Pull Writeback error handling updates from Jeff Layton:
"This pile represents the bulk of the writeback error handling fixes
that I have for this cycle. Some of the earlier patches in this pile
may look trivial but they are prerequisites for later patches in the
The aim of this set is to improve how we track and report writeback
errors to userland. Most applications that care about data integrity
will periodically call fsync/fdatasync/msync to ensure that their
writes have made it to the backing store.
For a very long time, we have tracked writeback errors using two flags
in the address_space: AS_EIO and AS_ENOSPC. Those flags are set when a
writeback error occurs (via mapping_set_error) and are cleared as a
side-effect of filemap_check_errors (as you noted yesterday). This
model really sucks for userland.
Only the first task to call fsync (or msync or fdatasync) will see the
error. Any subsequent task calling fsync on a file will get back 0
(unless another writeback error occurs in the interim). If I have
several tasks writing to a file and calling fsync to ensure that their
writes got stored, then I need to have them coordinate with one
another. That's difficult enough, but in a world of containerized
setups that coordination may even not be possible.
But wait...it gets worse!
The calls to filemap_check_errors can be buried pretty far down in the
call stack, and there are internal callers of filemap_write_and_wait
and the like that also end up clearing those errors. Many of those
callers ignore the error return from that function or return it to
userland at nonsensical times (e.g. truncate() or stat()). If I get
back -EIO on a truncate, there is no reason to think that it was
because some previous writeback failed, and a subsequent fsync() will
(incorrectly) return 0.
This pile aims to do three things:
1) ensure that when a writeback error occurs that that error will be
reported to userland on a subsequent fsync/fdatasync/msync call,
regardless of what internal callers are doing
2) report writeback errors on all file descriptions that were open at
the time that the error occurred. This is a user-visible change,
but I think most applications are written to assume this behavior
anyway. Those that aren't are unlikely to be hurt by it.
3) document what filesystems should do when there is a writeback
error. Today, there is very little consistency between them, and a
lot of cargo-cult copying. We need to make it very clear what
filesystems should do in this situation.
To achieve this, the set adds a new data type (errseq_t) and then
builds new writeback error tracking infrastructure around that. Once
all of that is in place, we change the filesystems to use the new
infrastructure for reporting wb errors to userland.
Note that this is just the initial foray into cleaning up this mess.
There is a lot of work remaining here:
1) convert the rest of the filesystems in a similar fashion. Once the
initial set is in, then I think most other fs' will be fairly
simple to convert. Hopefully most of those can in via individual
2) convert internal waiters on writeback to use errseq_t for
detecting errors instead of relying on the AS_* flags. I have some
draft patches for this for ext4, but they are not quite ready for
prime time yet.
This was a discussion topic this year at LSF/MM too. If you're
interested in the gory details, LWN has some good articles about this:
* tag 'for-linus-v4.13-2' of git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/jlayton/linux:
btrfs: minimal conversion to errseq_t writeback error reporting on fsync
xfs: minimal conversion to errseq_t writeback error reporting
ext4: use errseq_t based error handling for reporting data writeback errors
fs: convert __generic_file_fsync to use errseq_t based reporting
block: convert to errseq_t based writeback error tracking
dax: set errors in mapping when writeback fails
Documentation: flesh out the section in vfs.txt on storing and reporting writeback errors
mm: set both AS_EIO/AS_ENOSPC and errseq_t in mapping_set_error
fs: new infrastructure for writeback error handling and reporting
lib: add errseq_t type and infrastructure for handling it
mm: don't TestClearPageError in __filemap_fdatawait_range
mm: clear AS_EIO/AS_ENOSPC when writeback initiation fails
jbd2: don't clear and reset errors after waiting on writeback
buffer: set errors in mapping at the time that the error occurs
fs: check for writeback errors after syncing out buffers in generic_file_fsync
buffer: use mapping_set_error instead of setting the flag
mm: fix mapping_set_error call in me_pagecache_dirty