fix mntput/mntput race [Linux 4.18]

This Linux kernel change "fix mntput/mntput race" is included in the Linux 4.18 release. This change is authored by Al Viro <viro [at]> on Thu Aug 9 17:21:17 2018 -0400. The commit for this change in Linux stable tree is 9ea0a46 (patch).

fix mntput/mntput race

mntput_no_expire() does the calculation of total refcount under mount_lock;
unfortunately, the decrement (as well as all increments) are done outside
of it, leading to false positives in the "are we dropping the last reference"
test.  Consider the following situation:
    * mnt is a lazy-umounted mount, kept alive by two opened files.  One
of those files gets closed.  Total refcount of mnt is 2.  On CPU 42
mntput(mnt) (called from __fput()) drops one reference, decrementing component
    * After it has looked at component #0, the process on CPU 0 does
mntget(), incrementing component #0, gets preempted and gets to run again -
on CPU 69.  There it does mntput(), which drops the reference (component #69)
and proceeds to spin on mount_lock.
    * On CPU 42 our first mntput() finishes counting.  It observes the
decrement of component #69, but not the increment of component #0.  As the
result, the total it gets is not 1 as it should've been - it's 0.  At which
point we decide that vfsmount needs to be killed and proceed to free it and
shut the filesystem down.  However, there's still another opened file
on that filesystem, with reference to (now freed) vfsmount, etc. and we are

It's not a wide race, but it can be reproduced with artificial slowdown of
the mnt_get_count() loop, and it should be easier to hit on SMP KVM setups.

Fix consists of moving the refcount decrement under mount_lock; the tricky
part is that we want (and can) keep the fast case (i.e. mount that still
has non-NULL ->mnt_ns) entirely out of mount_lock.  All places that zero
mnt->mnt_ns are dropping some reference to mnt and they call synchronize_rcu()
before that mntput().  IOW, if mntput() observes (under rcu_read_lock())
a non-NULL ->mnt_ns, it is guaranteed that there is another reference yet to
be dropped.

Reported-by: Jann Horn <[email protected]>
Tested-by: Jann Horn <[email protected]>
Fixes: 48a066e72d97 ("RCU'd vsfmounts")
Cc: [email protected]
Signed-off-by: Al Viro <[email protected]>

There are 14 lines of Linux source code added/deleted in this change. Code changes to Linux kernel are as follows.

 fs/namespace.c | 14 ++++++++++++--
 1 file changed, 12 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/fs/namespace.c b/fs/namespace.c
index 8ddd148..d46a951 100644
--- a/fs/namespace.c
+++ b/fs/namespace.c
@@ -1195,12 +1195,22 @@ static void delayed_mntput(struct work_struct *unused)
 static void mntput_no_expire(struct mount *mnt)
-   mnt_add_count(mnt, -1);
-   if (likely(mnt->mnt_ns)) { /* shouldn't be the last one */
+   if (likely(READ_ONCE(mnt->mnt_ns))) {
+       /*
+        * Since we don't do lock_mount_hash() here,
+        * ->mnt_ns can change under us.  However, if it's
+        * non-NULL, then there's a reference that won't
+        * be dropped until after an RCU delay done after
+        * turning ->mnt_ns NULL.  So if we observe it
+        * non-NULL under rcu_read_lock(), the reference
+        * we are dropping is not the final one.
+        */
+       mnt_add_count(mnt, -1);
+   mnt_add_count(mnt, -1);
    if (mnt_get_count(mnt)) {

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *