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SubjectRe: [PATCH] struct char_device

On Tue, 22 May 2001, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> I would much prefer a union of pointers over a pointer to a union.
> So I'd much rather have the inode have a
> union {
> struct block_device *block;
> struct char_device *char;
struct pipe_inode_info *pipe;
and possibly
struct socket *socket;
> } dev;

> struct block_dev *bdget(struct inode *);
> struct char_dev *cdget(struct inode *);
> which populate the "inode->dev" union pointer, which in turn is _only_
> a cache of the lookup. Right now we do this purely based on "dev_t",
> and I think that is bogus. We should never pass a "dev_t" around
> without an inode, I think.

I doubt it. First of all, then we'd better make i_rdev dev_t. Right now
we have it kdev_t and it makes absolutely no sense that way. If we
only use it for stat() (when we convert it to dev_t) and for keeping the
information between mknod/read_inode and open() - why bother converting it
to anything? Currently it's used by drivers to identify the device.
->dev.{block,char} is perfectly fine for that and gives more information
without extra lookups, etc. And that's it - nothing else cares for
->i_rdev. What you suggest is reusing it so that we had a way to get
the right ->dev.{block,char} when we open. Fine, but there's no reason
to tie it to kdev_t (or to have kdev_t, for that matter).

The real thing is inode->dev. Notice that for devfs (and per-device
filesystems) we can set it upon inode creation, since they _know_ it
from the very beginning and there is absolutely no reason to do any
hash lookups. Moreover, in these cases we may have no meaningful device
number at all.

> And we should not depend on the "inode->dev.xxxx" pointer being valid all
> the time, as there is absolutely zero point in initializing the pointer
> every time the inode is read just because somebody does a "ls -l /dev".
> Thus the "cache" part above.

OK, but see comments above.

> - NO reason to try to make "struct block_dev" and "struct char_dev" look
> similar. They will have some commonality for lookup purposes (that
> issue is similar, as Andries points out), and maybe that commonality
> can be separated out into a sub-structure or something. But apart from
> that, they have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and I'd
> rather not have them have even a _superficial_ connection.


> Block devices will have the "request queue" pointer, and the size and
> partitioning information. Character devices currently would not have

Do we really want a separate queue for each partition? I'd rather have
disk_struct created when driver sees the disk and list of partitions
(possibly represented by struct block_device) anchored in disk_struct
and populated by grok_partitions().

Then disk_struct would keep the queue _and_ ll_rw_block could do all
remapping, so that driver itself wouldn't know anything about the

I have a half-baked patch for that (circa last Spring) and Ben LaHaise got
suckere^W^Whad kindly volunteered to try porting it to current tree...


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