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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/2] dax: move writeback calls into the filesystems
On Sun, Feb 07, 2016 at 11:13:51AM -0800, Dan Williams wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 6, 2016 at 11:19 PM, Ross Zwisler
> <> wrote:
> > Previously calls to dax_writeback_mapping_range() for all DAX filesystems
> > (ext2, ext4 & xfs) were centralized in filemap_write_and_wait_range().
> > dax_writeback_mapping_range() needs a struct block_device, and it used to
> > get that from inode->i_sb->s_bdev. This is correct for normal inodes
> > mounted on ext2, ext4 and XFS filesystems, but is incorrect for DAX raw
> > block devices and for XFS real-time files.
> >
> > Instead, call dax_writeback_mapping_range() directly from the filesystem or
> > raw block device fsync/msync code so that they can supply us with a valid
> > block device.
> >
> > It should be noted that this will reduce the number of calls to
> > dax_writeback_mapping_range() because filemap_write_and_wait_range() is
> > called in the various filesystems for operations other than just
> > fsync/msync. Both ext4 & XFS call filemap_write_and_wait_range() outside
> > of ->fsync for hole punch, truncate, and block relocation
> > (xfs_shift_file_space() && ext4_collapse_range()/ext4_insert_range()).
> >
> > I don't believe that these extra flushes are necessary in the DAX case. In
> > the page cache case when we have dirty data in the page cache, that data
> > will be actively lost if we evict a dirty page cache page without flushing
> > it to media first. For DAX, though, the data will remain consistent with
> > the physical address to which it was written regardless of whether it's in
> > the processor cache or not - really the only reason I see to flush is in
> > response to a fsync or msync so that our data is durable on media in case
> > of a power loss. The case where we could throw dirty data out of the page
> > cache and essentially lose writes simply doesn't exist.
> >
> > Signed-off-by: Ross Zwisler <>
> > ---
> > fs/block_dev.c | 7 +++++++
> > fs/dax.c | 5 ++---
> > fs/ext2/file.c | 10 ++++++++++
> > fs/ext4/fsync.c | 10 +++++++++-
> > fs/xfs/xfs_file.c | 12 ++++++++++--
> > include/linux/dax.h | 4 ++--
> > mm/filemap.c | 6 ------
> > 7 files changed, 40 insertions(+), 14 deletions(-)
> This sprinkling of dax specific fixups outside of vm_operations_struct
> routines still has me thinking that we are going in the wrong
> direction for fsync/msync support.
> If an application is both unaware of DAX and doing mmap I/O it is
> better served by the page cache where writeback is durable by default.
> We expect DAX-aware applications to assume responsibility for cpu
> cache management [1]. Making DAX mmap semantics explicit opt-in
> solves not only durability support, but also the current problem that
> DAX gets silently disabled leaving an app to wonder if it really got a
> direct mapping. DAX also silently picks pud, pmd, or pte mappings
> which is information an application would really like to know at map
> time.
> The proposal: make applications explicitly request DAX semantics with
> a new MAP_DAX flag and fail if DAX is unavailable.


As I've stated before, the entire purpose of enabling DAX through
existing filesytsems like XFS and ext4 is so that existing
applications work with DAX *without modification*.

That is, applications can be entirely unaware of the fact that the
filesystem is giving them direct access to the storage because the
access and failure semantics of DAX enabled mmap are *identical to
the existing mmap semantics*.

Given this, the app doesn't need to care whether DAX is enabled or
not; all that will be seen is a difference in speed of access.
Enabling and disabling DAX is, at this point, purely an
administration decision - if the hardware and filesystem supports
it, it can be turned on without having to wait years for application
developers to add support for it....

Dave Chinner

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