Re: File locking anomaly under 2.0.30

Christopher Blizzard (
Fri, 25 Jul 1997 09:43:59 -0400

In message <5r8ftn$reh$>, Matthias Urlichs writes:
:"Theodore Y. Ts'o" <tytso@MIT.EDU> writes:
:> Yup, you're quite right. POSIX states,
:> "All locks associated with a file for a given process shall be
:> removed when a file descriptor for that file is closed by that
:> process or the process holding that file descriptor terminates.
:> Locks are not inherited by a child process created using the
:> fork() function."
:By extension, this should hold for Linux' clone() too. Hence the patch.
:BTW, this points to a potential problem if we ever try to do async I/O with
:mandatory locks. Thread A locks something, then starts an async I/O
:request, which spawns Thread B, which fails to actually read/write the
:data because it doesn't own the lock. Ugh.
:This is not a problem in a "genuine" threaded program because a thread
:typically needs those data in order to continue and thus there's no need
:for async I/O in the first place. However, a "normal" program which
:requests some data and then tries to do something else until the data
:arrive will lose.
:A possible solution would be to have a flag for clone() which gets stored
:in the child's task_struct and which would instruct the kernel to use
:current->pptr instead of current for lock checks. This would mean that
:async-I/O threads wouldn't be managed with the standard threading code,
:which (under LinuxThreads, anyway) collects all "work" threads under one
:common managing thread, no matter which subthread actually spawned off
:another thread, which may or may not be a problem.
:Better ideas, anybody?

I think it's important here to seperate the concepts of a process and
thread of execution within a process. When you do a clone() on a process
you are only creating another thread of execution within the same process.
When you do a fork() you are creating another thread of execution in a new

The snippit that Ted has referenced above should not apply to new threads
within a single process. Unless POSIX says that new threads within the
scope of a process shouldn't inherit locks, new threads should probably
inherit them just like everything else. :)


Christopher Blizzard
AppliedTheory Communications, Inc.