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SubjectRe: [patch 00/13] devtmpfs patches
> But he does not use an initramfs, and distros insist to do that. And
> that basically means you need to prepare /dev two times, and also prep

Once. You may want to move a few bits later. You only need null,
zero and console to get started. Thats three fixed device nodes.

If we have stable block numbers you might need more than one extra if you
have to search for a UUID/label and it moved from where you cached
it. Without stable block numbers you can't cache the node but most create
lots of nodes to go looking. Do I understand that bit right ?

However you still only create it once as you have zero, console and null
on the initrd already and do

mkdir final-dev
mount tmpfs
create them in final-dev
mount root
move final-dev

Tell me if I'm going astray here as I want to clearly understand the

Another data point: On a fairly typical PC on a single CPU we can do over
30,000 mknods per second on tmpfs. I've just benched it. So you can
create those block nodes very fast indeed.

On a 1 second budget I can create 3000 device nodes (which should cover
most user systems quite adequately) and have 0.9 seconds left to do other

> > Device spaces have user controlled naming rules, user controlled
> > permissions, user controlled labelling and the like. That is policy, and
> > the administering of that is management.
> I see. But that does not change at all. It's just that you can also
> bring up the box without the complex management we need to do today.

If you have an environment using any of those features then not having
that management is not a win - its a bug.

> > That was one of the things that killed devfs eventually, and it's not a
> > problem your proposal or devfs solved.
> Oh, that old devfs was killed for many good reasons, sure. The biggest
> reason alone to kill it, was the dumb new naming scheme, which broke

The "naming scheme" ? It was not the naming scheme but the inability to
make it do stuff the way users wanted. If the naming scheme had been
trivially configurable then the distro would simply have shipped a
different naming scheme.

> As mentioned, we create 12.000 files in sysfs, now we just add 210 and

setfacl -m u:alan:r /sys/devices/virtual/dmi/id/bios_vendor
setfacl: /sys/devices/virtual/dmi/id/bios_vendor: Operation not supported

Sysfs doesn't even support per user ACLs which means its not much use for
tty devices or a lot of other things where you want to give access to a
piece of hardware to groups of users or use SELinux to control root more

> decouple the kernel initial bootup from a complex userspace
> dependency, all for the sake of robustness, that is also faster and
> very flexible.

It isn't flexible. You can't set the naming policy, you can't set the
permissions, you can't control the labelling. It might be a convenient
way to implement a very specific narrow set up.

> No, that problem is solved by exporting all of it in sysfs already
> today. But that does not provide any of the robustness and reliability
> gains the kernel-provided nodes do.

What is robust and reliable about having another set of nodes that an
existing distro won't know about and existing tools don't know about that
has permissions and labels that bypass the security as configured by the
system administrator ????

> > 5.      Make the new big block numbers stable
> Might be nice to have, but we still can't include all of the possible
> block driver names and nodes in initramfs. Distros can just not manage
> that, and don't do it today.

Even if we have to create a lot of nodes it shouldn't be slow - mknod
syscalls on tmpfs are as we've just established - quite acceptably quick.
Yes I think stable numbers would be smart.

> Mine does too. But general purpose systems have different problems to solve.

I'm of the opinion your system isn't general purpose - its Kay purpose.
If it can become truely general purpose and replace or improve udev with
something far better then great but can it ?

> > - Why you think sysfs changes will help when the stats say its 0.06 of a
> >  second and udev is not it appears taking much time anyway
> Which sysfs changes?

(Sorry that was Eric I think)
> > - How you think you've solved the devfs problems about persistency and
> >  the like and what performance cost that has. That killed devfs in the
> >  end.
> What problem?

The problem I've been pointing out all along - security, naming,
permissions, persistency.

> Let me know what specifically needs to be fixed, I'll do it right
> away, I wrote and maintain most of it, so I should be pretty quick to
> act here. I work on it almost every day, and I mostly don't find it
> non-funny. :)

So if you maintain it why is it so slow ? (that isn't an accusation of
incompetence btw I want to understand the bottlenecks) - what percentage
is CPU wait, what is I/O wait, wtf are we doing with all that wall time
and serialized probing ? You've still not provided any useful data on
timings. If you had four or five pet programmers and were told "fix udev"
what would you direct them to sort out ? The numbers you've posted
contain no breakdown. Yes its faster than the old system for your
specific case but there is no "why" in the data.

There isn't any reason it should magically go faster in kernel. We don't
run the CPU at a different speed in kernel and syscalls are cheap.

> > but it does actually get us something featureful
> > and useful that does what people want.
> Actually, many people asked for more robustness and less complexity to
> bring up a box, not for more special hacks in udev, initramfs, the
> boot scripts. That's what we try to solve here, and what we did, from
> my perspective.

"from my perspective" - bingo...

Which is the devfs problem - its easy to solve a problem for one
perspective or one user only. But we'd have an awful lot of devfs clones
in the kernel if we kept doing that.

So I'd like
- my device file system to do SELinux and ACLs (and Tomoyo and ...)
- ability to set labels and security contexts and permissions
- device nodes in one place only
- ability to use security models which take stuff away from root (so
chmodding the sysfs node 000 doesn't cut the mustard)
- a guarantee I can't race the policy application and node creation on
hotplug. In other words the creator sets up its security contexts and
the like then does the node create.

Putting device nodes into sysfs can't do most if any of that

Putting the data to create those initial device nodes into sysfs *can*
make it customisable this way. It also means your initrd can be more
robust because the device creation logic is very very simple.

sh < /sys/initial-device-list

might be slightly extreme but you need little more when not using fancy
feature sets. We've just established by benchmarking that the mknod paths
are fast enough.

It's a question of API and layering

If you put the devices into sysfs I get burger and fries the way you like
If you put the list of devices into sysfs I get to decide how I want it.

We have enough fixed nodes to run a recovery shell in the initrd or boot
with init=/bin/sh so the recovery argument doesn't seem to hold water.

The performance for reading one sysfs file (even without sysfs
optimisation) and writing 3000 device nodes to disk is more than
acceptable so if you don't mind I'd prefer my burger with extra onions ;)

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