[PATCH v5 13/14] locks: skip deadlock detection on FL_FILE_PVT locks

J. Bruce Fields bfields at fieldses.org
Tue Jan 14 12:27:13 MST 2014

On Thu, Jan 09, 2014 at 04:58:59PM -0800, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 4:49 PM, Jeff Layton <jlayton at redhat.com> wrote:
> > On Thu, 09 Jan 2014 12:25:25 -0800
> > Andy Lutomirski <luto at amacapital.net> wrote:
> >> When I think of deadlocks caused by r/w locks (which these are), I think
> >> of two kinds.  First is what the current code tries to detect: two
> >> processes that are each waiting for each other.  I don't know whether
> >> POSIX enshrines the idea of detecting that, but I wouldn't be surprised,
> >> considering how awful the old POSIX locks are.
> >> The sensible kind of detectable deadlock involves just one lock, and it
> >> happens when two processes both hold read locks and try to upgrade to
> >> write locks.  This should be efficiently detectable and makes upgrading
> >> locks safe(r).

This also involves two processes waiting on each other, and the current
code should detect either case equally well.

> For this kind of deadlock detection, nothing global is needed -- I'm
> only talking about detecting deadlocks due to two tasks upgrading
> locks on the same file (with overlapping ranges) at the same time.
> This is actually useful for SQL-like things.  Imagine this scenario:
> Program 1:
> Open a file
> SELECT whatever;  -- acquires a read lock
> Program 2:
> Open the same file
> SELECT whatever;  -- acquires a read lock
> Program 1:
> UPDATE something;  -- upgrades to write
> Now program 1 is waiting for program 2 to release its lock.  But if
> program 2 tries to UPDATE, then it deadlocks.  A friendly MySQL
> implementation (which, sadly, does not include sqlite) will fail the
> abort the transaction instead.

And then I suppose you'd need to get an exclusive lock when you retry,
to guarantee forward progress in the face of multiple processes retrying
at once.

I don't know, is this so useful?

> It would be nice if the kernel
> supported this.
> Note that unlocking and then re-locking for write is incorrect -- it
> would allow program 2 to write inconsistent data.
> I think that implementing this could be as simple as having some way
> to check if a struct file_lock is currently trying to upgrade from
> read to write and, if you try to upgrade and end up waiting for such a
> lock, aborting.

You have to be clear what you mean by "such a lock".  What you really
want to know is whether you'd be waiting on a lock that might be waiting
on a lock you hold.

To a first approximation, the current works with a graph with tasks as
nodes and an arrow from node X to node Y if X is waiting on a lock held
by node Y.  And it follows arrows in that graph looking for cycles.

And sure I guess it would be a bit nicer if you only bothered checking
for cycles that touch this one file.

But I'd really rather avoid the complication of deadlock detection
unless somebody can make a really strong case that they need it.

> The nasty case, though, is if you try to write-lock a
> range while holding a read-lock on only part of the range -- you could
> end up acquiring part of the range and deadlocking on the rest.  Now
> you need to remember enough state to be able to abort.

We wait until the entire lock can be applied, and then apply it all
atomically (under i_lock).

> (Actually, what happens if you receive a signal which waiting on a file lock?)

Return -EINTR.

> I would personally be okay with removing the existing deadlock
> detector entirely.  I wouldn't be surprised if no one relies on it.

I'd be in favor.


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