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    Subject[PATCH 00/41] Permit filesystem local caching [ver #48]

    Changes from fscache-46 to fscache-48:

    (1) Extra Acked-by's and Tested-by's.

    (2) Minor changes due to upstream merges.

    (3) The PG_owner_priv_2/PG_fscache_write page flag has been removed, and this
    state is maintained in an internal radix tree in fscache_cookie instead.

    (4) CacheFiles no longer uses write_one_page() aop, and this has been
    discarded. Instead it opens a file, calls the write() file op and
    fput()'s the file for each page it writes. This can be optimised later.
    Care has to be taken to avoid ENFILE, and this approach needs some caution
    as it could run kmap() out of resources.

    (5) The ext3 f_mapping consistency patch is no longer required, and has been
    discarded, as has the generic implementation of write_one_page() and its
    hooks from ext2 and ext3.

    These patches add local caching for network filesystems such as NFS. To give a
    really quick overview of the way the facility works:

    | |
    | NFS |--+
    | | |
    +---------+ | +----------+
    | | |
    +---------+ +-->| |
    | | | |
    | AFS |----->| FS-Cache |
    | | | |--+
    +---------+ +-->| | |
    | | | | +--------------+ +--------------+
    +---------+ | +----------+ | | | | |
    | | | +-->| CacheFiles |-->| Ext3 |
    | ISOFS |--+ | /var/cache | | /dev/sda6 |
    | | +--------------+ +--------------+

    (1) NFS, say, asks FS-Cache to store/retrieve data for it;

    (2) FS-Cache asks the cache backend, in this case CacheFiles to honour the

    (3) CacheFiles 'opens' a file in a mounted filesystem, say Ext3, and does read
    and write operations of a sort on it;

    (4) Ext3 decides how the cache data is laid out on disk - CacheFiles just
    attempts to use one sparse file per netfs inode.

    (5) If NFS asks for data from the cache, but the file has a hole in it, NFS
    falls back to asking the server. The data obtained from the server is
    then written over the hole in the file.

    To look at it another way:

    | |
    | Server |
    | |
    | +----------+
    V | |
    +---------+ | |
    | | | |
    | NFS |----->| FS-Cache |
    | | | |--+
    +---------+ | | | +--------------+ +--------------+
    | | | | | | | |
    V +----------+ +-->| CacheFiles |-->| Ext3 |
    +---------+ | /var/cache | | /dev/sda6 |
    | | +--------------+ +--------------+
    | VFS | ^ ^
    | | | |
    +---------+ +--------------+ |
    | KERNEL SPACE | |
    | USER SPACE | |
    V | |
    +---------+ +--------------+
    | | | |
    | Process | | cachefilesd |
    | | | |
    +---------+ +--------------+

    FS-Cache attempts to provide a caching facility to a network filesystem such
    that it's transparent to the users of that network filesystem.

    The patches can roughly be broken down into a number of sets:

    (*) 01-slow-work.diff
    (*) 02-slow-work-dynamic.diff
    (*) 03-slow-work-config.diff
    (*) 04-slow-work-doc.diff

    A thread pool for (very) slow work items, such as batches of lookup,
    mkdir, create and [sg]etxattr calls.

    It doesn't make sense to use an ordinary work queue because I want more
    than one thread, but I don't want to be limited to 1 thread per CPU.
    The work items in question take a long time, most of which is spent
    sleeping on I/O. For the duration the worker thread is unable to do
    anything else.

    These four patches add the basic facility, make it dynamic, make it
    configurable and document it.

    (*) 05-release-page.diff

    Call the page release function after a failed readahead.

    (*) 06-fscache-page-flags.diff

    Add an extra page flag that FS-Cache then uses to keep track of whether a
    page is known by the cache, and to indicate that the cache must be
    informed if the page is going to go away. It's an indication to the
    netfs that the cache has an interest in this page, where an interest may
    be a pointer to it, resources allocated or reserved for it, or I/O in
    progress upon it.

    Note that the cache doesn't necessarily need to be able to find the netfs
    pages, but may have to allocate/pin resources for backing them.

    Further note that PG_private may not be used as I want to be able to use
    caching with ISOFS eventually, and PG_private is owned by the block
    buffer code.

    These bits can be otherwise used by any filesystem that doesn't want to
    use FS-Cache.

    (*) 07-fscache-netfs-api.diff
    (*) 08-fscache-backend-api.diff
    (*) 09-fscache-kconfig.diff
    (*) 10-fscache-proc.diff
    (*) 11-fscache-fsdef.diff
    (*) 12-fscache-tag-handling.diff
    (*) 13-fscache-cache-handling.diff
    (*) 14-fscache-cookie-jar.diff
    (*) 15-fscache-netfs-reg.diff
    (*) 16-fscache-bits.diff
    (*) 17-fscache-object.diff
    (*) 18-fscache-cookie.diff
    (*) 19-fscache-operation.diff
    (*) 20-fscache-io.diff

    Patches to provide a local caching facility for network filesystems.

