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a modest proposal for 4kstacks & xfs

To: xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: a modest proposal for 4kstacks & xfs
From: Eric Sandeen <sandeen@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 10:05:48 -0800
Sender: xfs-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxx
User-agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20061207)
XFS continues to come up against 4k stacks, despite the best efforts of several people to slim down xfs a bit (and in fact it seems ok over simple storage these days), people are always able to stack up enough IO path to push the limits of a 4k stack.

What would people think of adding a module parameter to xfs, i.e.

modprobe xfs 4kstacks_may_break=1

or somesuch; and without this modprobe would fail on a 4kstacks kernel with a "helpful" message. This would at least require some positive action on the admin's part to acknowledge that there is some risk to using xfs with 4k stacks. (unfortunately something like the Fedora installer would of course have to add this by default when installing on xfs, maybe it could also warn the user of the risk...)

I hate to further the meme of "xfs won't work with 4kstacks" but the truth is that there are IO path scenarios where it can lead to problems.

What do folks think; useful?  pointless?  too heavy-handed?


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