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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/2] updating ctime and mtime at syncing
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> 2008/1/14, Miklos Szeredi <miklos@szeredi.hu>:
> > > http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2645
> > >
> > > Changes for updating the ctime and mtime fields for memory-mapped files:
> > >
> > > 1) new flag triggering update of the inode data;
> > > 2) new function to update ctime and mtime for block device files;
> > > 3) new helper function to update ctime and mtime when needed;
> > > 4) updating time stamps for mapped files in sys_msync() and do_fsync();
> > > 5) implementing the feature of auto-updating ctime and mtime.
> >
> > How exactly is this done?
> >
> > Is this catering for this case:
> >
> > 1 page is dirtied through mapping
> > 2 app calls msync(MS_ASYNC)
> > 3 page is written again through mapping
> > 4 app calls msync(MS_ASYNC)
> > 5 ...
> > 6 page is written back
> >
> > What happens at 4? Do we care about this one at all?
>
> The POSIX standard requires updating the file times every time when msync()
> is called with MS_ASYNC. I.e. the time stamps should be updated even
> when no physical synchronization is being done immediately.

Yes. However, on linux MS_ASYNC is basically a no-op, and without
doing _something_ with the dirty pages (which afaics your patch
doesn't do), it's impossible to observe later writes to the same page.

I don't advocate full POSIX conformance anymore, because it's probably
too expensive to do (I've tried). Rather than that, we should
probably find some sane compromise, that just fixes the real life
issue. Here's a pointer to the thread about this:

http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/3/27/55

Your patch may be a good soultion, but you should describe in detail
what it does when pages are dirtied, and when msync/fsync are called,
and what happens with multiple msync calls that I've asked about.

I suspect your patch is ignoring writes after the first msync, but
then why care about msync at all? What's so special about the _first_
msync? Is it just that most test programs only check this, and not
what happens if msync is called more than once? That would be a bug
in the test cases.

> > > +/*
> > > + * Update the ctime and mtime stamps for memory-mapped block device files.
> > > + */
> > > +static void bd_inode_update_time(struct inode *inode)
> > > +{
> > > + struct block_device *bdev = inode->i_bdev;
> > > + struct list_head *p;
> > > +
> > > + if (bdev == NULL)
> > > + return;
> > > +
> > > + mutex_lock(&bdev->bd_mutex);
> > > + list_for_each(p, &bdev->bd_inodes) {
> > > + inode = list_entry(p, struct inode, i_devices);
> > > + inode_update_time(inode);
> > > + }
> > > + mutex_unlock(&bdev->bd_mutex);
> > > +}
> >
> > Umm, why not just call with file->f_dentry->d_inode, so that you don't
> > need to do this ugly search for the physical inode? The file pointer
> > is available in both msync and fsync.
>
> I'm not sure if I undestood your question. I see two possible
> interpretations for this question, and I'm answering both.
>
> The intention was to make the data changes in the block device data
> visible to all device files associated with the block device. Hence
> the search, because the time stamps for all such device files should
> be updated as well.

Ahh, but it will only update "active" devices, which are currently
open, no? Is that what we want?

> Not only the sys_msync() and do_fsync() routines call the helper
> function mapping_update_time().

Ah yes, __sync_single_inode() calls it as well. Why?

Miklos


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