Re: [PATCH] Revert "writeback: limit write_cache_pages integrityscanning to current EOF"

From: Dave Chinner
Date: Mon Jun 28 2010 - 21:57:20 EST

On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 05:54:04PM -0700, Joel Becker wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 10:24:21AM +1000, Dave Chinner wrote:
> > On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 10:35:29AM -0700, Joel Becker wrote:
> > > This reverts commit d87815cb2090e07b0b0b2d73dc9740706e92c80c.
> >
> > Hi Joel,
> >
> > I have no problems with it being reverted - it's a really just a
> > WAR for the simplest case of the sync hold holdoff.
> I have to insist that we revert it until we find a way to make
> ocfs2 work. The rest of the email will discuss the ocfs2 issues
> therein.
> > > This patch causes any filesystem with an allocation unit larger than the
> > > filesystem blocksize will leak unzeroed data. During a file extend, the
> > > entire allocation unit is zeroed.
> >
> > XFS has this same underlying issue - it can have uninitialised,
> > allocated blocks past EOF that have to be zeroed when extending the
> > file.
> Does XFS do this in get_blocks()? We deliberately do no
> allocation in get_blocks(), which is where our need for up-front
> allocation comes from.

No, it does it in xfs_file_aio_write() (i.e. ->aio_write()) so it
catches both buffered and direct IO. This can't be done in the
get_blocks() callback because (IMO) there really isn't the context
available to know exactly how we are extending the file in

> > > However, this patch prevents the tail
> > > blocks of the allocation unit from being written back to disk. When the
> > > file is next extended, i_size will now cover these unzeroed blocks,
> > > leaking the old contents of the disk to userspace and creating a corrupt
> > > file.
> >
> > XFS doesn't zero blocks at allocation. Instead, XFS zeros the range
> > between the old EOF and the new EOF on each extending write. Hence
> > these pages get written because they fall inside the new i_size that
> > is set during the write. The i_size on disk doesn't get changed
> > until after the data writes have completed, so even on a crash we
> > don't expose uninitialised blocks.
> We do the same, but we zero the entire allocation. This works
> both when filling holes and when extending, though obviously the
> extending is what we're worried about here. We change i_size in
> write_end, so our guarantee is the same as yours for the page containing
> i_size.

Ok, so the you've got cached pages covering the file and the tail of
the last page/block zeroed in memory. I'd guess that ordered mode
journalling then ensures the inode size update doesn't hit the disk
until after the data does, so this is crash-safe. That would explain
(to me, at least) why you are not seeing stale data exposure on

> > Looking at ocfs2_writepage(), it simply calls
> > block_write_full_page(), which does:
> >
> > /* Is the page fully outside i_size? (truncate in progress) */
> > offset = i_size & (PAGE_CACHE_SIZE-1);
> > if (page->index >= end_index+1 || !offset) {
> > /*
> > * The page may have dirty, unmapped buffers. For example,
> > * they may have been added in ext3_writepage(). Make them
> > * freeable here, so the page does not leak.
> > */
> > do_invalidatepage(page, 0);
> > unlock_page(page);
> > return 0; /* don't care */
> > }
> >
> > i.e. pages beyond EOF get invalidated. If it somehow gets through
> > that check, __block_write_full_page() will avoid writing dirty
> > bufferheads beyond EOF because the write is "racing with truncate".
> Your contention is that we've never gotten those tail blocks to
> disk. Instead, our code either handles the future extensions of i_size
> or we've just gotten lucky with our testing. Our current BUG trigger is
> because we have a new check that catches this case. Does that summarize
> your position correctly?

Yes, that summarises it pretty well ;)

> I'm not averse to having a zero-only-till-i_size policy, but I
> know we've visited this problem before and got bit. I have to go reload
> that context.

There's no hurry from my perspective - I just prefer to understand the
the root cause of a problem before jumping....

> Regarding XFS, how do you handle catching the tail of an
> allocation with an lseek(2)'d write? That is, your current allocation
> has a few blocks outside of i_size, then I lseek(2) a gigabyte past EOF
> and write there. The code has to recognize to zero around old_i_size
> before moving out to new_i_size, right? I think that's where our old
> approaches had problems.

xfs_file_aio_write() handles both those cases for us via
xfs_zero_eof(). What it does is map the region from the old EOF to
the start of the new write and zeroes any allocated blocks that are
not marked unwritten that lie within the range. It does this via the
internal mapping interface because we hide allocated blocks past EOF
from the page cache and higher layers.

FWIW, the way XFS does this is safe against crashes because the
inode size does not get updated on disk or in the journal until
after the data has hit the disk. Ordered journalling should also
provide this guarantee, i think.



Dave Chinner
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