[PATCH] init: Fix race between init and kthreadd

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Mon Jun 28 2010 - 05:01:45 EST

On Thu, 2010-06-24 at 17:23 +0400, Ilya Loginov wrote:
> On Thu, 24 Jun 2010 15:11:36 +0200
> Peter Zijlstra <peterz@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > However I suspect the ordering is like it is because we want init to
> > have pid 1, if we were to re-order like you suggest kthreadd will end up
> > with pid 1 and init with pid 2.
> Strange, but init does not die after I did this. Fix me if I wrong, but it wants
> to have pid 1, and die in other case.

Does something like this work for you?

Subject: init: Fix race between init and kthreadd
From: Peter Zijlstra <a.p.zijlstra@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon Jun 28 10:49:09 CEST 2010

Ilya reported that on a very slow machine he could reliably reproduce a
race between forking init and kthreadd. We first fork init so that it
obtains pid-1, however since the scheduler is already fully running at
this point it can preempt and run the init thread before we spawn and
set kthreadd_task.

The init thread can then attempt spawning kthreads without kthreadd being
present which results in an OOPS.

Cure this in a crude way by having the init task spin-wait on
kthreadd_task. Nicer solutions are more complex and have more overhead
which doesn't appear worth it.

Reported-by: Ilya Loginov <isloginov@xxxxxxxxx>
Signed-off-by: Peter Zijlstra <a.p.zijlstra@xxxxxxxxx>
init/main.c | 19 +++++++++++++++++++
1 file changed, 19 insertions(+)

Index: linux-2.6/init/main.c
--- linux-2.6.orig/init/main.c
+++ linux-2.6/init/main.c
@@ -426,6 +426,17 @@ static noinline void __init_refok rest_i
int pid;

+ /*
+ * Here we first fork the init thread and then the kthreadd so that
+ * init ends up with pid-1.
+ *
+ * Since the scheduler is already fully active we can end up
+ * running the init thread for long enough to start spawning kthreads
+ * before this thread continues and spawns/sets kthreadd, which
+ * would result in an OOPS.
+ *
+ * See the serialization against kthreadd_task in kernel_init().
+ */
kernel_thread(kernel_init, NULL, CLONE_FS | CLONE_SIGHAND);
pid = kernel_thread(kthreadd, NULL, CLONE_FS | CLONE_FILES);
@@ -847,6 +858,14 @@ static noinline int init_post(void)

static int __init kernel_init(void * unused)
+ /*
+ * Synchronize against setting kthreadd_task in rest_init().
+ * Using a mutex would have been a lot nicer, but since its a very
+ * rare race don't bother wasting the space overhead.
+ */
+ while (!kthreadd_task)
+ yield();


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html
Please read the FAQ at http://www.tux.org/lkml/