RE: [PATCH, RFC 2/2] dax: use range_lock instead of i_mmap_lock

From: Wilcox, Matthew R
Date: Tue Aug 11 2015 - 12:51:29 EST

The race that you're not seeing is page fault vs page fault. Two threads each attempt to store a byte to different locations on the same page. With a read-mutex to exclude truncates, each thread calls ->get_block. One of the threads gets back a buffer marked as BH_New and calls memset() to clear the page. The other thread gets back a buffer which isn't marked as BH_New and simply inserts the mapping, returning to userspace, which stores the byte ... just in time for the other thread's memset() to write a zero over the top of it.

Oh, and if it's a load racing against a store, you could read data that used to be in this block the last time it was used; maybe the contents of /etc/shadow.

So if we want to be able to handle more than one page fault at a time per file (... and I think we do ...), we need to have exclusive access to a range of the file while we're calling ->get_block(), and for a certain amount of time afterwards. With non-DAX files, this is the page lock. My original proposal for solving this was to enhance the page cache radix tree to be able to lock something other than a page, but that also has complexities.

-----Original Message-----
From: Boaz Harrosh [mailto:boaz@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 7:31 AM
To: Jan Kara; Dave Chinner
Cc: Kirill A. Shutemov; Andrew Morton; Wilcox, Matthew R; linux-mm@xxxxxxxxx; linux-fsdevel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Davidlohr Bueso
Subject: Re: [PATCH, RFC 2/2] dax: use range_lock instead of i_mmap_lock

On 08/11/2015 04:50 PM, Jan Kara wrote:
> On Tue 11-08-15 19:37:08, Dave Chinner wrote:
>>>> The patch below tries to recover some scalability for DAX by introducing
>>>> per-mapping range lock.
>>> So this grows noticeably (3 longs if I'm right) struct address_space and
>>> thus struct inode just for DAX. That looks like a waste but I don't see an
>>> easy solution.
>>> OTOH filesystems in normal mode might want to use the range lock as well to
>>> provide truncate / punch hole vs page fault exclusion (XFS already has a
>>> private rwsem for this and ext4 needs something as well) and at that point
>>> growing generic struct inode would be acceptable for me.
>> It sounds to me like the way DAX has tried to solve this race is the
>> wrong direction. We really need to drive the truncate/page fault
>> serialisation higher up the stack towards the filesystem, not deeper
>> into the mm subsystem where locking is greatly limited.
>> As Jan mentions, we already have this serialisation in XFS, and I
>> think it would be better first step to replicate that locking model
>> in each filesystem that is supports DAX. I think this is a better
>> direction because it moves towards solving a whole class of problems
>> fileystem face with page fault serialisation, not just for DAX.
> Well, but at least in XFS you take XFS_MMAPLOCK in shared mode for the
> fault / page_mkwrite callback so it doesn't provide the exclusion necessary
> for DAX which needs exclusive access to the page given range in the page
> cache. And replacing i_mmap_lock with fs-private mmap rwsem is a moot
> excercise (at least from DAX POV).

Hi Jan. So you got me confused above. You say:
"DAX which needs exclusive access to the page given range in the page cache"

but DAX and page-cache are mutually exclusive. I guess you meant the VMA
range, or the inode->mapping range (which one is it)

Actually I do not understand this race you guys found at all. (Please bear with
me sorry for being slow)

If two threads of the same VMA fault on the same pte
(I'm not sure how you call it I mean a single 4k entry at each VMAs page-table)
then the mm knows how to handle this just fine.

If two processes, ie two VMAs fault on the same inode->mapping. Then an inode
wide lock like XFS's to protect against i_size-change / truncate is more than
Because with DAX there is no inode->mapping "mapping" at all. You have the call
into the FS with get_block() to replace "holes" (zero pages) with real allocated
blocks, on WRITE faults, but this conversion should be protected inside the FS
already. Then there is the atomic exchange of the PTE which is fine.
(And vis versa with holes mapping and writes)

There is no global "mapping" radix-tree shared between VMAs like we are
used to.

Please explain to me the races you are seeing. I would love to also see them
with xfs. I think there they should not happen.

> So regardless whether the lock will be a fs-private one or in
> address_space, DAX needs something like the range lock Kirill suggested.
> Having the range lock in fs-private part of inode has the advantage that
> only filesystems supporting DAX / punch hole will pay the memory overhead.
> OTOH most major filesystems need it so the savings would be IMO noticeable

punch-hole is truncate for me. With the xfs model of read-write lock where
truncate takes write, any fault taking read before executing the fault looks
good for the FS side of things. I guess you mean the optimization of the
radix-tree lock. But you see DAX does not have a radix-tree, ie it is empty.

Please explain. Do you have a reproducer of this race. I would need to understand


> only for tiny systems using special fs etc. So I'm undecided whether
> putting the lock in address_space and doing the locking in generic
> pagefault / truncate helpers is a better choice or not.
> Honza

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