analysis of snapshot-related system deadlock

Eric Anderson anderson at
Wed Sep 28 06:14:01 PDT 2005

Don Lewis wrote:
> I've been experimenting with Peter Holm's kernel stress test suite and
> file system snapshots.  I've been frequently seeing system deadlocks, so
> I went looking for the cause.
> In the latest instance, there were 12 threads waiting on "snaplk", and
> the thread holding "snaplk" was sleeping on "wdrain".  Two of the
> threads waiting on "snaplk" were syncer and bufdaemon, which is not a
> good sign.
> Ordinarily, I/O activity should eventually reduce runningbufspace below
> lorunningspace and wake up the thread sleeping on "wdrain", but this is
> where the problem gets interesting.  The stack trace of the thread
> sleeping on "wdrain" is:
> #0  0xc0653913 in sched_switch (td=0xc23fe300, newtd=0xc2275480, flags=1)
>     at /usr/src/sys/kern/sched_4bsd.c:973
> #1  0xc0649158 in mi_switch (flags=1, newtd=0x0)
>     at /usr/src/sys/kern/kern_synch.c:356
> #2  0xc066073c in sleepq_switch (wchan=0x0)
>     at /usr/src/sys/kern/subr_sleepqueue.c:427
> #3  0xc0660920 in sleepq_wait (wchan=0xc0984404)
>     at /usr/src/sys/kern/subr_sleepqueue.c:539
> #4  0xc0648dc9 in msleep (ident=0xc0984404, mtx=0xc0984420, priority=68, 
>     wmesg=0xc0876f1c "wdrain", timo=0) at /usr/src/sys/kern/kern_synch.c:227
> #5  0xc0687592 in bufwrite (bp=0xd648f558) at /usr/src/sys/kern/vfs_bio.c:383
> #6  0xc0687bbd in bawrite (bp=0x0) at buf.h:401
> #7  0xc077ca98 in ffs_copyonwrite (devvp=0xc2933770, bp=0xd6543e90)
>     at /usr/src/sys/ufs/ffs/ffs_snapshot.c:2119
> #8  0xc0788ec5 in ffs_geom_strategy (bo=0xc2933830, bp=0xd6543e90)
>     at /usr/src/sys/ufs/ffs/ffs_vfsops.c:1686
> #9  0xc068750e in bufwrite (bp=0xd6543e90) at buf.h:415
> #10 0xc0788e32 in ffs_bufwrite (bp=0xd6543e90)
>     at /usr/src/sys/ufs/ffs/ffs_vfsops.c:1663
> #11 0xc0775a09 in ffs_update (vp=0xc5095cc0, waitfor=0) at buf.h:401
> #12 0xc0793670 in ufs_mkdir (ap=0xeb785bb8)
>     at /usr/src/sys/ufs/ufs/ufs_vnops.c:1556
> #13 0xc08149e7 in VOP_MKDIR_APV (vop=0xc0910b60, a=0xeb785bb8)
> The problem is that bufs passed through ffs_copyonwrite() get double
> counted in runningbufspace, once for each pass through bufwrite().  This
> includes the bufs being processed by all the threads that are waiting on
> "snaplk".  If enough threads get backed up waiting for "snaplk", the
> total size bufs they are processing will exceed lorunningspace and any
> threads sleeping on wdrain will sleep forever.
> Probably the easiest fix would be to call runningbufwakeup() from
> ffs_copyonwrite() before grabbing "snaplk", and increase runningbufspace
> again before returning from ffs_copyonwrite().  The bufs waiting for
> "snaplk" aren't yet async writes currently running, to borrow from the
> comment on waitrunningbufspace().

This sounds like a problem I've had with snapshot creation taking hours 
on a large filesystem.  I've seen the same thing, but simply waited and 
eventually it would complete, however during the process, many processes 
were held in the SNAPLK state, while others were idle in wdrain.  I'm 
currently running 5-STABLE on this box.


Eric Anderson        Sr. Systems Administrator        Centaur Technology
Anything that works is better than anything that doesn't.

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