[systemd-devel] [dm-devel] multipath breaks with recent udev/systemd

Benjamin Marzinski bmarzins at redhat.com
Fri Dec 19 07:16:32 PST 2014

On Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 08:21:57AM +0100, Hannes Reinecke wrote:
> On 12/18/2014 11:04 PM, Benjamin Marzinski wrote:
> > On Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 01:04:54PM +0100, Hannes Reinecke wrote:
> >> On 12/16/2014 11:18 PM, Benjamin Marzinski wrote:
> >>> On Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 04:10:44PM -0600, Benjamin Marzinski wrote:
> >>>> On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 10:31:44AM +0100, Hannes Reinecke wrote:
> >> [ .. ]
> >>>>> So during bootup it's anyone's guess who's first, multipath or udev.
> >>>>> And depending on the timing either multipath will fail to setup
> >>>>> the device-mapper device or udev will simply ignore the device.
> >>>>> Neither of those is a good, but the first is an absolute killer for
> >>>>> modern systems which _rely_ on udev to configure devices.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> So how it this supposed to work?
> >>>>> Why does udev ignore the entire event if it can't get the lock?
> >>>>> Shouldn't it rather be retried?
> >>>>> What is the supposed recovery here?
> >>>>
> >>>> Hannes, are you against the idea that Alexander mentioned in his first
> >>>> email, of just locking a file in /var/lock?  Multipathd doesn't create
> >>>> devices in parallel. Multipath doesn't create files in parallel.  We are
> >>>> explicitly trying to avoid multipath and multipathd creating files at
> >>>> the same time. So, we should only need a single file to lock, and
> >>>> /run/lock should always be there.
> >>>
> >>> O.k. So if we want to keep our current nonblocking behavior, we'll need
> >>> more lockfiles, either one per path or one per wwid.  This still seems
> >>> like a reasonable idea, if there is a good reason for systemd doing what
> >>> it's doing.
> >>>
> >> The problem is as follows:
> >>
> >> When multipathd is running we simply _cannot_ guarantee that no udev
> >> events are currently running. This currently hits us especially bad
> >> during system startup when device probing is still running during
> >> multipathd startup.
> >> Multipathd will then enumerate all block devices to setup the
> >> initial topology.
> >> But in doing so it might trip over device which are still processed
> >> by udev (or, worse still, _not yet_ processed by udev).
> >> (Yes, I know, libudev_enumerate should protect against this.
> >>  But it doesn't. )
> > 
> > But we start waiting for events before the initial multipath device
> > configuration, and don't process them until after that configuration
> > is compelete, so if there is ever a case where the initial configuration
> > is accessing the device to early, aren't we guaranteed to get an event
> > afterwards, assuming that udev doesn't drop it?
> > 
> That was the initial idea. Only it doesn't do it currently :-)
> >>
> >> So it's anyone guess what'll happen now; either multipath trips over
> >> the lock from udev when calling 'lock_multipath' (and consequently
> >> failing to setup the multipath device), or udev
> >> tripping over the lock from multipath and ignoring the event,
> >> leaving us with a non-functioning device.
> > 
> > But my point above is that if we use a lockfile instead of locking the
> > path device itself, there won't be any lock contention, and udev won't
> > drop the events.
> > 
> The underlying issue here is:
> Why does multipath lock the devices _at all_?
> If it were to protect against device disappearing while doing the
> ioctl that's already proven not to work.
> And for protecting against mounts a simple open(O_EXCL) would be
> sufficient. So whom are we fooling here?

The commit where the locking was added is

It is from when the mutipath command was directly called in the udev
rules.  If two path devices with the same wwid got discovered at the
same time, two multipath commands would be racing to create the devices,
it's possible that neither would succeed without locking.

The chance of this happening now is greatly reduced. If someone ran
multipath while multipathd was creating a device, it could happen.  Or
(even less likely) if a multipath device got removed, with "multipath
-f", and then two mutipath commands were run at the same time to restore

I do think that some sort of locking is reasonable, since we really
don't want a to ever get into a situation where running mutipath can
interfere with multipathd, but the multipath tools are only protecting
against themselves with this locking.


> Cheers,
> Hannes
> -- 
> Dr. Hannes Reinecke		               zSeries & Storage
> hare at suse.de			               +49 911 74053 688
> SUSE LINUX GmbH, Maxfeldstr. 5, 90409 Nürnberg
> GF: F. Imendörffer, J. Smithard, J. Guild, D. Upmanyu, G. Norton
> HRB 21284 (AG Nürnberg)

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