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SubjectRe: 2.5.59-mm5
Alex Tomas <> wrote:
> >>>>> Andrew Morton (AM) writes:
> AM> But writes are completely different. There is no dependency
> AM> between them and at any point in time we know where on-disk a lot
> AM> of writes will be placed. We don't know that for reads, which is
> AM> why we need to twiddle thumbs until the application or filesystem
> AM> makes up its mind.
> it's significant that application doesn't want to wait read completion
> long and doesn't wait for write completion in most cases.

That's correct. Reads are usually synchronous and writes are rarely

The most common place where the kernel forces a user process to wait on
completion of a write is actually in unlink (truncate, really). Because
truncate must wait for in-progress I/O to complete before allowing the
filesystem to free (and potentially reuse) the affected blocks.

If there's a lot of writeout happening then truncate can take _ages_. Hence
this patch:

Truncates can take a very long time. Especially if there is a lot of
writeout happening, because truncate must wait on in-progress I/O.

And sys_unlink() is performing that truncate while holding the parent
directory's i_sem. This basically shuts down new accesses to the entire
directory until the synchronous I/O completes.

In the testing I've been doing, that directory is /tmp, and this hurts.

So change sys_unlink() to perform the actual truncate outside i_sem.

When there is a continuous streaming write to the same disk, this patch
reduces the time for `make -j4 bzImage' from 370 seconds to 220.

namei.c | 12 ++++++++++++
1 files changed, 12 insertions(+)

diff -puN fs/namei.c~unlink-latency-fix fs/namei.c
--- 25/fs/namei.c~unlink-latency-fix 2003-01-24 02:41:04.000000000 -0800
+++ 25-akpm/fs/namei.c 2003-01-24 02:47:36.000000000 -0800
@@ -1659,12 +1659,19 @@ int vfs_unlink(struct inode *dir, struct
return error;

+ * Make sure that the actual truncation of the file will occur outside its
+ * diretory's i_sem. truncate can take a long time if there is a lot of
+ * writeout happening, and we don't want to prevent access to the directory
+ * while waiting on the I/O.
+ */
asmlinkage long sys_unlink(const char * pathname)
int error = 0;
char * name;
struct dentry *dentry;
struct nameidata nd;
+ struct inode *inode = NULL;

name = getname(pathname);
@@ -1683,6 +1690,9 @@ asmlinkage long sys_unlink(const char *
/* Why not before? Because we want correct error value */
if ([nd.last.len])
goto slashes;
+ inode = dentry->d_inode;
+ if (inode)
+ inode = igrab(inode);
error = vfs_unlink(nd.dentry->d_inode, dentry);
@@ -1693,6 +1703,8 @@ exit1:

+ if (inode)
+ iput(inode); /* truncate the inode here */
return error;


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