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From: Jan Kara <>
To: Neil Brown <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] ext3 can fail badly when device stops accepting BIO_RW_BARRIER requests.
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 11:58:54 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <18346.24466.83745.944149@notabene.brown>

  Hi Neil,

> Some devices - notably dm and md - can change their behaviour in
> response to BIO_RW_BARRIER requests.  They might start out accepting
> such requests but on reconfiguration, they find out that they cannot
> any more.
> ext3 (and other filesystems) deal with this by always testing if
> BIO_RW_BARRIER requests fail with EOPNOTSUPP, and retrying the write
> requests without the barrier (probably after waiting for any pending
> writes to complete).
> However there is a bug in the handling for this for ext3.
> When ext3 (jbd actually) decides to submit a BIO_RW_BARRIER request,
> it sets the buffer_ordered flag on the buffer head.
> If the request completes successfully, the flag STAYS SET.
  Yes, I've recently noted this as well :) 

> Other code might then write the same buffer_head after the device has
> been reconfigured to not accept barriers.  This write will then fail,
> but the "other code" is not ready to handle EOPNOTSUPP errors and the
> error will be treated as fatal.
> This can be seen without having to reconfigure a device at exactly the
> wrong time by putting:
> 		if (buffer_ordered(bh))
> 			printk("OH DEAR, and ordered buffer\n");
> in the while loop in "commit phase 5" of journal_commit_transaction.
> If it ever prints the "OH DEAR ..." message (as it does sometimes for
> me), then that request could (in different circumstances) have failed
> with EOPNOTSUPP, but that isn't tested for.
> My proposed fix is to clear the buffer_ordered flag after it has been
> used, as in the following patch.
  Yes. Actually, I think there's another bug in there as well - at least
I have bugreport where we obviously miss that writing ordered buffer
failed (I see completion function of the buffer return with eopnotsupp
bit set but barriers aren't disabled). I think someone starts writing
out the buffer before we call sync_dirty_buffer(bh) but I'm not completely
sure who can do this when we just do set_buffer_dirty(bh)... Anyway
before I check that it is indeed happening what I think is happening,
your fix is fine :).
  You can add: Acked-by: Jan Kara <>

> Signed-off-by: Neil Brown <>
> diff .prev/fs/jbd/commit.c ./fs/jbd/commit.c
> --- .prev/fs/jbd/commit.c	2008-02-07 10:01:57.000000000 +1100
> +++ ./fs/jbd/commit.c	2008-02-07 10:04:58.000000000 +1100
> @@ -131,6 +131,8 @@ static int journal_write_commit_record(j
>  		barrier_done = 1;
>  	}
>  	ret = sync_dirty_buffer(bh);
> +	if (barrier_done)
> +		clear_buffer_ordered(bh);
>  	/* is it possible for another commit to fail at roughly
>  	 * the same time as this one?  If so, we don't want to
>  	 * trust the barrier flag in the super, but instead want
> @@ -148,7 +150,6 @@ static int journal_write_commit_record(j
>  		spin_unlock(&journal->j_state_lock);
>  		/* And try again, without the barrier */
> -		clear_buffer_ordered(bh);
>  		set_buffer_uptodate(bh);
>  		set_buffer_dirty(bh);
>  		ret = sync_dirty_buffer(bh);

Jan Kara <>
SuSE CR Labs

      parent reply	other threads:[~2008-02-07 10:59 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 4+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2008-02-07  1:32 Neil Brown
2008-02-07  4:25 ` [PATCH] ext4 " Dave Kleikamp
2008-02-08  0:22   ` Mingming Cao
2008-02-07 10:58 ` Jan Kara [this message]

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