Re: [PATCH v4 0/7] vfs: make immutable files actually immutable

From: Christoph Hellwig
Date: Tue Jun 25 2019 - 06:36:59 EST

On Fri, Jun 21, 2019 at 04:56:50PM -0700, Darrick J. Wong wrote:
> Hi all,
> The chattr(1) manpage has this to say about the immutable bit that
> system administrators can set on files:
> "A file with the 'i' attribute cannot be modified: it cannot be deleted
> or renamed, no link can be created to this file, most of the file's
> metadata can not be modified, and the file can not be opened in write
> mode."
> Given the clause about how the file 'cannot be modified', it is
> surprising that programs holding writable file descriptors can continue
> to write to and truncate files after the immutable flag has been set,
> but they cannot call other things such as utimes, fallocate, unlink,
> link, setxattr, or reflink.

I still think living code beats documentation. And as far as I can
tell the immutable bit never behaved as documented or implemented
in this series on Linux, and it originated on Linux.

If you want hard cut off style immutable flag it should really be a
new API, but I don't really see the point. It isn't like the usual
workload is to set the flag on a file actively in use.