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Re: [PATCH v5 0/10] fs: Introduce new flag(FALLOC_FL_COLLAPSE_RANGE) for

To: Hugh Dickins <hughd@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v5 0/10] fs: Introduce new flag(FALLOC_FL_COLLAPSE_RANGE) for fallocate
From: Dave Chinner <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:24:31 +1100
Cc: Namjae Jeon <linkinjeon@xxxxxxxxx>, Andrew Morton <akpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Matthew Wilcox <matthew@xxxxxx>, Theodore Ts'o <tytso@xxxxxxx>, Stephen Rothwell <sfr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, viro@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, bpm@xxxxxxx, adilger.kernel@xxxxxxxxx, jack@xxxxxxx, mtk.manpages@xxxxxxxxx, lczerner@xxxxxxxxxx, linux-fsdevel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx, linux-ext4@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linux-mm@xxxxxxxxx, Namjae Jeon <namjae.jeon@xxxxxxxxxxx>
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In-reply-to: <alpine.LSU.2.11.1402261454270.2808@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
References: <1392741436-19995-1-git-send-email-linkinjeon@xxxxxxxxx> <20140224005710.GH4317@dastard> <20140225141601.358f6e3df2660d4af44da876@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <20140225041346.GA29907@dastard> <alpine.LSU.2.11.1402251217030.2380@xxxxxxxxxxxx> <20140226011347.GL13647@dastard> <alpine.LSU.2.11.1402251856060.1114@xxxxxxxxxxxx> <20140226064224.GU13647@dastard> <alpine.LSU.2.11.1402261454270.2808@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)
On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 03:08:58PM -0800, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> On Wed, 26 Feb 2014, Dave Chinner wrote:
> > On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 08:45:15PM -0800, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> > > On Wed, 26 Feb 2014, Dave Chinner wrote:
> > > > On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 03:23:35PM -0800, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> > > > 
> > > > > I should mention that when "we" implemented this thirty years ago,
> > > > > we had a strong conviction that the system call should be idempotent:
> > > > > that is, the len argument should indicate the final i_size, not the
> > > > > amount being removed from it.  Now, I don't remember the grounds for
> > > > > that conviction: maybe it was just an idealistic preference for how
> > > > > to design a good system call.  I can certainly see that defining it
> > > > > that way round would surprise many app programmers.  Just mentioning
> > > > > this in case anyone on these lists sees a practical advantage to
> > > > > doing it that way instead.
> > > > 
> > > > I don't see how specifying the end file size as an improvement. What
> > > > happens if you are collapse a range in a file that is still being
> > > > appended to by the application and so you race with a file size
> > > > update? IOWs, with such an API the range to be collapsed is
> > > > completely unpredictable, and IMO that's a fundamentally broken API.
> > > 
> > > That's fine if you don't see the idempotent API as an improvement,
> > > I just wanted to put it on the table in case someone does see an
> > > advantage to it.  But I think I'm missing something in your race
> > > example: I don't see a difference between the two APIs there.
> > 
> > 
> > Userspace can't sample the inode size via stat(2) and then use the value 
> > for a
> > syscall atomically. i.e. if you specify the offset you want to
> > collapse at, and the file size you want to have to define the region
> > to collapse, then the length you need to collapse is (current inode
> > size - end file size). If "current inode size" can change between
> > the stat(2) and fallocate() call (and it can), then the length being
> > collapsed is indeterminate....
> Thanks for explaining more, I was just about to acknowledge what a good
> example that is.  Indeed, it seems not unreasonable to be editing the
> earlier part of a file while the later part of it is still streaming in.
> But damn, it now occurs to me that there's still a problem at the
> streaming end: its file write offset won't be updated to reflect
> the collapse, so there would be a sparse hole at that end.  And
> collapse returns -EPERM if IS_APPEND(inode).

Well, we figure that most applications won't be using append only
inode flags for files that they know they want to edit at random
offsets later on. ;)

However, I can see how DVR apps would use open(O_APPEND) to obtain
the fd they write to because that sets the write position to the EOF
on every write() call (i.e. in generic_write_checks()). And collapse
range should behave sanely with this sort of usage.

e.g. XFS calls generic_write_checks() after it has taken the IO lock
to set the current write position to EOF. Hence it will be correctly
serialised against collapse range calls and so O_APPEND writes will
not leave sparse holes if collapse range calls are interleaved with
the write stream....



Dave Chinner

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