[PATCH] mm: list_lru: fix almost infinite loop causing effectivelivelock

From: Russell King - ARM Linux
Date: Wed Oct 30 2013 - 10:16:59 EST

From: Russell King <rmk+kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I've seen a fair number of issues with kswapd and other processes
appearing to get stuck in v3.12-rc. Using sysrq-p many times seems
to indicate that it gets stuck somewhere in list_lru_walk_node(),
called from prune_icache_sb() and super_cache_scan().

I never seem to be able to trigger a calltrace for functions above
that point.

So I decided to add the following to super_cache_scan():

@@ -81,10 +81,14 @@ static unsigned long super_cache_scan(struct shrinker *shrink,
inodes = list_lru_count_node(&sb->s_inode_lru, sc->nid);
dentries = list_lru_count_node(&sb->s_dentry_lru, sc->nid);
total_objects = dentries + inodes + fs_objects + 1;
+printk("%s:%u: %s: dentries %lu inodes %lu total %lu\n", current->comm, current->pid, __func__, dentries, inodes, total_objects);

/* proportion the scan between the caches */
dentries = mult_frac(sc->nr_to_scan, dentries, total_objects);
inodes = mult_frac(sc->nr_to_scan, inodes, total_objects);
+printk("%s:%u: %s: dentries %lu inodes %lu\n", current->comm, current->pid, __func__, dentries, inodes);
+BUG_ON(dentries == 0);
+BUG_ON(inodes == 0);

* prune the dcache first as the icache is pinned by it, then
@@ -99,7 +103,7 @@ static unsigned long super_cache_scan(struct shrinker *shrink,
freed += sb->s_op->free_cached_objects(sb, fs_objects,
+printk("%s:%u: %s: dentries %lu inodes %lu freed %lu\n", current->comm, current->pid, __func__, dentries, inodes, freed);
return freed;

and shortly thereafter, having applied some pressure, I got this:

update-apt-xapi:1616: super_cache_scan: dentries 25632 inodes 2 total 25635
update-apt-xapi:1616: super_cache_scan: dentries 1023 inodes 0
------------[ cut here ]------------
Kernel BUG at c0101994 [verbose debug info unavailable]
Internal error: Oops - BUG: 0 [#3] SMP ARM
Modules linked in: fuse rfcomm bnep bluetooth hid_cypress
CPU: 0 PID: 1616 Comm: update-apt-xapi Tainted: G D 3.12.0-rc7+ #154
task: daea1200 ti: c3bf8000 task.ti: c3bf8000
PC is at super_cache_scan+0x1c0/0x278
LR is at trace_hardirqs_on+0x14/0x18
pc : [<c0101994>] lr : [<c007e418>] psr: 600f0013
sp : c3bf9ba8 ip : c3bf9af8 fp : c3bf9bf4
r10: 00000000 r9 : 00000400 r8 : 00000000
r7 : 000003ff r6 : 00006423 r5 : db3f0800 r4 : c3bf9cc8
r3 : 00000000 r2 : 000003ff r1 : 00000001 r0 : 0000003e
Flags: nZCv IRQs on FIQs on Mode SVC_32 ISA ARM Segment user
Control: 10c53c7d Table: 13b60059 DAC: 00000015
Process update-apt-xapi (pid: 1616, stack limit = 0xc3bf8240)
[<c01017d4>] (super_cache_scan) from [<c00cd69c>] (shrink_slab+0x254/0x4c8)
r10:00000000 r9:00000023 r8:c0930f9c r7:c3bf9cc8 r6:db3f0bd0 r5:00000400
[<c00cd448>] (shrink_slab) from [<c00d09a0>] (try_to_free_pages+0x3a0/0x5e0)
r10:c0990dcc r9:c0ef5a0c r8:c3bf9cdc r7:c3bf9cd8 r6:00200010 r5:c3bf9cd0
[<c00d0600>] (try_to_free_pages) from [<c00c59cc>] (__alloc_pages_nodemask+0x5)
r10:00000035 r9:c0990dc0 r8:00000000 r7:00000000 r6:c093c7d0 r5:c3bf8000
[<c00c5454>] (__alloc_pages_nodemask) from [<c00e07c0>] (__pte_alloc+0x2c/0x13)
r10:c3b60000 r9:daea1200 r8:0000002a r7:dbacbf20 r6:c3bf8000 r5:dba99600
[<c00e0794>] (__pte_alloc) from [<c00e3a70>] (handle_mm_fault+0x84c/0x914)
r8:0000002a r7:dbacbf20 r6:c3bf8000 r5:0540e000 r4:000af855 r3:0540e000
[<c00e3224>] (handle_mm_fault) from [<c001a4cc>] (do_page_fault+0x1f0/0x3bc)
r10:00000805 r9:daea1200 r8:dbacbf20 r7:0540ea84 r6:c3bf8000 r5:c3bf9fb0
[<c001a2dc>] (do_page_fault) from [<c001a7b0>] (do_translation_fault+0xac/0xb8)
r10:00021000 r9:00030588 r8:c3bf9fb0 r7:00000005 r6:c0941bf4 r5:0540ea84
[<c001a704>] (do_translation_fault) from [<c000840c>] (do_DataAbort+0x38/0xa0)
r7:00000005 r6:c0941bf4 r5:0540ea84 r4:00000805
[<c00083d4>] (do_DataAbort) from [<c00133f8>] (__dabt_usr+0x38/0x40)

