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SubjectRe: Making linkat() able to overwrite the target
Al Viro <> wrote:

> > Would it be possible to make linkat() take a flag, say AT_LINK_REPLACE,
> > that causes the target to be replaced and not give EEXIST? Or make it so
> > that rename() can take a tmpfile as the source and replace the target with
> > that. I presume that, either way, this would require journal changes on
> > ext4, xfs and btrfs.
> Umm... I don't like the idea of linkat() doing that - you suddenly get new
> fun cases to think about (what should happen when the target is a mountpoint,
> for starters?

Don't allow it onto directories, S_AUTOMOUNT-marked inodes or anything that's
got something mounted on it.

> ) _and_ you would have to add a magical flag to vfs_link() so
> that it would know which tests to do.

Yes, I suggested AT_LINK_REPLACE as said magical flag.

> As for rename...

Yeah - with further thought, rename() doesn't really work as an interface,
particularly if a link has already been made.

Do you have an alternative suggestion? There are two things I want to avoid:

(1) Doing unlink-link or unlink-create as that leaves a window where the
cache file is absent.

(2) Creating replacement files in a temporary directory and renaming from
there over the top of the target file as the temp dir would then be a
bottleneck that spends a lot of time locked for creations and renames.


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