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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/3] ovl: redirect on rename-dir

On Sun, 06 Nov 2016, Konstantin Khlebnikov wrote:
> > - If upper is nonempty, then leave redirect feature alone except when
> > mount option "-oredirect=on" is used to force enabling it.
> > - If upper is empty, then enable redirect feature except when mount
> > option "-oredirect=off" is used to force disabling it.
> I don't like this empty-nonempty upper logic.

Why? (I don't have the feeling that your subsequent paragraphs answer this
question... unless "overlayfs mounting is hard, let's complicate it even
more" is your answer)

> I think this feature should be off by default and be enabled
> explicitly in mount option.
> Available features could be listed in sysfs /sys/fs/overlay/..., like ext4 does.

TTBOMK in ext4, they are set at mkfs time and the default feature set
comes from /etc/mke2fs.conf. There's nothing like that for overlayfs.

> Overlayfs mounting anyway is complicated operation.
> User must know a lot about it and provide persistent state for each mount:
> list layers in correct order, work and uppder directory on the same disk, etc.
> Enabled features is a part of this state.

A large part of the users are not direct overlayfs users, they use
application (like schroot and live-build in my case) that rely on
overlayfs to offer some user-modifiable throw-away chroots or some
persistency on top of a read-only image. In both cases, the upper
directory start empty.

I find it highly disturbing to have to modify all those applications just
to get the correct semantics to rename a directory.

> Probably this could be solved in userspace tool "mount.overlay" - it could load
> features and layers from config file or xattr and set required mount
> options automatically.

I'm all for having a better API to mount overlayfs, but I don't think
blocking on the "redirect=on" by default is a good way to get this.

Raphaël Hertzog ◈ Debian Developer

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