ -255,7 +255,9 @@ static struct region *__rh_alloc(struct region_hash *rh, region_t region)
>  	struct region *reg, *nreg;
>  	read_unlock(&rh->hash_lock);
> -	nreg = mempool_alloc(rh->region_pool, GFP_NOIO);
> +	nreg = mempool_alloc(rh->region_pool, GFP_ATOMIC);
> +	if (unlikely(!nreg))
> +		nreg = kmalloc(sizeof(struct region), GFP_NOIO);
>  	nreg->state = rh->log->type->in_sync(rh->log, region, 1) ?
>  	nreg->rh = rh;

Yeah, that's a bug.

kmalloc(small_amount, GFP_NOIO) can fail if the calling process gets
oom-killed, and it can fail if the system is using fault-injection.

One could say "don't use fault injection" and, perhaps, "this is only
ever called by a kernel thread and kernel threads don't get oom-killed". 
But the former is lame and the latter assumes current implementation
details which could change (and indeed have in the past).

So yes, I'd say this is a bug in DM.

Also, __rh_alloc() is called under read_lock(), via __rh_find().  If
__rh_alloc()'s mempool_alloc() fails, it will perform a sleeping allocation
under read_lock(), which is deadlockable and will generate might_sleep()

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