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SubjectRe: hfs support for blocksize != 512

On Sat, 2 Sep 2000, Roman Zippel wrote:

> Hi,
> On Thu, 31 Aug 2000, Alexander Viro wrote:
> > Go ahead, write it. IMNSHO it's going to be much more complicated and
> > race-prone, but code talks. If you will manage to write it in clear and
> > race-free way - fine. Frankly, I don't believe that it's doable.
> It will be insofar more complicated, as I want to use a more complex state
> machine than "locked <-> unlocked", on the other hand I can avoid such
> funny constructions as triple_down() and obscure locking order rules.

Obscure? Look: all locking order rules in two lines -
All ->i_sem ones go before all ->i_zombie ones.
Within the same group order is just by memory address.

You claim that you have something easier to understand? triple_down() is a
_sort_ on 3 elements, for fsck sake. Conceptually very simple.

> At any time the object will be either locked or in a well defined state,
> where at any time only a single object is locked by a thread. (I hope some

I don't believe that you can achieve that. Reason: rmdir()/rename() races.

> pseudo code does for the beginning, too?) Most namespace operation work
> simply like a semaphore:
> restart:
> lock(dentry);
> if (dentry is busy) {
> unlock(dentry);
> sleep();
> goto restart;
> }
> dentry->state = busy;
> unlock(dentry);

Look, could you call it d_set_state(dentry, busy) or something? It would
really help reading the thing.

> If the operation is finished, the state is reset and everyone sleeping is
> woken up. Ok, let's come to the most interesting operation - rename():

Show me your rmdir() and lookup(), will you?

> restart:
> lock(olddentry);
> if (olddentry is busy) {
> unlock(olddentry);
> sleep();
> goto restart;
> }
> olddentry->state = moving;
> unlock(olddentry);

Are 'moving' dentries busy? From the code below it seems that they are
not, so you are wide-open to e.g. file creation in the target (originally
- empty directory).

> restart2:
> lock(newdentry);
> if (newdentry->state == moving) {
> lock(renamelock);
> if (olddentry->state == deleted) {
> unlock(renamelock);
> unlock(newdentry);
> sleep();
> goto restart;
> }
> newdentry->state = deleted;
> unlock(renamelock);
> } else if (newdentry is busy) {
> unlock(newdentry);
> sleep();
> goto restart2;
> } else
> newdentry->state = deleted;
> unlock(newdentry);

Huh? See - here's a problem with your approach: can you tell in one
sentence what the piece above does? It's _not_ a nitpick. Debugging such
stuff really requires the ability to say concisely WTF it is supposed to

> if (!rename_valid(olddentry, newdentry)) {

Which is...?

> lock(newdentry);
> newdentry->state = idle;
> unlock(renamelock);
> lock(olddentry);
> olddentry->state = idle;
> unlock(olddentry);
> wakeup_sleepers();
> return;
> }

> if (newdentry exists)
> unlink(newdentry);
> do_rename(olddentry, newdentry);

Broken. rename() must be atomic.

> lock(newdentry);
> newdentry->state = idle;
> unlock(renamelock);
> lock(olddentry);
> olddentry->state = deleted;
> unlock(olddentry);
> wakeup_sleepers();
> return;
> Note that I don't touch any inode here, everything happens in the dcache.
> That means I move the complete inode locking into the fs, all I do here is
> to make sure, that while operation("foo") is busy, no other operation will
> use "foo".
> IMO this should work, I tried it with a rename("foo", "bar") and
> rename("bar", "foo"):
> case 1: one rename gets both dentries busy, the other rename will wait
> till it's finished.
> case 2: both mark the old dentry as moving and find the new dentry also
> moving. To make the rename atomic the global rename lock is needed, one
> rename will find the old dentry isn't moving anymore and has to restart
> and wait, the other rename will complete.

OK, just for starters, what happens if two rename() are trying to move the
thing into different places? Both succeeding? What happens if the target
(originally empty) gets a new child? Prevent that in fs? Fine, but then
you've just moved locking of inode pairs (if not triples) into _every_ fs
out there.

> Other operations will keep only one dentry busy, so that I don't a see
> problem here. If you don't find any major problem here, I'm going to try

rmdir() and lookup(), please.