Notice that we had a very low number of inodes, which were reduced to
zero my mult_frac().

Now, prune_icache_sb() calls list_lru_walk_node() passing that number
of inodes (0) into that as the number of objects to scan:

long prune_icache_sb(struct super_block *sb, unsigned long nr_to_scan,
int nid)
long freed;

freed = list_lru_walk_node(&sb->s_inode_lru, nid, inode_lru_isolate,
&freeable, &nr_to_scan);

which does:

unsigned long
list_lru_walk_node(struct list_lru *lru, int nid, list_lru_walk_cb isolate,
void *cb_arg, unsigned long *nr_to_walk)

struct list_lru_node *nlru = &lru->node[nid];
struct list_head *item, *n;
unsigned long isolated = 0;

list_for_each_safe(item, n, &nlru->list) {
enum lru_status ret;

* decrement nr_to_walk first so that we don't livelock if we
* get stuck on large numbesr of LRU_RETRY items
if (--(*nr_to_walk) == 0)

So, if *nr_to_walk was zero when this function was entered, that means
we're wanting to operate on (~0UL)+1 objects - which might as well be

Clearly this is not correct behaviour. If we think about the behaviour
of this function when *nr_to_walk is 1, then clearly it's wrong - we
decrement first and then test for zero - which results in us doing
nothing at all. A post-decrement would give the desired behaviour -
we'd try to walk one object and one object only if *nr_to_walk were

It also gives the correct behaviour for zero - we exit at this point.

Fixes: 5cedf721a7cdb5 (list_lru: fix broken LRU_RETRY behaviour)
Signed-off-by: Russell King <rmk+kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Dave Chinner <dchinner@xxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Al Viro <viro@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Andrew Morton <akpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Linus Torvalds <torvalds@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
mm/list_lru.c | 2 +-
1 files changed, 1 insertions(+), 1 deletions(-)

diff --git a/mm/list_lru.c b/mm/list_lru.c
index 72467914b856..917b1e0ea82f 100644
--- a/mm/list_lru.c
+++ b/mm/list_lru.c
@@ -81,7 +81,7 @@ list_lru_walk_node(struct list_lru *lru, int nid, list_lru_walk_cb isolate,
* decrement nr_to_walk first so that we don't livelock if we
* get stuck on large numbesr of LRU_RETRY items
- if (--(*nr_to_walk) == 0)
+ if ((*nr_to_walk)-- == 0)

ret = isolate(item, &nlru->lock, cb_arg);

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