lkml.org 
[lkml]   [2009]   [Jan]   [4]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
 
Messages in this thread
/
Date
From
SubjectRe: document ext3 requirements
On Sun 2009-01-04 13:49:49, Rob Landley wrote:
> On Saturday 03 January 2009 06:38:15 Pavel Machek wrote:
> > +Ext3 expects disk/storage subsystem to behave sanely. On sanely
> > +behaving disk subsystem, data that have been successfully synced will
> > +stay on the disk. Sane means:
> > +
> > +* writes to media never fail. Even if disk returns error condition during
> > + write, ext3 can't handle that correctly, because success on fsync was
> > already + returned when data hit the journal.
> > +
> > + (Fortunately writes failing are very uncommon on disks, as they
> > + have spare sectors they use when write fails.)
> > +
> > +* either whole sector is correctly written or nothing is written during
> > + powerfail.
> > +
> > + (Unfortuantely, none of the cheap USB/SD flash cards I seen do behave
> > + like this, and are unsuitable for ext3.
>
> Want to document the granularity issues with flash, while you're at it?
>
> An inherent problem with using flash as a normal block device is that the
> flash erase size is bigger than most filesystem sector sizes. So when you
> request a write, it may erase and rewrite the next 64k, 128k, or even a couple
> megabytes on the really _big_ ones.
>
> If you lose power in the middle of that, ext3 won't notice that data in the
> "sectors" _after_ the one your were trying to write to got trashed.
>
> The flash filesystems take this into account as part of their wear levelling
> stuff (they normally copy the entire chunk into a new chunk, leaving the old
> one in place until it's no longer needed), but they need to query the device
> to get the erase granularity in order to do that, which is why they don't work
> on non-flash block devices.

Is there linux filesystem that can handle that? I know jffs2, but
that's unsuitable for stuff like USB thumb drives, right?

Does this sound like a fair summary?

Sector writes are atomic (ATOMIC-SECTORS)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Either whole sector is correctly written or nothing is written during
powerfail.

Unfortuantely, none of the cheap USB/SD flash cards I seen do
behave like this, and are unsuitable for all linux filesystems
I know.

An inherent problem with using flash as a normal block
device is that the flash erase size is bigger than
most filesystem sector sizes. So when you request a
write, it may erase and rewrite the next 64k, 128k, or
even a couple megabytes on the really _big_ ones.

If you lose power in the middle of that, filesystem
won't notice that data in the "sectors" _after_ the
one your were trying to write to got trashed.

Pavel
--
(english) http://www.livejournal.com/~pavelmachek
(cesky, pictures) http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~pavel/picture/horses/blog.html


\
 
 \ /
  Last update: 2009-01-04 23:57    [from the cache]
©2003-2011 Jasper Spaans