[PATCH 3.16.y-ckt 085/165] Btrfs: fix data loss in the fast fsync path

Luis Henriques luis.henriques at canonical.com
Wed Mar 25 14:00:58 UTC 2015

3.16.7-ckt9 -stable review patch.  If anyone has any objections, please let me know.


From: Filipe Manana <fdmanana at suse.com>

commit 3a8b36f378060d20062a0918e99fae39ff077bf0 upstream.

When using the fast file fsync code path we can miss the fact that new
writes happened since the last file fsync and therefore return without
waiting for the IO to finish and write the new extents to the fsync log.

Here's an example scenario where the fsync will miss the fact that new
file data exists that wasn't yet durably persisted:

1. fs_info->last_trans_committed == N - 1 and current transaction is
   transaction N (fs_info->generation == N);

2. do a buffered write;

3. fsync our inode, this clears our inode's full sync flag, starts
   an ordered extent and waits for it to complete - when it completes
   at btrfs_finish_ordered_io(), the inode's last_trans is set to the
   value N (via btrfs_update_inode_fallback -> btrfs_update_inode ->

4. transaction N is committed, so fs_info->last_trans_committed is now
   set to the value N and fs_info->generation remains with the value N;

5. do another buffered write, when this happens btrfs_file_write_iter
   sets our inode's last_trans to the value N + 1 (that is
   fs_info->generation + 1 == N + 1);

6. transaction N + 1 is started and fs_info->generation now has the
   value N + 1;

7. transaction N + 1 is committed, so fs_info->last_trans_committed
   is set to the value N + 1;

8. fsync our inode - because it doesn't have the full sync flag set,
   we only start the ordered extent, we don't wait for it to complete
   (only in a later phase) therefore its last_trans field has the
   value N + 1 set previously by btrfs_file_write_iter(), and so we

       inode->last_trans <= fs_info->last_trans_committed
           (N + 1)              (N + 1)

   Which made us not log the last buffered write and exit the fsync
   handler immediately, returning success (0) to user space and resulting
   in data loss after a crash.

This can actually be triggered deterministically and the following excerpt
from a testcase I made for xfstests triggers the issue. It moves a dummy
file across directories and then fsyncs the old parent directory - this
is just to trigger a transaction commit, so moving files around isn't
directly related to the issue but it was chosen because running 'sync' for
example does more than just committing the current transaction, as it
flushes/waits for all file data to be persisted. The issue can also happen
at random periods, since the transaction kthread periodicaly commits the
current transaction (about every 30 seconds by default).
The body of the test is:

  _scratch_mkfs >> $seqres.full 2>&1

  # Create our main test file 'foo', the one we check for data loss.
  # By doing an fsync against our file, it makes btrfs clear the 'needs_full_sync'
  # bit from its flags (btrfs inode specific flags).
  $XFS_IO_PROG -f -c "pwrite -S 0xaa 0 8K" \
                  -c "fsync" $SCRATCH_MNT/foo | _filter_xfs_io

  # Now create one other file and 2 directories. We will move this second file
  # from one directory to the other later because it forces btrfs to commit its
  # currently open transaction if we fsync the old parent directory. This is
  # necessary to trigger the data loss bug that affected btrfs.
  mkdir $SCRATCH_MNT/testdir_1
  touch $SCRATCH_MNT/testdir_1/bar
  mkdir $SCRATCH_MNT/testdir_2

  # Make sure everything is durably persisted.

  # Write more 8Kb of data to our file.
  $XFS_IO_PROG -c "pwrite -S 0xbb 8K 8K" $SCRATCH_MNT/foo | _filter_xfs_io

  # Move our 'bar' file into a new directory.
  mv $SCRATCH_MNT/testdir_1/bar $SCRATCH_MNT/testdir_2/bar

  # Fsync our first directory. Because it had a file moved into some other
  # directory, this made btrfs commit the currently open transaction. This is
  # a condition necessary to trigger the data loss bug.
  $XFS_IO_PROG -c "fsync" $SCRATCH_MNT/testdir_1

  # Now fsync our main test file. If the fsync succeeds, we expect the 8Kb of
  # data we wrote previously to be persisted and available if a crash happens.
  # This did not happen with btrfs, because of the transaction commit that
  # happened when we fsynced the parent directory.
  $XFS_IO_PROG -c "fsync" $SCRATCH_MNT/foo

  # Simulate a crash/power loss.
  _load_flakey_table $FLAKEY_DROP_WRITES

  _load_flakey_table $FLAKEY_ALLOW_WRITES

  # Now check that all data we wrote before are available.
  echo "File content after log replay:"
  od -t x1 $SCRATCH_MNT/foo


The expected golden output for the test, which is what we get with this
fix applied (or when running against ext3/4 and xfs), is:

  wrote 8192/8192 bytes at offset 0
  XXX Bytes, X ops; XX:XX:XX.X (XXX YYY/sec and XXX ops/sec)
  wrote 8192/8192 bytes at offset 8192
  XXX Bytes, X ops; XX:XX:XX.X (XXX YYY/sec and XXX ops/sec)
  File content after log replay:
  0000000 aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa
  0020000 bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb

Without this fix applied, the output shows the test file does not have
the second 8Kb extent that we successfully fsynced:

  wrote 8192/8192 bytes at offset 0
  XXX Bytes, X ops; XX:XX:XX.X (XXX YYY/sec and XXX ops/sec)
  wrote 8192/8192 bytes at offset 8192
  XXX Bytes, X ops; XX:XX:XX.X (XXX YYY/sec and XXX ops/sec)
  File content after log replay:
  0000000 aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa

So fix this by skipping the fsync only if we're doing a full sync and
if the inode's last_trans is <= fs_info->last_trans_committed, or if
the inode is already in the log. Also remove setting the inode's
last_trans in btrfs_file_write_iter since it's useless/unreliable.

