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    Subject[PATCH V2 0/7] Cleancache (was Transcendent Memory): overview
    [PATCH V2 0/7] Cleancache (was Transcendent Memory): overview

    Changes since V1:
    - Rebased to 2.6.34 (no functional changes)
    - Convert to sane types (Al Viro)
    - Define some raw constants (Konrad Wilk)
    - Add ack from Andreas Dilger

    In previous patch postings, cleancache was part of the Transcendent
    Memory ("tmem") patchset. This patchset refocuses not on the underlying
    technology (tmem) but instead on the useful functionality provided for Linux,
    and provides a clean API so that cleancache can provide this very useful
    functionality either via a Xen tmem driver OR completely independent of tmem.
    For example: Nitin Gupta (of compcache and ramzswap fame) is implementing
    an in-kernel compression "backend" for cleancache; some believe
    cleancache will be a very nice interface for building RAM-like functionality
    for pseudo-RAM devices such as SSD or phase-change memory; and a Pune
    University team is looking at a backend for virtio (see OLS'2010).

    A more complete description of cleancache can be found in the introductory
    comment in mm/cleancache.c (in PATCH 2/7) which is included below
    for convenience.

    Note that an earlier version of this patch is now shipping in OpenSuSE 11.2
    and will soon ship in a release of Oracle Enterprise Linux. Underlying
    tmem technology is now shipping in Oracle VM 2.2 and was just released
    in Xen 4.0 on April 15, 2010. (Search for Transcendent

    Signed-off-by: Dan Magenheimer <>
    Reviewed-by: Jeremy Fitzhardinge <>

    fs/btrfs/extent_io.c | 9 +
    fs/btrfs/super.c | 2
    fs/buffer.c | 5 +
    fs/ext3/super.c | 2
    fs/ext4/super.c | 2
    fs/mpage.c | 7 +
    fs/ocfs2/super.c | 3
    fs/super.c | 8 +
    include/linux/cleancache.h | 90 +++++++++++++++++++
    include/linux/fs.h | 5 +
    mm/Kconfig | 22 ++++
    mm/Makefile | 1
    mm/cleancache.c | 203 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    mm/filemap.c | 11 ++
    mm/truncate.c | 10 ++
    15 files changed, 380 insertions(+)

    Cleancache can be thought of as a page-granularity victim cache for clean
    pages that the kernel's pageframe replacement algorithm (PFRA) would like
    to keep around, but can't since there isn't enough memory. So when the
    PFRA "evicts" a page, it first attempts to put it into a synchronous
    concurrency-safe page-oriented pseudo-RAM device (such as Xen's Transcendent
    Memory, aka "tmem", or in-kernel compressed memory, aka "zmem", or other
    RAM-like devices) which is not directly accessible or addressable by the
    kernel and is of unknown and possibly time-varying size. And when a
    cleancache-enabled filesystem wishes to access a page in a file on disk,
    it first checks cleancache to see if it already contains it; if it does,
    the page is copied into the kernel and a disk access is avoided.
    This pseudo-RAM device links itself to cleancache by setting the
    cleancache_ops pointer appropriately and the functions it provides must
    conform to certain semantics as follows:

    Most important, cleancache is "ephemeral". Pages which are copied into
    cleancache have an indefinite lifetime which is completely unknowable
    by the kernel and so may or may not still be in cleancache at any later time.
    Thus, as its name implies, cleancache is not suitable for dirty pages. The
    pseudo-RAM has complete discretion over what pages to preserve and what
    pages to discard and when.

    A filesystem calls "init_fs" to obtain a pool id which, if positive, must be
    saved in the filesystem's superblock; a negative return value indicates
    failure. A "put_page" will copy a (presumably about-to-be-evicted) page into
    pseudo-RAM and associate it with the pool id, the file inode, and a page
    index into the file. (The combination of a pool id, an inode, and an index
    is called a "handle".) A "get_page" will copy the page, if found, from
    pseudo-RAM into kernel memory. A "flush_page" will ensure the page no longer
    is present in pseudo-RAM; a "flush_inode" will flush all pages associated
    with the specified inode; and a "flush_fs" will flush all pages in all
    inodes specified by the given pool id.

    A "init_shared_fs", like init, obtains a pool id but tells the pseudo-RAM
    to treat the pool as shared using a 128-bit UUID as a key. On systems
    that may run multiple kernels (such as hard partitioned or virtualized
    systems) that may share a clustered filesystem, and where the pseudo-RAM
    may be shared among those kernels, calls to init_shared_fs that specify the
    same UUID will receive the same pool id, thus allowing the pages to
    be shared. Note that any security requirements must be imposed outside
    of the kernel (e.g. by "tools" that control the pseudo-RAM). Or a
    pseudo-RAM implementation can simply disable shared_init by always
    returning a negative value.

    If a get_page is successful on a non-shared pool, the page is flushed (thus
    making cleancache an "exclusive" cache). On a shared pool, the page
    is NOT flushed on a successful get_page so that it remains accessible to
    other sharers. The kernel is responsible for ensuring coherency between
    cleancache (shared or not), the page cache, and the filesystem, using
    cleancache flush operations as required.

    Note that the pseudo-RAM must enforce put-put-get coherency and get-get
    coherency. For the former, if two puts are made to the same handle but
    with different data, say AAA by the first put and BBB by the second, a
    subsequent get can never return the stale data (AAA). For get-get coherency,
    if a get for a given handle fails, subsequent gets for that handle will
    never succeed unless preceded by a successful put with that handle.

    Last, pseudo-RAM provides no SMP serialization guarantees; if two
    different Linux threads are putting an flushing a page with the same
    handle, the results are indeterminate.

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      Last update: 2010-05-28 19:41    [W:0.028 / U:5.212 seconds]
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