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Subject[PATCH 4.4 005/268] aio: fix io_destroy(2) vs. lookup_ioctx() race
4.4-stable review patch.  If anyone has any objections, please let me know.


From: Al Viro <>

commit baf10564fbb66ea222cae66fbff11c444590ffd9 upstream.

kill_ioctx() used to have an explicit RCU delay between removing the
reference from ->ioctx_table and percpu_ref_kill() dropping the refcount.
At some point that delay had been removed, on the theory that
percpu_ref_kill() itself contained an RCU delay. Unfortunately, that was
the wrong kind of RCU delay and it didn't care about rcu_read_lock() used
by lookup_ioctx(). As the result, we could get ctx freed right under
lookup_ioctx(). Tejun has fixed that in a6d7cff472e ("fs/aio: Add explicit
RCU grace period when freeing kioctx"); however, that fix is not enough.

Suppose io_destroy() from one thread races with e.g. io_setup() from another;
CPU1 removes the reference from current->mm->ioctx_table[...] just as CPU2
has picked it (under rcu_read_lock()). Then CPU1 proceeds to drop the
refcount, getting it to 0 and triggering a call of free_ioctx_users(),
which proceeds to drop the secondary refcount and once that reaches zero
calls free_ioctx_reqs(). That does
INIT_RCU_WORK(&ctx->free_rwork, free_ioctx);
queue_rcu_work(system_wq, &ctx->free_rwork);
and schedules freeing the whole thing after RCU delay.

In the meanwhile CPU2 has gotten around to percpu_ref_get(), bumping the
refcount from 0 to 1 and returned the reference to io_setup().

Tejun's fix (that queue_rcu_work() in there) guarantees that ctx won't get
freed until after percpu_ref_get(). Sure, we'd increment the counter before
ctx can be freed. Now we are out of rcu_read_lock() and there's nothing to
stop freeing of the whole thing. Unfortunately, CPU2 assumes that since it
has grabbed the reference, ctx is *NOT* going away until it gets around to
dropping that reference.

The fix is obvious - use percpu_ref_tryget_live() and treat failure as miss.
It's not costlier than what we currently do in normal case, it's safe to
call since freeing *is* delayed and it closes the race window - either
lookup_ioctx() comes before percpu_ref_kill() (in which case ctx->users
won't reach 0 until the caller of lookup_ioctx() drops it) or lookup_ioctx()
fails, ctx->users is unaffected and caller of lookup_ioctx() doesn't see
the object in question at all.

Fixes: a6d7cff472e "fs/aio: Add explicit RCU grace period when freeing kioctx"
Signed-off-by: Al Viro <>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>

fs/aio.c | 4 ++--
1 file changed, 2 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

--- a/fs/aio.c
+++ b/fs/aio.c
@@ -1066,8 +1066,8 @@ static struct kioctx *lookup_ioctx(unsig

ctx = rcu_dereference(table->table[id]);
if (ctx && ctx->user_id == ctx_id) {
- percpu_ref_get(&ctx->users);
- ret = ctx;
+ if (percpu_ref_tryget_live(&ctx->users))
+ ret = ctx;

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