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From: Tony Lu <>
To: Cong Wang <>
Cc: David Miller <>,,
	Linux Kernel Network Developers <>,
	LKML <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] net: remove static inline from dev_put/dev_hold
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 16:47:14 +0800	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <20191112084714.GC67139@TonyMac-Alibaba> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 01:26:13PM -0800, Cong Wang wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 6:12 AM Tony Lu <> wrote:
> >
> > This patch removes static inline from dev_put/dev_hold in order to help
> > trace the pcpu_refcnt leak of net_device.
> >
> > We have sufferred this kind of issue for several times during
> > manipulating NIC between different net namespaces. It prints this
> > log in dmesg:
> >
> >   unregister_netdevice: waiting for eth0 to become free. Usage count = 1
> I debugged a nasty dst refcnt leak in TCP a long time ago, so I can
> feel your pain.
> >
> > However, it is hard to find out who called and leaked refcnt in time. It
> > only left the crime scene but few evidence. Once leaked, it is not
> > safe to fix it up on the running host. We can't trace dev_put/dev_hold
> > directly, for the functions are inlined and used wildly amoung modules.
> > And this issue is common, there are tens of patches fix net_device
> > refcnt leak for various causes.
> >
> > To trace the refcnt manipulating, this patch removes static inline from
> > dev_put/dev_hold. We can use handy tools, such as eBPF with kprobe, to
> > find out who holds but forgets to put refcnt. This will not be called
> > frequently, so the overhead is limited.
> I think tracepoint serves the purpose of tracking function call history,
> you can add tracepoint for each of dev_put()/dev_hold(), which could
> also inherit the trace filter and trigger too.

Thanks for your advice. I already made a patch set to add a pair of
tracepoints to trace dev_hold()/dev_put() as an available solution. I
used to want to give a flexible approach for people who want to choose.
I will send it out later.

> The netdev refcnt itself is not changed very frequently, but it is
> refcnt'ed by other things like dst too which is changed frequently.
> This is why usually when you see the netdev refcnt leak warning,
> the problem is probably somewhere else, like dst refcnt leak.

We also suffered dst refcnt leak issue before. It is really hard to
investigate. I will think about this place well.

> Hope this helps.
> Thanks.

Tony Lu

      reply	other threads:[~2019-11-12  8:47 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 7+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-11-11 14:05 [PATCH] net: remove static inline from dev_put/dev_hold Tony Lu
2019-11-11 16:56 ` Stephen Hemminger
2019-11-12  7:18   ` Tony Lu
2019-11-11 17:21 ` Eric Dumazet
2019-11-12  9:48   ` Tony Lu
2019-11-11 21:26 ` Cong Wang
2019-11-12  8:47   ` Tony Lu [this message]

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