"This NTFS update fixes the deadlock at mount time reported by several people over the years but it was only recently that someone who reported it actually replied to my response and helped me track it down (I have never been able to reproduce the deadlock)," Anton Altaparmakov explained about a patch against the NTFS filesystem. He summarized the changes:
"The fix was to stop calling ntfs_attr_set() at mount time as that causes balance_dirty_pages_ratelimited() to be called which on systems with little memory actually tries to go and balance the dirty pages which tries to take the s_umount semaphore but because we are still in fill_super() across which the VFS holds s_umount for writing this results in a deadlock.
"We now do the dirty work by hand by submitting individual buffers. This has the annoying 'feature' that mounting can take a few seconds if the journal is large as we have clear it all. One day someone should improve on this by deferring the journal clearing to a helper kernel thread so it can be done in the background but I don't have time for this at the moment and the current solution works fine so I am leaving it like this for now."
Linux creator Linus Torvalds announced the 2.6.20-rc6 release candidate kernel, "it's been more than a week since -rc5, but I blame everybody (including me) being away for Linux.conf.au and then me waiting for a few days afterwards to let everybody sync up." He asked that people test the regressions reported against earlier release candidates [story], "so that we can confirm whether they are still active and relevant." Linus noted that he hoped this would be the final release candidate before 2.6.20 is released, then went on to discuss what's new:
"As to -rc6 itself: the bulk of it are the MTD updates (including a few new drivers), and the POWER update (and the bulk of _that_ in terms of patch size being defconfig updates ;)
"But there's various random fixes in infiniband, DVB, network drivers, scsi, usb, some filesystems (cifs, jffs2, nfs, ntfs, ocfs2) as well as core networking too. Oh, and KVM, of course. And stuff I probably have already forgotten."