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Re: possible cache aliasing problem with O_DIRECT?

Subject: Re: possible cache aliasing problem with O_DIRECT?
From: Jun Sun <>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 18:32:54 -0800
In-reply-to: <>; from on Tue, Dec 10, 2002 at 06:20:51PM -0800
Original-recipient: rfc822;
References: <>
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i
... forgot the attachment, possibly due to the same memory 
corruption problem. :-)

Also, the problem is discovered in 2.4.18.  I checked with 2.4.19
and it appears it should be there as well.


On Tue, Dec 10, 2002 at 06:20:51PM -0800, Jun Sun wrote:
> I am chasing a problem which might be a cache aliasing problem
> when a disk file is opened with O_DIRECT flag.
> I attached the source code of two programs.  One generates a binary file
> and the other opens the file with O_DIRECT and reads it.  It checks
> the content of the file while reading it.
> I tested this on a MIPS board with NEC vr5432 CPU, which has a
> virtually indexed, two-way set associative d-cache, and can easily 
> re-produce the data corruption problem.
> I attached a patch which apparently solves the problem.
> I am not an expert in fs and mm, but my guess is:
> 1) user process allocates a big buffer
> 2) the user buffer is mapped into kernel virtual space for doing direct IO 
>    through map_user_kiobuf()
> 3) since the virtual address for buffer area is different in user space
>    from that in kernel virtual, kernel should do a flush cache for those
>    pages after doing the IO.  That is why my attached patch makes it work.
> Does this make sense?
> However, I still have some puzzles.  For it to work completely, another
> cache flushing needs to be done for the address range of the buffer in user
> space.  I thought this should be done some where inside map_user_kiobuf()
> but could not find it anywhere.  Did I miss it?  Or it just happens to work
> even without it?
> Another puzzling part is that I also tested the program on another couple
> of MIPS boards which *should* suffer from this problem, but failed to 
> re-produce it.
> Any thoughts?
> Jun

Attachment: gen-file.c
Description: Text document

Attachment: my-diotest.c
Description: Text document

Attachment: o_direct-cache-flush.patch
Description: Text document

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