Thank you Al Viro, Linus Torvalds, Peter Zijlstra, Amir Goldstein for the detailed feedback.
Changes in v2: . dentry_lock_inode() - added quick out on trylock success - added comments to rcu section - expanded rcu coverage to all inode usage - if inode changes during d_lock window, restart the function (do not return) - track the dentry refcount and return false if it changes . dentry_kill() - do not expect refcount=1 from caller - if refcount changes during d_lock window, return ERR_PTR(-EINTR) and do not drop d_lock . dentry_put_kill() [new helper function] - dentry_kill() wrapper to implement the v1 dentry_kill() semantics needed by dput() and shrink_dentry_list() . dput() - use new dentry_put_kill() instead of dentry_kill() . d_delete() - refactor code flow using reworked dentry_lock_inode() . shrink_dentry_list() - use dentry_kill() for dispose list killing - use dentry_put_kill() for ancestor pruning This patchset removes all trylock loops from within the dcache code. The functions d_delete(), dentry_kill(), and shrink_dentry_list() hold dentry->d_lock while needing to acquire dentry->d_inode->i_lock. The latter 2 functions also need to acquire dentry->d_parent->d_lock. This cannot be done directly with spin_lock() operations because it is the reverse of the regular lock order. To avoid ABBA deadlocks it is done using trylock loops. Trylock loops are problematic in two scenarios: 1) PREEMPT_RT converts spinlocks to 'sleeping' spinlocks, which are preemptible. As a consequence the i_lock holder can be preempted by a higher priority task. If that task executes the trylock loop it will do so forever and live lock. 2) In virtual machines trylock loops are problematic as well. The VCPU on which the i_lock holder runs can be scheduled out and a task on a different VCPU can loop for a whole time slice. In the worst case this can lead to starvation. Commits 47be61845c77 ("fs/dcache.c: avoid soft-lockup in dput()") and 046b961b45f9 ("shrink_dentry_list(): take parent's d_lock earlier") are addressing exactly those symptoms. The trylock loops can be avoided with functionality similar to lock_parent(); temporarily dropping dentry->d_lock while holding the rcu_read_lock so that the desired locks can be acquired in the correct order. After the locks are acquired it is necessary to verify that the relevant dentry members did not change while dentry->d_lock was dropped. If they changed, the whole operation must be repeated. John Ogness (6): fs/dcache: Remove stale comment from dentry_kill() fs/dcache: Move dentry_kill() below lock_parent() fs/dcache: Avoid the try_lock loop in d_delete() fs/dcache: Avoid the try_lock loops in dentry_kill() fs/dcache: Avoid a try_lock loop in shrink_dentry_list() fs/dcache: Avoid remaining try_lock loop in shrink_dentry_list() fs/dcache.c | 273 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-------------------- 1 file changed, 183 insertions(+), 90 deletions(-) -- 2.11.0