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Re: [PATCH 5/6] xfs: move non-inline symlinks to the pagecache

To: Christoph Hellwig <hch@xxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 5/6] xfs: move non-inline symlinks to the pagecache
From: Al Viro <viro@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:11:03 +0100
Cc: Dave Chinner <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx, linux-fsdevel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Delivered-to: xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
In-reply-to: <20150425145728.GE889@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
References: <1429816064-10033-1-git-send-email-hch@xxxxxx> <1429816064-10033-6-git-send-email-hch@xxxxxx> <20150423222942.GK15810@dastard> <20150425141612.GA4153@xxxxxx> <20150425145728.GE889@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sender: Al Viro <viro@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)
On Sat, Apr 25, 2015 at 03:57:28PM +0100, Al Viro wrote:
> > i_link member to the union of i_pipe, i_bdev and i_cdev.  That we
> > we can cache a link acquired by any way for direct use in the VFS.
> > 
> > This has a few use cases:  inline links can be set up directly
> > when reading the inode, and we never need to call into ->follow_link.
> > 
> > Formats like the XFS v5 symlinks can be read in once by whatever
> > way we want, and following accesses can be done RCU safe and
> > without calling into the filesystem.
> > 
> > Note that caching the symlink in a kmalloc'ed buffer might be
> > more efficient than the pagecache for most cases anyway.
> 
> Hmm...  When would you free the sucker?

FWIW, I'm not particularly opposed to doing that, but we'd better be careful
about not losing ->follow_link() itself.  Reason: we use its presence to
tell symlinks from non-symlinks.  OTOH, something like

        /* have already decided it's a symlink */
        if (inode->i_link)
                return inode->i_link;
        res = inode->i_op->follow_link(...);
with ->follow_link() instance returning ERR_PTR(-EIO) would work.  Such
sucker could live in fs/libfs.c just fine, with rule being "if you use it
for ->follow_link(), you'd better set ->i_link"...

Note, BTW, that there are symlinks where we _do_ have "traverse a string"
for semantics, and it's even kmalloc'ed, but we very much do not want it
to be cached.  Consider /proc/self, for example.  Different processes should
see different link bodies there, without any serialization between them.

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