On Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 03:12:30PM +0530, Kedar Sovani wrote:
> > > > > Hacky patch that mlock()s rpmdb's environment mmap(2)s, in
> > > > > attempt to avoid spurious rpmdb corruption issues on Linux that
> > > > > to be somehow related to pagein/pageout occuring.
> > > >
> > > > Ick.
> > > >
> > > > No.
> > >
> > > The relevent questions are:
> > >
> > > 1. which kernel version is this occuring with?
> > >
> > > 2. what device is the swap on?
> > >
> > > 3. which drivers are being used?
> > This issue goes back to May 2007 or so, when I noticed db4 corruption
> > when using rpm. I started digging into it, and ran into an issue with
> > fsx-linux, which you reported to linux-arch@ here:
> > http://marc.info/?l=linux-arch&m=118026300719763&w=2
> > Unfortunately, the issue seen with fsx-linux turned out to be unrelated
> > to the rpm db4 corruption issue.
> > I applied the hacky rpm db4 database mlock() patch (which was never
> > meant to go upstream!) to see if that would make it go away, and it
> > seems to have made it go away, since I haven't managed to reproduce
> > it since and haven't had any reports about it since.
> > Without the mlock patch, the corruption would happen even in
> > qemu-system-arm, an environment in which cache aliasing effects don't
> > exist, so I abandoned the theory of it being a cache aliasing issue at
> > the time and theorised that somehow a dirty page was having its dirty
> > data discarded and an older stale copy being swapped back in, although
> > I've never been able to prove this -- after spending a week
> > unsuccessfully trying to hunt it down at the time I haven't spent any
> > more time on it since. (And everyone I mentioned this to seemed to
> > agree that shared writeable mmap() is icky and yuck and booh and "hard
> > to get right", and that didn't increase my motivation to look into it
> > further either.)
> > I don't even know if it's an issue anymore in recent kernels. I
> > even know if it's (assuming that it _is_ indeed a kernel issue) an
> > arch/arm issue or a kernel-wide issue that simply occurs more often on
> > ARM because ARM systems generally have less memory and therefore
> > generally have more memory pressure. (There's certainly enough reports
> > of rpm database corruption on x86 as well, but in almost every report
> > there are more factors involved, such as people Ctrl-C'ing and killing
> > rpm processes as they are manipulating the database, etc.)
> I have been running a few systems with a lot of rpm activity without
> this patch, and I haven't seen a problem with these (probably because of
> the rpm 4.4 to 4.6 transition?). I have taken that patch out from the
> F10 rpm patches that I had submitted earlier.
What kernel are you running, 2.6.27/28?