Re: Possible bug in inotify api

From: Andrew Morton
Date: Fri Jul 22 2011 - 19:08:38 EST

On Thu, 21 Jul 2011 08:47:44 +0200
Morten Winkler J__rgensen <morten@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> To whom it might concern
> I'd like to report a possible malfunction of the inotify api and check if
> this issue has been reported.
> If this is not the proper place to do so, please let me know. I have
> searched the archives and the web and found similar reportings but none
> the same.
> The observed behavior is when calling inotify_remove_watch. Now and then
> it returns error 22, INVALID_ARGUMENT, even though the watchdesriptor
> ought to be valid. I've seen that people complain about this behavior on
> the dovecot mailing list but nobody seems to have suggested a fix.
> I've attached a small program that I use to reproduce the behavior.
> The program watches /tmp and whenever it's notified about a directory
> created in /tmp, my program adds a watch for that directory as well.
> The program is a C++ program (as I will need the inotify functionality in
> a C++ program, but the behavior is the same in a pure C implementation)
> and to reproduce I do the following:
> * g++ main.cpp
> * ./a.out
> In a shell I go to /tmp and run
> * for i in `seq 1 5000`; do mkdir D-$i; done; for i in `seq 1 5000`; do
> rmdir D-$i; done
> This makes my testprogram output the wd's created and and the wd's my
> program tries to remove. I've never seen the program successfully remove
> all 5000 watch descriptors and I've seen inotify_rm_watch fail after 0
> removes and after approx 2000 removes and anything in between.
> I'm running kernel 2.6.23-5 from the Debian repositories.
> If what I've written is totally nonsense, if it is expected behavior or if
> I've done anything wrong, please let me know. Also, if I can do anything
> further to investigate the misbehavior also, please let me know.
> Best and thanks in advance,
> Morten
> Attached: C++ program used to reproduce the behavior.

I ran it a couple of times on my 2.6.32-based 2-CPU desktop here and it
ran to completion without any complaints.

So perhaps we fixed whatever-it-was in a later kernel. 2.6.23 is
pretty old!
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