Re: [PATCH 13/12] ksm: fix munlock during exit_mmap deadlock

From: Hugh Dickins
Date: Tue Aug 25 2009 - 14:59:44 EST

On Tue, 25 Aug 2009, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 06:49:09PM +0100, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> Looking ksm.c it should have been down_write indeed...
> > Nor do we want to change your down_read here to down_write, that will
> > just reintroduce the OOM deadlock that 9/12 was about solving.
> I'm not sure anymore I get what this fix is about...

Yes, it's easy to drop one end of the string while picking up the other ;)

And it wouldn't be exactly the same deadlock, but similar.
The original deadlock that 9/12 was about was:
There's a now-obvious deadlock in KSM's out-of-memory handling:
imagine ksmd or KSM_RUN_UNMERGE handling, holding ksm_thread_mutex,
trying to allocate a page to break KSM in an mm which becomes the
OOM victim (quite likely in the unmerge case): it's killed and goes
to exit, and hangs there waiting to acquire ksm_thread_mutex.

Whereas with down_write(&mm->mmap_sem); up_write(&mm->mmap_sem)
just before calling exit_mmap(), the deadlock comes on mmap_sem
instead: the exiting OOM-killed task waiting there (for break_cow
or the like to up_read mmap_sem), before it has freed any memory
to allow break_cow etc. to proceed.

> mm_users is
> allowed to go to 0. If mm_users is allowed to go to 0, it's up to ksm
> to check inside its inner loops that mm_users is 0 and bail
> out. Bailing out it will unblock exit so that exit_mmap can run.

Yes, but one of those checks that mm_users is 0 has to be lie below
handle_mm_fault, because mm_users may go to 0 and exit_mmap proceed
while one of handle_pte_fault's helpers is waiting to allocate a page
(for example; but SMP could race anywhere). Hence ksm_test_exit()s
in mm/memory.c.

(And as I remarked in the 9/12 comments, it's no use bumping up
mm_users in break_ksm, say, though that would be a normal thing to
do: that just ensures the memory we'd be waiting for cannot be freed.)

> What exactly is the unfixable issue?

Oh, there's no unfixable issue,
just an issue we've not yet found the right fix for ;)

The idea I'm currently playing with, would fix one of your objections
but violate another, is to remove the ksm_test_exit()s from mm/memory.c,
allow KSM to racily fault in too late, but observe mm_users 0 afterwards
and zap it then.

I agree with you that it seems _wrong_ for KSM to fault into an area
being exited, which was why the ksm_test_exit()s; but the neatest
answer might turn out to be to allow it to do so after all.

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