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SubjectRe: [PATCH v3] introduce sys_syncfs to sync a single file system
On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 02:56:52 +0100 (CET)
"Indan Zupancic" <> wrote:

> On Sat, March 12, 2011 18:32, Greg KH wrote:
> > On Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 08:10:01PM -0600, Jonathan Nieder wrote:
> >> Indan Zupancic wrote:
> >>
> >> > I'm not pushing for any official convention, just what seems good taste.
> >>
> >> In cases like this, conventions (consistency and best practices) are
> >> very important.
> >>
> >> > Less code added, less bloat. Architecture independent, no need to update
> >> > all system call tables everywhere (all archs, libc versions and strace).
> >> > Two files changed, instead of 7 (which only hooks up x86).
> >>
> >> Thanks for explaining. Those do seem like good reasons to use a ioctl
> >> instead of a new syscall.
> >
> > No, make it a syscall, it's more obvious and will be documented much
> > better.
> There is no such guarantee. Everyone seems to want to add this new syncfs,
> but it's not even defined what it does. "Same as sync, but only on one fs"
> is IMHO not good enough, because sync's behaviour is pretty badly documented,
> and that's a system call. The sync_file_range argument effects are quite
> well defined, on the other hand, unlike sync behaviour. You're right for
> ioctls though.

I think the semantics of sync are easily enough defined, even if
they're not well-defined in the documentation: all data which was dirty
at the time sync() was called will be written back and accessible when
the sync() returns.

I do agree that this should be a standalone syscall, not grafted into
sync_file_range() or into an ioctl.

That being said, we have two similar-looking-but-quite-different "sync"
concepts in the kernel. One is "sync for data integrity" and the other
is "sync to reduce the dirty memory load". The latter is not a data
integrity thing - it is a resource management thing.

There might one day be a requirement to be able to initiate a
resource-management-style writeback against a whole filesystem. When
that happens, we'll regret not having added a "mode" argument to

Or maybe not - given that we're syncing the entire fs and that
sync_filesystem() does the two-pass "write for data cleaning then write
for data integrity" thing, it could be that a syncfs-for-data-cleaning
operation has little performance benefit over a
syncfs-for-data-integrity operation.

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