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Re: [PATCH] XFS: Free buffer pages array unconditionally

To: Alex Elder <aelder@xxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] XFS: Free buffer pages array unconditionally
From: Dave Chinner <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 09:36:58 +1100
Cc: xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
In-reply-to: <1AB9A794DBDDF54A8A81BE2296F7BDFE012A6866@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
References: <1260832317-14977-1-git-send-email-david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <1AB9A794DBDDF54A8A81BE2296F7BDFE012A6866@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)
On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 01:21:36PM -0600, Alex Elder wrote:
> Dave Chinner wrote:
> > The code in xfs_free_buf() only attempts to free the b_pages array if the
> > buffer is a page cache backed or page allocated buffer. The extra log buffer
> > that is used when the log wraps uses pages that are allocated to a different
> > log buffer, but it still has a b_pages array allocated when those pages
> > are associated to with the extra buffer in xfs_buf_associate_memory.
> > 
> > Hence we need to always attempt to free the b_pages array when tearing
> > down a buffer, not just on buffers that are explicitly marked as page 
> > bearing
> > buffers. This fixes a leak detected by the kernel memory leak code.
> Three places call xfs_buf_get_pages();
> - _xfs_buf_lookup_pages(), which sets the _XBF_PAGE_CACHE flag in the
>   buffer after the call
> - xfs_buf_associate_memory(), which sets no flag bit
> - xfs_buf_get_noaddr(), which sets the _XBF_PAGES flag.
> The only place that checks for _XBF_PAGES is xfs_buf_free().
> Given that, I have two comments:
> - You could just as easily have set the _XBF_PAGES flag in
>   xfs_buf_associate_memory, thereby making that flag indicate
>   consistently that the buffer has allocated pages

_XBF_PAGES is used to indicate that the buffer owns the
pages and must free them when the buffer is freed.

_XBF_PAGE_CACHE indicates pages are allocated out of the buftarg
page cache and need to be released when the buffer is freed.

In both cases, xfs_buf_free() has to free the pages
associated with these buffers.

In the case of xfs_buf_associate_memory(), the memory attached to
the buffer is owned by an external entity and hence we are not
allowed to free it when we free the buffer. Therefore we can't set
_XBF_PAGES on the buffer.

> - Or, since you are proposing unconditionally freeing the
>   pages,

This change doesn't unconditionally free the pages attached
to the buffer - it unconditionally frees the array used to
index the pages on the buffer when the buffer is torn down.

   +------+         +------+
   |  bp  |         |      |-------> page
   |      | b_pages |      |-------> page
   |      |-------->|      |.............
   |      |         |      |-------> page
   |      |         |      |-------> page
   +------+         +------+
                This array is what we are
                freeing unconditionally.


Dave Chinner

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