Also because btrfs_file_write_iter no longer sets inode->last_trans to
fs_info->generation + 1, don't set last_trans to 0 if we bail out and don't
bail out if last_trans is 0, otherwise something as simple as the following
example wouldn't log the second write on the last fsync:

  1. write to file

  2. fsync file

  3. fsync file
       |--> btrfs_inode_in_log() returns true and it set last_trans to 0

  4. write to file
       |--> btrfs_file_write_iter() no longers sets last_trans, so it
            remained with a value of 0
  5. fsync
       |--> inode->last_trans == 0, so it bails out without logging the
            second write

A test case for xfstests will be sent soon.

Signed-off-by: Filipe Manana <fdmanana at suse.com>
Signed-off-by: Chris Mason <clm at fb.com>
Signed-off-by: Luis Henriques <luis.henriques at canonical.com>
 fs/btrfs/file.c | 56 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++----------------------------
 1 file changed, 28 insertions(+), 28 deletions(-)

diff --git a/fs/btrfs/file.c b/fs/btrfs/file.c
index 2a15294f1683..39aa46612541 100644
--- a/fs/btrfs/file.c
+++ b/fs/btrfs/file.c
@@ -1806,22 +1806,10 @@ static ssize_t btrfs_file_write_iter(struct kiocb *iocb,
-	 * we want to make sure fsync finds this change
-	 * but we haven't joined a transaction running right now.
-	 *
-	 * Later on, someone is sure to update the inode and get the
-	 * real transid recorded.
-	 *
-	 * We set last_trans now to the fs_info generation + 1,
-	 * this will either be one more than the running transaction
-	 * or the generation used for the next transaction if there isn't
-	 * one running right now.
-	 *
 	 * We also have to set last_sub_trans to the current log transid,
 	 * otherwise subsequent syncs to a file that's been synced in this
 	 * transaction will appear to have already occured.
-	BTRFS_I(inode)->last_trans = root->fs_info->generation + 1;
 	BTRFS_I(inode)->last_sub_trans = root->log_transid;
 	if (num_written > 0) {
 		err = generic_write_sync(file, pos, num_written);
@@ -1909,25 +1897,37 @@ int btrfs_sync_file(struct file *file, loff_t start, loff_t end, int datasync)
-	 * check the transaction that last modified this inode
-	 * and see if its already been committed
-	 */
-	if (!BTRFS_I(inode)->last_trans) {
-		mutex_unlock(&inode->i_mutex);
-		goto out;
-	}
-	/*
-	 * if the last transaction that changed this file was before
-	 * the current transaction, we can bail out now without any
-	 * syncing
+	 * If the last transaction that changed this file was before the current
+	 * transaction and we have the full sync flag set in our inode, we can
+	 * bail out now without any syncing.
+	 *
+	 * Note that we can't bail out if the full sync flag isn't set. This is
+	 * because when the full sync flag is set we start all ordered extents
+	 * and wait for them to fully complete - when they complete they update
+	 * the inode's last_trans field through:
+	 *
+	 *     btrfs_finish_ordered_io() ->
+	 *         btrfs_update_inode_fallback() ->
+	 *             btrfs_update_inode() ->
+	 *                 btrfs_set_inode_last_trans()
+	 *
+	 * So we are sure that last_trans is up to date and can do this check to
+	 * bail out safely. For the fast path, when the full sync flag is not
+	 * set in our inode, we can not do it because we start only our ordered
+	 * extents and don't wait for them to complete (that is when
+	 * btrfs_finish_ordered_io runs), so here at this point their last_trans
+	 * value might be less than or equals to fs_info->last_trans_committed,
+	 * and setting a speculative last_trans for an inode when a buffered
+	 * write is made (such as fs_info->generation + 1 for example) would not
+	 * be reliable since after setting the value and before fsync is called
+	 * any number of transactions can start and commit (transaction kthread
+	 * commits the current transaction periodically), and a transaction
+	 * commit does not start nor waits for ordered extents to complete.
 	if (btrfs_inode_in_log(inode, root->fs_info->generation) ||
-	    BTRFS_I(inode)->last_trans <=
-	    root->fs_info->last_trans_committed) {
-		BTRFS_I(inode)->last_trans = 0;
+	    (full_sync && BTRFS_I(inode)->last_trans <=
+	     root->fs_info->last_trans_committed)) {
 		 * We'v had everything committed since the last time we were
 		 * modified so clear this flag in case it was set for whatever

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