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Subject[PATCH 4.19 032/276] ovl: relax WARN_ON() for overlapping layers use case
From: Amir Goldstein <>

commit acf3062a7e1ccf67c6f7e7c28671a6708fde63b0 upstream.

This nasty little syzbot repro:

Creates overlay mounts where the same directory is both in upper and lower
layers. Simplified example:

mkdir foo work
mount -t overlay none foo -o"lowerdir=.,upperdir=foo,workdir=work"

The repro runs several threads in parallel that attempt to chdir into foo
and attempt to symlink/rename/exec/mkdir the file bar.

The repro hits a WARN_ON() I placed in ovl_instantiate(), which suggests
that an overlay inode already exists in cache and is hashed by the pointer
of the real upper dentry that ovl_create_real() has just created. At the
point of the WARN_ON(), for overlay dir inode lock is held and upper dir
inode lock, so at first, I did not see how this was possible.

On a closer look, I see that after ovl_create_real(), because of the
overlapping upper and lower layers, a lookup by another thread can find the
file foo/bar that was just created in upper layer, at overlay path
foo/foo/bar and hash the an overlay inode with the new real dentry as lower
dentry. This is possible because the overlay directory foo/foo is not
locked and the upper dentry foo/bar is in dcache, so ovl_lookup() can find
it without taking upper dir inode shared lock.

Overlapping layers is considered a wrong setup which would result in
unexpected behavior, but it shouldn't crash the kernel and it shouldn't
trigger WARN_ON() either, so relax this WARN_ON() and leave a pr_warn()
instead to cover all cases of failure to get an overlay inode.

The error returned from failure to insert new inode to cache with
inode_insert5() was changed to -EEXIST, to distinguish from the error
-ENOMEM returned on failure to get/allocate inode with iget5_locked().

Fixes: 01b39dcc9568 ("ovl: use inode_insert5() to hash a newly...")
Signed-off-by: Amir Goldstein <>
Signed-off-by: Miklos Szeredi <>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>

fs/overlayfs/dir.c | 2 +-
fs/overlayfs/inode.c | 3 ++-
2 files changed, 3 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

--- a/fs/overlayfs/dir.c
+++ b/fs/overlayfs/dir.c
@@ -260,7 +260,7 @@ static int ovl_instantiate(struct dentry
* hashed directory inode aliases.
inode = ovl_get_inode(dentry->d_sb, &oip);
- if (WARN_ON(IS_ERR(inode)))
+ if (IS_ERR(inode))
return PTR_ERR(inode);
} else {
WARN_ON(ovl_inode_real(inode) != d_inode(newdentry));
--- a/fs/overlayfs/inode.c
+++ b/fs/overlayfs/inode.c
@@ -832,7 +832,7 @@ struct inode *ovl_get_inode(struct super
int fsid = bylower ? oip->lowerpath->layer->fsid : 0;
bool is_dir, metacopy = false;
unsigned long ino = 0;
- int err = -ENOMEM;
+ int err = oip->newinode ? -EEXIST : -ENOMEM;

if (!realinode)
realinode = d_inode(lowerdentry);
@@ -917,6 +917,7 @@ out:
return inode;

+ pr_warn_ratelimited("overlayfs: failed to get inode (%i)\n", err);
inode = ERR_PTR(err);
goto out;

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