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    SubjectRe: [PATCH] SMP race in ext2 - metadata corruption.
    Linus Torvalds writes:
    > Now, if you want to speed up accesses, there are things you can
    > do. You can lay out the filesystem in the access order - trace the
    > IO accesses at bootup ("which file, which offset, which metadata
    > block?") and lay out the blocks of the files in exactly the right
    > order. Then you will get linear reads _without_ doing any "dd" at
    > all.

    A year ago I came up with an alternative approach for cache warming,
    but I see that it wouldn't work with our current infrastructure.
    However, maybe there is still a way to use the basic technique. If so,
    please make suggestions.

    The idea I had (motivated by the desire to eliminate random disc
    seeks, which is the limiting factor in how fast my boxes boot) was:

    - init(8) issues an ioctl(2) on the root FS block device which turns
    on recording of block reads (it records block numbers)

    - at the end of the bootup process, init(8) issues another ioctl(2) to
    grab the buffered block numbers, and turn off recording

    - init(8) then sorts this list in ascending order and saves the result
    in a file

    - next boot, init(8) checks the file, and if it exists, opens the root
    FS block device and reads in each block listed in the file. The
    effect is to warm the buffer cache extremely quickly. The head will
    move in one direction, grabbing data as it flys by. I expect this
    will take around 1 second

    - init(8) now continues the boot process (starting the magic ioctl(2)
    again so as to get a fresh list of blocks, in case something has

    - booting is now super fast, thanks to no disc activity.

    The advantage of this scheme over blindly reading the first 50 MB is
    that it only reads in what you *need*, and thus will work better on
    low memory systems. It's also useful for other applications, not just
    speeding up the boot process.

    However, doing an ioctl(2) on the block device won't help. So the
    question is, where to add the hook? One possibility is the FS, and
    record inum,bnum pairs. But of course we don't have a way of accessing
    via inum in user-space. So that's no good. Besides, we want to get
    block numbers on the block device, because that's the only meaningful
    number to resort.

    So, what, then? Some kind of hook on the page cache? Ideas?


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