Deadlock between nfsd and snapshots.

Tor Egge Tor.Egge at
Wed Aug 23 16:31:27 UTC 2006

> > Protecting the existing i_flag and the timestamps with the vnode interlock
> > when the current thread only has a shared vnode lock should be sufficient
> > to protect against the races, removing the need for #3, #4 and #4 below.

> I agree that this should be sufficient.  Don't know if it is.  Actually,
> I thought that the vnode lock was more exclusive.  How can a shared lock
> work even for a reader if a writer is changing inode contents?

Holding a shared lock prevents others from holding an exclusive lock, thus
the possible modifications to the inode are limited (i_flags and timestamps).

> > There are some constraints with regards to setting IN_MODIFIED on an inode.
> >If neither IN_CHANGE nor IN_UPDATE is set then it might be unsafe to set
> >IN_MODIFIED since the file system might be suspended or in the process of
> >being suspended with the vnode sync loop in ffs_sync() having iterated past
> >the vnode.

> The case can't happen.  IN_CHANGE is always set if IN_MODIFIED will
> (or should be) set later.  There are some buggy cases where the combined
> setting of { IN_CHANGE, IN_MODIFIED } is incorrect, but these don't cause
> any problems here.  We just have to avoid setting (or having to set)
> IN_MODIFED when setting it is not safe.  Hopefully this is only in suspend
> mode.

If VOP_READ() has recently been called then IN_ACCESS might be set without
IN_CHANGE, IN_UPDATE or IN_MODIFIED set.  That's when ufs_itimes() needs to be
careful.  The VOP_READ() call might have been performed after the vnode was
handled in the vnode sync loop.

> > If the file system is suspended then IN_MODIFIED cannot be set. If
> > IN_MODIFIED, IN_CHANGE or IN_UPDATE is set and the file system is suspended
> > then something is wrong.

> I think ufs_itimes() needs to use a non-blocking vn_start_write() and do
> nothing (except perhaps assert that the above harmful IN_* flags are not
> set) if it (ufs_itimes()) would set IN_MODIFIED.

If a nonblocking vn_start_write() call fails then you don't know if the file
system is suspended or in the processes of being suspended.  If the file system
is in the process of being suspended then the vnode sync loop might still be

> - problem for atime updates caused by reads.  These become writes while in
>    suspend mode.  We want reads to work in suspend mode, so we cannout
>    disallow reads, and we cannot disallow the implicit writes without
>    breaking atime semantics.  This problem can be partly avoided by
>    ignoring IN_ACCESS in ufs_itimes() while in suspend mode, or by
>    converting it to IN_LAZYMOD.  If the inode gets reclaimed then we
>    lose the atime update; otherwise the atime gets updated some time
>    after we leave suspend mode, and either way the update doesn't go
>    to snapshots, as is necessary for having a coherent snapshot.

vnodes are not reclaimed while the file system is suspended or in the
processess of being suspended.

> - problem for IN_LAZYMOD in ufs_reclaim().  Currently not reached.  A quick
>    fix would be to lose whatever updates are being done lazily.

What problem ?

- Tor Egge

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