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SubjectRe: ext4 features (salvage)
Date
On Tue, 2006-07-04 at 13:35 +0200, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-07-04 at 11:22 +0200, Petr Tesarik wrote:
> > Yes and no. A simple mv is better done in userspace, but what I'd
> > _really_ appreciate would be a true kernel salvage (similar to the way
> > NetWare does things). That means marking the file as deleted in the
> > directory, marking its blocks as deleted but avoiding the use of those
> > blocks. The kernel would then prefer allocating new blocks from
> > elsewhere but once the filesystem runs out of space, it would start
> > allocating from the deleted files area and marking the blocks as well as
> > the corresponding files purged.
> >
> > Salvaging files would be done with a separate tool. Of course, if you
> > delete more files with the same name in the same directory, you'd need
> > to tell that tool which one of them you want to salvage. Yes, I really
> > mean you'd have more than one deleted file with the same name in the
> > directory.
>
> Wouldn't such a scheme interfere with the block allocator algorithms,
> and hence increase the risk of fragmentation? Schemes like this realy
> put my hairs on end,

Yes, they would interfere. That's why I'm not proposing to add them to
ext4 in the first place.

> 1) if you don't want to lose your data, make backups;

Generally, I agree.

> 2) if I mean to delete a file, I want it gone proper. Silently keeping
> it about is not unix like;

Yes, this is a problem. Although you would of course have a tool for
purging the files unconditionally, some programs may need the assumption
that an unlinked file is gone forever.

Regarding the second clause, well, Linux is not Unix-like in many
respects and we want it like that. That's a weak argument.

> 3) don't aid third parties in recovering your removed data. If I want
> them to have it I'll give it to them.

See 2. Explicit purging is of course possible. (Novell Netware also had
a "purge" command.)

Anyway, it seems that there is some functionality which many users want
but which can't be provided in user space:

- if files are moved to the recycle-bin-or-whatever-you-call-it, their
size is added to disk free space and
- automatically purging least recently deleted files.

Regards,
Petr Tesarik
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