[jbossts-issues] [JBoss JIRA] (JBTM-2846) Thread-safety problem in BasicAction

David Lloyd (JIRA) issues at jboss.org
Thu Feb 23 14:02:00 EST 2017

    [ https://issues.jboss.org/browse/JBTM-2846?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13368454#comment-13368454 ] 

David Lloyd commented on JBTM-2846:

OK I have good news and bad news.  Bad news first: there's a real (non-theoretical) thread safety problem that may crop up under load which is not solved solely by setting {{volatile}}.  It happens under the described circumstances, where setRollbackOnly() can return successfully yet prepare() or commit(true) also succeeds.

The good news is I worked up a quick patch for it: https://github.com/jbosstm/narayana/compare/master...dmlloyd:jbtm-2846

If it looks OK I can put it in as a PR.  I tried to explain the logic in the comments so hopefully it's clear why it's needed and why it works.  But I can't test it locally through the Narayana test suite at the moment due to other things I have going on, so it's up to you guys what you want to do.

> Thread-safety problem in BasicAction
> ------------------------------------
>                 Key: JBTM-2846
>                 URL: https://issues.jboss.org/browse/JBTM-2846
>             Project: JBoss Transaction Manager
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: Transaction Core
>    Affects Versions: 5.4.0.Final
>            Reporter: David Lloyd
>            Assignee: Michael Musgrove
>            Priority: Critical
> It is possible for multiple threads to have a given transaction association at the same time ({{com.arjuna.ats.arjuna.coordinator.BasicAction#_childThreads}}).  However, only inconsistent protection is provided for {{com.arjuna.ats.arjuna.coordinator.BasicAction#actionStatus}}.  In particular, the {{com.arjuna.ats.internal.jta.transaction.arjunacore.TransactionImple#setRollbackOnly}} method directly calls {{com.arjuna.ats.arjuna.coordinator.BasicAction#preventCommit}}, which, without lock or atomicity, both reads and modifies {{actionStatus}}.  This will result in a poorly-defined outcome when threads concurrently call {{setRollbackOnly()}} and, say, {{rollback()}}.
> Other methods access {{actionStatus}} without regard to concurrently protection, including:
> * {{com.arjuna.ats.arjuna.coordinator.BasicAction#save_state}}
> * {{com.arjuna.ats.arjuna.coordinator.BasicAction#toString}}
> * {{com.arjuna.ats.arjuna.coordinator.BasicAction#restore_state}}
> Some methods appear to be assuming that other methods will acquire the instance monitor before calling them; as a matter of best practice, such methods should have {{assert Thread.holdsLock(this);}} at their beginning point.
> Other fields in the class should also be analyzed for unsafe access.

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