lkml.org 
[lkml]   [2009]   [Jan]   [4]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
 
Messages in this thread
Patch in this message
/
Date
From
Subject[patch] Re: document ext3 requirements
On Sun 2009-01-04 17:06:34, Theodore Tso wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 04, 2009 at 01:49:49PM -0600, Rob Landley wrote:
> >
> > 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.
>
> True enough, although the newer SSD's will have this problem addressed
> (although at least initially, they are **far** more costly than the
> el-cheapo 32GB SD cards you can find at the checkout counter at Fry's
> alongside battery-powered shavers and trashy ipod speakers).
>
> I will stress again, that most of this doesn't belong in
> Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt, as most of this is *not*
> ext3-specific.

Agreed... So what about this one?

---

Document linux filesystem expectations. Ext3 can't handle write errors
of any kind, and can't handle non-atomic sector writes. Other
filesystems are probably even worse...

Signed-off-by: Pavel Machek <pavel@suse.cz>

diff --git a/Documentation/filesystems/expectations.txt b/Documentation/filesystems/expectations.txt
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..7817a9c
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/filesystems/expectations.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,44 @@
+Linux filesystems can only work correctly when several conditions are
+met in the block layer and below (disks, flash cards). Some of them
+are obvious ("data on media should not change randomly"), some are
+less so.
+
+Write errors not allowed (NO-WRITE-ERRORS)
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+Writes to media never fail. Even if disk returns error condition
+during write, filesystems can't handle that correctly, because success
+on fsync was already returned when data hit the journal.
+
+ Fortunately writes failing are very uncommon on traditional
+ spinning disks, as they have spare sectors they use when write
+ fails.
+
+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.
+
+ Because RAM tends to fail faster than rest of system during
+ powerfail, special hw killing DMA transfers may be neccessary;
+ otherwise, disks may write garbage during powerfail.
+ Not sure how common that problem is on generic PC machines.
+
+
+
+
diff --git a/Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt b/Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt
index 9dd2a3b..8cb64b0 100644
--- a/Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt
+++ b/Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt
@@ -188,6 +197,25 @@ mke2fs: create a ext3 partition with th
debugfs: ext2 and ext3 file system debugger.
ext2online: online (mounted) ext2 and ext3 filesystem resizer

+Requirements
+============
+
+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:
+
+* write errors not allowed
+
+* sector writes are atomic
+
+(see expectations.txt; note that most/all linux filesystems have similar
+expectations)
+
+* either write caching is disabled, or hw can do barriers and they are enabled.
+
+ (Note that barriers are disabled by default, use "barrier=1"
+ mount option after making sure hw can support them).
+

References
==========

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


\
 
 \ /
  Last update: 2009-01-05 00:01    [W:0.120 / U:2.652 seconds]
©2003-2018 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site