Re: [PATCH 1/2] SCSI: Add a SCSI option for persistent devicenames in Kernel.

From: James Bottomley
Date: Tue Apr 12 2011 - 09:29:44 EST

On Tue, 2011-04-12 at 22:23 +0900, Nao Nishijima wrote:
> (2011/04/09 0:14), James Bottomley wrote:
> > On Fri, 2011-04-08 at 07:33 -0700, Hannes Reinecke wrote:
> >>> The problem I would like to discuss here is that users can not identify
> >>> a disk from kernel messages when they DIRECTLY refer to these messages.
> >>> For example, a device name is used instead of a symbolic link names in
> >>> bootup messages, I/O devices errors and /proc/partitions âetc.
> >>>
> >>> In particular, users can not identify an appropriate device from a
> >>> device name in syslog since different device name may be assigned to it
> >>> at each boot time.
> >>>
> >>> My idea is able to fix this issue with small changes in scsi subsystem.
> >>> Also, it is implemented as an option. Therefore, it does not affect
> >>> users who do not select this option.
> >>>
> >> We have been discussing this problem several times in the past, and
> >> indeed on these very mailing list.
> >>
> >> The conclusion we arrived at is that the kernel-provided device node
> >> name is inherently unstable and impossible to fix within the existing
> >> 'sdX' naming scheme.
> >> So the choices have been to either move to a totally different naming
> >> scheme or keep the naming scheme and provide the required information
> >> by other means.
> >> We have decided on the latter, and agreed on using udev to provide
> >> persistent device names.
> >> We are fully aware that any kernel related messages are subject to
> >> chance after reboot, but then most kernel related messages are
> >> (PID number, timestamps, login tty etc).
> >> And also we are aware that any kernel messages need to be matched
> >> against the current system layout to figure out any hardware-related
> >> issue.
> >>
> >> But then basically all products requiring to filter out information
> >> from kernel messages already do so I don't see a problem with that.
> >>
> >> Just adding an in-kernel identifier to the LUN will only be an
> >> incomplete solution, as other identifiers will still be volatile.
> >>
> >> So I would prefer by keeping the in-kernel information as small
> >> as possible to reduce memory consumption and rely on out-of-band
> >> programs to provide the required mapping.
> >
> > So, while I agree totally with the above: udev and userspace is the way
> > to go, I'm not totally opposed to having a non-invasive mechanism for
> > indicating a user's preferred name for a device. I think there are a
> > couple of ways to do this:
> >
> > 1. Entirely in userspace: just have udev consult a preferred name
> > file and create say /dev/disk/by-preferred. Then have all the
> > tools that normally output device information do the same (i.e.
> > since real name to preferred name is 1:1, they could all do a
> > reverse lookup).
> > 2. have a writeable sysfs preferred_name field, either in the
> > generic device or just in SCSI. The preferred name would be
> > used by outbound only (i.e. kernel dev_printk messages and
> > possibly /proc/partitions). All inbound uses of the device
> > would come via the standard udev mechanisms
> > (i.e. /dev/disk/by-preferred would be the usual symlink). This
> > means from the kernel point of view, no renaming has happened.
> > We'd just try to print out the preferred name in certain
> > circumstances, which should solve most of the described problem.
> >
> > James
> >
> >
> >
> I have a question. Why is in-kernel device name necessary? The kernel
> can identify a device by major/miner number and udev can create a
> device node of a prefer name.

Well, that's the inbound vs outbound name I referred to above. If all
you care about is inbound, this is true.

> Currently, device names are only used to show to users. Therefore I
> think that in-kernel device name is unnecessary if we introduce your
> /dev/disk/by-prefferd idea.

So if you have no problem with the kernel still printing out sdX in logs
and it appearing in /proc/partitions, I'm happy with this.


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