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SubjectRe: [RFC] Heads up on sys_fallocate()

On 4 Mar 2007, at 22:38, Ulrich Drepper wrote:
> Anton Altaparmakov wrote:
>> And that is it. No zeroing needs to happen at all because we
>> have not updated the initialized size of the inode!
> When you do it like this, who can the kernel/filesystem *guarantee*
> that
> when the data is written there actually is room on the harddrive?

The blocks are allocated so of course it is guaranteed. Subsequent
writes to this file will not generate any allocations thus
allocations cannot fail. (-:

> What you described seems like using truncate/ftruncate to increase the
> file's size. That is not at all what posix_fallocate is for.
> posix_fallocate must make sure that the requested blocks on the
> disk are
> reserved (allocated) for the file's use and that at no point in the
> future will, say, a msync() fail because a mmap(MAP_SHARED) page has
> been written to.

No that is different. I described performing the allocations in the
volume bitmap, i.e. for each allocated block the corresponding "in
use" bit is set in the bitmap (NTFS uses a linear bitmap where byte
0, bit 0 == physical block 0 of volume, byte 0, bit 1 == physical
block 1 of volume, ... byte 1, bit 0 == block 8 of volume, ...).

Also I described updating the extent map of the inode such that it
describes the physical blocks as belonging to the file, thus you
would have "logical file block X corresponds to physical block Y on
volume" entries entered into the extent map of the inode and they
would describe the just allocated blocks.

Finally I described updating the allocated size in the inode which
basically says "there are that many bytes worth of blocks allocated
to this inode".

And optionally I described updating the data size in the inode which
basically says "this file has size Z bytes".

And I specifically did NOT update the initialized size in the inode
thus it will remain at its old value thus all new allocated blocks
will be considered as present but not initialized thus a read will
always return zero whilst a write will do the right thing and pad
with zeroes as necessary (if the write is smaller than the block
size, etc).

Note that you are right that this is like truncate in NTFS for non-
sparse enabled inodes/volumes.

But for sparse ones, instead of doing any allocations in the bitmap
and entering them in the extent map, you would simply add a single
entry to the extent map that says "X blocks allocated starting at
logical block Y corresponding to no physical blocks, i.e. they are
sparse". You would then also update the allocated size and data size
as above and now you can even (but do not have to) update the
initialized size to be equal to the data size as the file can be
considered fully initialized because it is sparse. As an
implementation detail this truncate operation would not modify the
compressed size of the inode (i.e. the really used on-disk space,
i.e. what you get from running "du" as that does not change when you
add sparse blocks) whilst the fallocate described above would update
the compressed size (if the file is sparse or compressed - there is
no compressed size in the inode if the inode is not sparse/
compressed) because the file now occupies more blocks on disk even if
they are actually not initialized.

Best regards,

Anton Altaparmakov <aia21 at> (replace at with @)
Unix Support, Computing Service, University of Cambridge, CB2 3QH, UK
Linux NTFS maintainer,

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