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From: Hugh Dickins <>
To: Nick Piggin <>
Cc: linux-kernel <>,
	Linux Memory Management <>,
	David Howells <>,
	Andrew Morton <>
Subject: Re: page_mkwrite caller is racy?
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 16:08:57 +0000 (GMT)	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Mon, 29 Jan 2007, Nick Piggin wrote:
> After do_wp_page calls page_mkwrite on its target (old_page), it then drops
> the reference to the page before locking the ptl and verifying that the pte
> points to old_page.
> Unfortunately, old_page may have been truncated and freed, or reclaimed, then
> re-allocated and used again for the same pagecache position and faulted in
> read-only into the same pte by another thread. Then you will have a situation
> where page_mkwrite succeeds but the page we use is actually a readonly one.

You're right.  Well observed.  It was I who originally added that
page_cache_release/page_cache_get, and the page_cache_get certainly
followed getting the page_table_lock when I first added them.

Looks like amidst all the intervening versions, with the patch going
into and getting dropped from -mm from time to time, those positions
became reversed without us noticing (almost certainly when the lock
and the pte_offset_map got merged into the pte_offset_map_lock).

> Moving page_cache_release(old_page) to below the next statement
> will fix that problem.

Yes.  I'm reluctant to steal your credit, but also reluctant to go
back and forth too much over this: please insert your Signed-off-by
_before_ mine in the patch below (substituting your own comment if
you prefer) and send it Andrew.

Not a priority for 2.6.20 or -stable: aside from the unlikelihood,
we don't seem to have any page_mkwrite users yet, as you point out.

> But it is sad that this thing got merged without any callers to even
> know how it is intended to work.

I'm rather to blame for that: I pushed Peter to rearranging his work
on top of what David had, since they were dabbling in related issues,
and we'd already solved a number of them in relation to page_mkwrite;
so then when dirty tracking was wanted in, page_mkwrite came with it.

At the time I believed that AntonA was on the point of using it in
NTFS, but apparently not yet.

> Must it be able to sleep?

Not as David was using it: that was something I felt strongly it
should be allowd to do.  For example, in order to allocate backing
store for the mmap'ed page to be written (that need has been talked
about off and on for years).


After do_wp_page has tested page_mkwrite, it must release old_page after
acquiring page table lock, not before: at some stage that ordering got
reversed, leaving a (very unlikely) window in which old_page might be
truncated, freed, and reused in the same position.

Signed-off-by: Hugh Dickins <>

 mm/memory.c |    3 +--
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 2 deletions(-)

--- 2.6.20-rc6/mm/memory.c	2007-01-25 08:25:27.000000000 +0000
+++ linux/mm/memory.c	2007-01-29 15:35:56.000000000 +0000
@@ -1531,8 +1531,6 @@ static int do_wp_page(struct mm_struct *
 			if (vma->vm_ops->page_mkwrite(vma, old_page) < 0)
 				goto unwritable_page;
-			page_cache_release(old_page);
 			 * Since we dropped the lock we need to revalidate
 			 * the PTE as someone else may have changed it.  If
@@ -1541,6 +1539,7 @@ static int do_wp_page(struct mm_struct *
 			page_table = pte_offset_map_lock(mm, pmd, address,
+			page_cache_release(old_page);
 			if (!pte_same(*page_table, orig_pte))
 				goto unlock;

  reply	other threads:[~2007-01-29 16:08 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 9+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2007-01-29 10:20 Nick Piggin
2007-01-29 16:08 ` Hugh Dickins [this message]
2007-01-29 20:41   ` Anton Altaparmakov
2007-01-30  1:14   ` Nick Piggin
2007-01-30  1:51     ` Mark Fasheh
2007-01-30 14:58       ` Anton Altaparmakov
2007-01-31  1:18         ` Nick Piggin
2007-01-29 20:00 ` Mark Fasheh
2007-02-01 11:44 ` David Howells

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