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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/2] fs: add SEEK HOLE and SEEK DATA flags
Josef Bacik <josef <at>> writes:

> This just gets us ready to support the SEEK_HOLE and SEEK_DATA flags. Turns
> out using fiemap in things like cp cause more problems than it solves, so
> lets try and give userspace an interface that doesn't suck. So we have
> -SEEK_HOLE: this moves the file pos to the nearest hole in the file from the
> given position. If the given position is a hole then pos won't move. A "hole"
> is defined by whatever the fs feels like defining it to be.

You absolutely need to match Solaris semantics, which are documented as follows:

� If whence is SEEK_HOLE, the offset of the start of the next hole
greater than or equal to the supplied offset is returned. The def-
inition of a hole is provided near the end of the DESCRIPTION.

� If whence is SEEK_DATA, the file pointer is set to the start of
the next non-hole file region greater than or equal to the sup-
plied offset.

A "hole" is defined as a contiguous range of bytes in a file, all hav-
ing the value of zero, but not all zeros in a file are guaranteed to be
represented as holes returned with SEEK_HOLE. Filesystems are allowed
to expose ranges of zeros with SEEK_HOLE, but not required to. Applica-
tions can use SEEK_HOLE to optimise their behavior for ranges of zeros,
but must not depend on it to find all such ranges in a file. The exis-
tence of a hole at the end of every data region allows for easy pro-
gramming and implies that a virtual hole exists at the end of the file.
Applications should use fpathconf(_PC_MIN_HOLE_SIZE) or path-
conf(_PC_MIN_HOLE_SIZE) to determine if a filesystem supports
SEEK_HOLE. See fpathconf(2).

For filesystems that do not supply information about holes, the file
will be represented as one entire data region.

ENXIO For SEEK_DATA, there are no more data regions past the
supplied offset. For SEEK_HOLE, there are no more holes
past the supplied offset.

Note that in that definition, SEEK_HOLE does _not_ reposition the file offset
(it returns the offset of the next hole, which might be at the end of the file
since all files have a virtual hole at the end, but leaves the position
unchanged). I'd have to write a test program on Solaris to see whether that
definition is actually true, or if it is a bug in the Solaris man page.

Making SEEK_HOLE blindly fail is therefore not useful; you could just as
easily make it succeed and return the offset of the last byte of the file for
all file systems (if the offset requested is within bounds, or fail with
ENXIO if it is out of bounds), and have a valid, working, and minimal
implementation already in place.

> -SEEK_DATA: this is obviously a little more self-explanatory. Again the only
> ambiguity comes in with preallocated extents. If you have an fs that can't
> reliably tell that the preallocated extent is in the process of turning into a
> real extent, it is correct for SEEK_DATA to park you at a preallocated extent.

In contrast to SEEK_HOLE, SEEK_DATA _does_ reposition the file, or fail with
ENXIO. Back to your minimal implementation, it would be valid to always fail
with ENXIO (treating every file as a single block of data followed by a single
virtual hole at file end, so there is no next data after any current position).

> +++ b/fs/read_write.c
> @@ -64,6 +64,9 @@ generic_file_llseek_unlocked(struct file *file, loff_t
offset, int origin)
> return file->f_pos;
> offset += file->f_pos;
> break;
> + case SEEK_DATA:
> + case SEEK_HOLE:
> + return -EINVAL;

Whatever you do, returning EINVAL is not nice, especially when it seems pretty
easy to provide a working alternative that assumes all files are a single data
block until fine-tuned otherwise on a per-filesystem basis.

Also, based on the Solaris documentation, you probably ought to couple this
with fpathconf(_PC_MIN_HOLE_SIZE).

Eric Blake

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