    FS-Cache is a layer that takes requests from any one of a number of
    netfs's and passes them to an appropriate cache, if there is one.
    FS-Cache makes operations requested by the netfs transparently
    asynchronous where possible.

    FS-Cache also protects the netfs against (a) there being no cache, (b)
    the cache suffering a fatal I/O error and (c) the cache being removed;
    and protects the cache against (d) the netfs uncaching pages that the
    cache is using and (e) conflicting operations from the netfs, some of
    which may be queued for asynchronous processing.

    Five documents in text file format that describe the FS-Cache interface
    are added by these patches:

    Documentation/filesystems/caching/fscache.txt gives an overview of the
    facility and describes the statistical data it makes available.

    Documentation/filesystems/caching/netfs-api.txt describes the API by
    which a network filesystem would make use of the FS-Cache facility.

    Documentation/filesystems/caching/backend-api.txt describes the API that
    a cache backend must implement to provide caching services through

    Documentation/filesystems/caching/object.txt describes the object
    management state machine used.

    Documentation/filesystems/caching/operations.txt describes the operation
    scheduling facility provided and used by FS-Cache that can also be used
    by cache backend modules.

    The patches provide the following components of the FS-Cache facility:

    (07) The netfs API header file and documentation. A netfs can actually
    be built and run against just this patch. It won't actually do
    anything without the later patches, though, but it will compile.

    (08) The cache backend API header file and documentation.

    (09) The main selector configuration option, the main module load/unload
    hooks and the debugging code declarations. With this patch applied,
    it is possible to enable caching in a client netfs, though it won't
    actually do anything.

    (10) The /proc files for statistics presentation, plus the internal
    interfaces for driving it.

    (11) The top level index definition.

    (12) Cache reference tag handling.

    (13) Cache (un)registration and error handling.

    (14) Cookie (de)allocator and initialisation.

    (15) Netfs (un)registration handling. This is partly usable. Without a
    later patch, however, a cookie will be leaked from unregistration.

    (16) Bit waiting utility functions.

    (17) The object management state machine implementation and

    (18) Implementation of the cookie management part of the netfs API. With
    this, it's possible for netfs's to actually be granted cookies and
    to release them without error.

    (19) Cache I/O operation scheduler and documentation.

    (20) Implementation of the data I/O part of the netfs API.

    (*) 21-cachefiles-monitor.diff
    (*) 22-cachefiles-export.diff
    (*) 23-cachefiles.diff

    Patches to provide a local cache in a directory of an already mounted

    The latter patch adds a document in text file format that describes the
    CacheFiles cache backend and gives instructions on how it is set up and
    used. This will be Documentation/filesystems/caching/cachefiles.txt when
    the patch is applied.

    (*) 24-afs-fscache.diff

    Patches to provide AFS with local caching.

    (*) 25-nfs-comment.diff
    (*) 26-nfs-fscache-option.diff
    (*) 27-nfs-fscache-kconfig.diff
    (*) 28-nfs-fscache-top-index.diff
    (*) 29-nfs-fscache-server-obj.diff
    (*) 30-nfs-fscache-super-obj.diff
    (*) 31-nfs-fscache-inode-obj.diff
    (*) 32-nfs-fscache-use-inode.diff
    (*) 33-nfs-fscache-invalidate-pages.diff
    (*) 34-nfs-fscache-iostats.diff
    (*) 35-nfs-fscache-page-management.diff
    (*) 36-nfs-fscache-read-context.diff
    (*) 37-nfs-fscache-read-fallback.diff
    (*) 38-nfs-fscache-read-from-cache.diff
    (*) 39-nfs-fscache-store-to-cache.diff
    (*) 40-nfs-fscache-display.diff
    (*) 41-nfs-fscache-mount.diff

    Patches to provide NFS with local caching.

    I've been testing these patches by throwing batches of eight parallel "tar cf"
    commands across three different 350MB NFS-based kernel trees (3 tars on first
    tree, 3 on second, 2 on third), sometimes with one or more of the trees
    preloaded into the cache. The complete working data set does not fit into the
    RAM of my test machine, so even three tars that can be entirely satisfied from
    the cache may have to reread everything from disk.

    I've also been running tars against AFS mounted kernel trees.

    A tarball of the patches is available at:

    This builds on top of Linus's current kernel.

    The code can also be obtained by GIT from:


    tagged as 'fscache-48'.

    To use this version of CacheFiles, the cachefilesd-0.9 is also required. It
    is available as an SRPM:

    Or as individual bits:

    The .fc, .if and .te files are for manipulating SELinux.


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