> this. Since if this works, it will have some other advantages:
> - a user space fs will become possible, that can't even deadlock the
> system. The first restart loop can be easily made interruptable, so it can
> be safely killed. (I don't really want to know how a

Erm... Filesystem that requires killing is about as good as deadlocking.
Besides, I'm yet to see a deadlock scenario with userland filesystem that
would go anywhere near the directory operations. So I'm not sure what you
are trying to fix here.

> triple_down_interruptable() looks, not to mention the other three locks
> (+ BKL) taken during a rename.)
> - I can imagine better support for hfs. It can access the other fork
> without excessive locking (I think currently it doesn't even tries to).
> The order in which the forks can be created can change then too.
> > BTW, I really wonder what kind of locks are you going to have on _blocks_
> > (you've mentioned that, unless I've misparsed what you've said). IMO that
> > way lies the horror, but hey, code talks.
> I thought about catching a bread, but while thinking about it, there
> should also be other ways. But that's fs specific, let's concentrate on
> the generic part first.

Sorry. I think that you are missing a detail: your variant will need a
_lot_ of cruft in every fs. And I think that asking to show a proof-of-concept
_full_ thing for some filesystems is not unreasonable. Just to estimate
the amounts of the cruft.

> > You claim that it's doable. I seriously doubt it. Nobody knows your ideas
> > better than you do, so... come on, demonstrate the patch.
> I think the above example should do basically the same as some nothing
> doing patch within affs.

Not. You've suddenly got a need to deal with a lot of _new_ locking in
filesystems. All of them. Please, show the AFFS patch, just to demonstrate
how to deal with them. "Let fs maintainers deal with it" is _not_ a valid
answer. At least describe what is needed and show how to fix the in-tree
instances. You'll have to fix them if that proposal will get to something
workable. I'm not asking for complete patch right now, but IMO at least
one fs must be done _and_ tested. Just to let everyone estimate the

> I hope that example shows two important ideas (no idea if they will save
> the world, but I'm willing to learn):
> - I use the dcache instead of the inode to synchronize namespace
> operation, what IMO makes quite a lot of sense, since it represents our
> (cached) representation of the fs.
> - Using states instead of a semaphore, makes it easily possible to detect
> e.g. a rename loop.

Where? You've skipped the most interesting part: check for rename()
validity. And yes, it will take some locking in your variant.

Look: more states for dentry are needed. No arguments here. I could
probably even save you some time just digging out the proposal and
pre-patches around the same idea. However:
* your "ordering" snippet in rename() (if I've parsed you right
and that's what you are trying to do there) is _way_ more complex than
double_down() and even triple_down(). Why? Because there you can trace all
possible paths of execution - there's finite amount. All you need is to
show that sorting is right. I claim that your retry scheme is inherently
harder to proof. And unlike the situation in ext2_get_block() (that made
you retch, IIRC) there's no obvious invariants.
* you've completely missed all fun problems with creation of
children in the object we are renaming over. It will come back to haunt
you in every local fs that has ->rename().
* fs locking becomes much more of a burden. I don't see how it's a
good thing. Right now one can write a filesystem and ignore the directory
races completely, unless he is has operations with side effects on other
directories. With your own proposal for extent flipping (horrible, IMO) it
would become a non-issue even on AFFS and I'm yet to see any other
example. And yes, AFFS can be done simpler than your variant. Complex
issues didn't become simpler. Simple ones became complex. VFS also grew
and became more complex. That might be justified if it bought us
simplification in filesystems, but it didn't. Notice that you can (right
now) drop and reacquire the locks if you want to be smart, so it didn't
buy you even better threading.

I don't understand your reaction to ordering, BTW - if you have a
class of locks used only in one place it's not a problem. Overdoing the
amount of locks is seriously bad idea, but you didn't decrease it.
_Sharing_ locking mechanisms between different subsystems is very bad, but
having a semaphore in private part of struct inode? Makes sense to me.
Look: our inodes are strange beasts and there really should be no union
(inode->u). There is VFS inode (called vnode in SunOS-derived designs) and
there is an fs inode. The latter happens to be kept together with vnode
for several filesystems. Hystorical reasons... It doesn't change the
nature of the beast - you want fs-private, you look into fs-private part.
There are 3 objects, not 2 - dentry->vnode->inode. The latter is optional
_and_ fs-only.

BTW, your design doesn't exclude deadlocks, even if you manage to
lock (as in "down()/up()") only one dentry at time. You can deadlock on
the dentry state, busy looping. And the fact that you've got more states
just makes analysis harder...

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