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SubjectRe: [RFC] new ->perform_write fop
On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 03:50:54PM +1000, Nick Piggin wrote:
> On Thu, May 13, 2010 at 11:30:57PM -0400, Josef Bacik wrote:
> > On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 11:00:42AM +1000, Dave Chinner wrote:
> > > On Wed, May 12, 2010 at 09:39:27PM -0400, Josef Bacik wrote:
> > > > On Wed, May 12, 2010 at 05:24:04PM -0400, Josef Bacik wrote:
> > > > I could modify
> > > > generic_perform_write and the write_begin/write_end aops to do this, where
> > > > write_begin will return how many pages it allocated, copy in all of the
> > > > userpages into the pages we allocated at once, and then call write_end with the
> > > > pages we allocated in write begin. Then I could just make btrfs do
> > > > write_being/write_end. So which option seems more palatable? Thanks,
> > >
> > > I can see how this would work for btrfs, but the issue is how any
> > > other filesystem would handle it.
> > >
> > > I've been trying to get my head around how any filesystem using
> > > bufferheads and generic code can do multipage writes using
> > > write_begin/write_end without modifying the interface, and I just
> > > threw away my second attempt because the error handling just
> > > couldn't be handled cleanly without duplicating the entire
> > > block_write_begin path in each filesystem that wanted to do
> > > multipage writes.
> > >
> > > The biggest problem is that block allocation is intermingled with
> > > allocating and attaching bufferheads to pages, hence error handling
> > > can get really nasty and is split across a call chain 3 or 4
> > > functions deep. The error handling is where I'm finding all the
> > > dangerous and hard-to-kill demons lurking in dark corners. I suspect
> > > there's a grue in there somewhere, too. ;)
> > >
> > > Separating the page+bufferhead allocation and block allocation would
> > > make this much simpler but I can't fit that easily into the existing
> > > interfaces.
> > >
> > > Hence I think that write_begin/copy pages/write_end is not really
> > > suited to multipage writes when allocation is done in write_begin
> > > and the write can then fail in a later stage without a simple method
> > > of undoing the allocation. We don't have any hole punch interfaces
> > > to the filesystems (and I think only XFS supports that functionality
> > > right now), so handling errors after allocation becomes rather
> > > complex, especially when you have multiple blocks per page.
> > >
> > > Hence I've independently come to the conclusion that delaying the
> > > allocation until *after* the copy as btrfs does is probably the best
> > > approach to take here. This largely avoids the error handling
> > > complexity because the write operation is an all-or-nothing
> > > operation. btrfs has separate hooks for space reservation and
> > > releasing the reservation and doesn't commit to actually allocating
> > > anything until the copying is complete. Hence cleanup is simple no
> > > matter where a failure occurs.
> > >
> > > Personally, I'm tending towards killing the get_blocks() callback as
> > > the first step in this process - turn it into a real inode/address
> > > space operation (say ->allocate) so we can untangle the write path
> > > somewhat (lots of filesystem just provide operations as wrappers to
> > > provide a fs-specific get_blocks callback to generic code. If the
> > > "create" flag is then converted to a "command" field, the interface
> > > can pass "RESERVE", "ALLOC", "CREATE", etc to allow different
> > > operations to be clearly handled.
> > >
> > > e.g.:
> > >
> > > ->allocate(mapping, NULL, off, len, RESERVE)
> > > reserves necessary space for write
> > > ->write_begin
> > > grab pages into page cache
> > > attach bufferheads (if required)
> > > fail -> goto drop pages
> > > copy data into pages
> > > fail -> goto drop pages
> > > ->allocate(mapping, pages, off, len, ALLOC)
> > > allocates reserved space (if required)
> > > sets up/maps/updates bufferheads/extents
> > > fail -> goto drop pages
> > > ->write_end
> > > set pages dirty + uptodate
> > > done
> > >
> > > drop_pages:
> > > ->allocate(mapping, NULL, off, len, UNRESERVE)
> > > if needed, zero partial pages
> > > release pages, clears uptodate.
> > >
> > > Basically this allows the copying of data before any allocation is
> > > actually done, but also allows ENOSPC to be detected before starting
> > > the copy. The filesystem can call whatver helpers it needs inside
> > > ->get_blocks(ALLOC) to set up bufferhead/extent state to match
> > > what has been reserved/allocated/mapped in the RESERVE call.
> > >
> > > This will work for btrfs, and it will work for XFS and I think it
> > > will work for other filesystems that are using bufferheads as well.
> > > For those filesystems that will only support a page at a time, then
> > > they can continue to use the current code, but should be able to be
> > > converted to the multipage code by making RESERVE and UNRESERVE
> > > no-ops, and ALLOC does what write_begin+get_blocks currently does to
> > > set up block mappings.
> > >
> > > Thoughts?
> > >
> > So this is what I had envisioned, we make write_begin take a nr_pages pointer
> > and tell it how much data we have to write, then in the filesystem we allocate
> > as many pages as we feel like, idealy something like
> >
> > min(number of pages we need for the write, some arbitrary limit for security)
> >
> > and then we allocate all those pages. Then you can pass them into
> > block_write_begin, which will walk the pages, allocating buffer heads and
> > allocating the space as needed.
> >
> > Now since we're coming into write_begin with "we want to write X bytes" we can
> > go ahead and do the enospc checks for X bytes, and then if we are good to go,
> > chances are we won't fail.
> >
> > Except if we're overwriting a holey section of the file, we're going to be
> > screwed in both your way and my way. My way probably would be the most likely
> > to fail, since we could fail to do the copy_from_user, but hopefully the segment
> > checks and doing the fault_in_readable before all of this would keep those
> > problems to a minimum.
> >
> > In your case the only failure point is in the allocate step. If we fail on down
> > the line after we've done some hole filling, we'll be hard pressed to go back
> > and free up those blocks. Is that what you are talking about, having the
> > allocate(UNRESERVE) thing being able to go back and figure out what should have
> > been holes needs to be holes again? If thats the case then I think your idea
> > will work and is probably the best way to move forward. But from what I can
> > remember about how all this works with buffer heads, there's not a way to say
> > "we _just_ allocated this recently". Thanks,
>
> Now is there really a good reason to go this way and add more to the
> write_begin/write_end paths? Rather than having filesystems just
> implement their own write file_operations in order to do multi-block
> operations?

Well, if we've got xfs, btrfs, gfs2, ext4, and others all wanting to
do multipage writes, shouldn't we be trying doing in a generic way?


Fuse doesn't have to deal with allocation of blocks in
fuse_perform_write()

> From what I can see, the generic code is not going to be able to be
> much help with error handling etc. so I would prefer to keep it as
> simple as possible. I think it is still adequate for most cases.
>
> Take a look at how fuse does multi-page write operations. It is about
> the simplest case you can get, but it still requires all the generic
> checks etc.

fuse_perform_write() doesn't do allocation, and so can easily abort
at the first error and just complete the writes that did succeed.
Hence it don't think it's a model that a filesystem that has to
handle space allocation can use.

> and it is quite neat -- I don't see a big issue with
> duplicating generic code?

When a large number of filesystems end up duplicating the same code,
then we should be looking at how to implement that functionality
generically, right?

Cheers,

Dave.
--
Dave Chinner
david@fromorbit.com


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