[RFC] UBIFS recovery

hujianyang hujianyang at huawei.com
Thu Feb 5 01:47:34 PST 2015

Current UBIFS is lack of recovery method, that means, once a UBIFS
partition refuse to mount, all data on that partition may lose.
The default recovery mechanism in UBIFS now can deal with corruption
on master node or power cut cleanup. But it's not enough. UBIFS
on flash may suffer different kinds of data corrupted, the most
common case, ECC error.

I've scanned the archive of maillist and found the recovery method
was once requested(Sorry, I can't find the link). Artem suggested
we could introduce a new repairing mount option instead of working
on a new userspace repairing tool. But seems no more efforts had
been done so far.

There are two ways for UBIFS recovery. One is repairing UBIFS image
in userspace via UBI interfaces, the other is repairing the corrupted
data during mount by default or via a special mount option.

The userspace tool is the most effective way to repair a partition.
It could have enough time and resource to whole scan the target and
cleanup the corrupted while the file-system offline. But it's hard
to program: many structures and functions in kernel need to be copied
into this utility, current ubi-utils focus mostly on UBI device, not
UBIFS, and the subsequent updating of file-system should consider the
userspace tool. It's too complicated.

Another way is expanding the existing recovery methods in recovery.c.
It's easy to add new recovery method in this way, few lines changes
could improve reliability in some fields. But it's hard to give a
global view to control these recovery features, they are dispersed
in mounting path. Also, make it hard to add new features after
importing lots of recovery methods.

I can't say which way is better. It depends on what we expect on
UBIFS. Actually I'm working on a userspace tool ubidump, it can
print on-flash format of a specified LEB now and add features like
file-system repairing can be considered. On the other hand, I'm
working on expanding UBIFS recovery method in kernel. e.g. cleanup
all the logs if an error occur while replaying buds, revert file-
system to last commit state instead of mounting fail.

Regardless of how to fix a corrupt partition, the first stuff should
be done is adding a method that try to mount file-system R/O instead
of breaking down to give users a chance to copy their valid data
out from the corrupt image.


buds replay patch for linux 3.10 stable:

diff --git a/fs/ubifs/replay.c b/fs/ubifs/replay.c
index 3187925..e2208a2 100644
--- a/fs/ubifs/replay.c
+++ b/fs/ubifs/replay.c
@@ -706,14 +706,35 @@ static int replay_buds(struct ubifs_info *c)

 	list_for_each_entry(b, &c->replay_buds, list) {
 		err = replay_bud(c, b);
-		if (err)
-			return err;
+		if (err) {
+			ubifs_err("error %d during buds replay, try to revert\n",
+				  err);
+			goto revert;
+		}

 		ubifs_assert(b->sqnum > prev_sqnum);
 		prev_sqnum = b->sqnum;

 	return 0;
+	prev_sqnum = 0;
+	list_for_each_entry(b, &c->replay_buds, list) {
+		/*
+		 * Revert to last commit state, update lprops by setting
+		 * the state of space used by buds to dirty.
+		 */
+		b->free = c->leb_size % c->min_io_size;
+		b->dirty = c->leb_size - b->bud->start - b->free;
+		ubifs_assert(b->sqnum > prev_sqnum);
+		prev_sqnum = b->sqnum;
+	}
+	ubifs_warn("revert to last commit state with data lost\n");
+	return 1;

@@ -1036,13 +1057,15 @@ int ubifs_replay_journal(struct ubifs_info *c)
 		lnum = ubifs_next_log_lnum(c, lnum);
 	} while (lnum != c->ltail_lnum);

-	err = replay_buds(c);
-	if (err)
-		goto out;
-	err = apply_replay_list(c);
-	if (err)
-		goto out;
+	/*
+	 * If an error occur during buds replay, try to revert filesystem
+	 * to last commit state. Should not apply corrupt replay list.
+	 */
+	if (!replay_buds(c)) {
+		err = apply_replay_list(c);
+		if (err)
+			goto out;
+	}

 	err = set_buds_lprops(c);
 	if (err)

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