Re: [RFC PATCH 2/2] mm, fs: daxfile, an interface for byte-addressable updates to pmem

From: Andy Lutomirski
Date: Sun Jun 18 2017 - 01:06:30 EST

On Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 8:15 PM, Dan Williams <dan.j.williams@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 4:50 PM, Andy Lutomirski <luto@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> My other objection is that the syscall intentionally leaks a reference
>> to the file. This means it needs overflow protection and it probably
>> shouldn't ever be allowed to use it without privilege.
> We only hold the one reference while S_DAXFILE is set, so I think the
> protection is there, and per Dave's original proposal this requires
>> Why can't the underlying issue be easily fixed, though? Could
>> .page_mkwrite just make sure that metadata is synced when the FS uses
>> DAX?
> Yes, it most definitely could and that idea has been floated.
>> On a DAX fs, syncing metadata should be extremely fast. This
>> could be conditioned on an madvise or mmap flag if performance might
>> be an issue. As far as I know, this change alone should be
>> sufficient.
> The hang up is that it requires per-fs enabling as it needs to be
> careful to manage mmap_sem vs fs journal locks for example. I know the
> in-development NOVA [1] filesystem is planning to support this out of
> the gate. ext4 would be open to implementing it, but I think xfs is
> cold on the idea. Christoph originally proposed it here [2], before
> Dave went on to propose immutable semantics.

Hmm. Given a choice between a very clean API that works without
privilege but is awkward to implement on XFS and an awkward-to-use
API, I'd personally choose the former.

Dave, even with the lock ordering issue, couldn't XFS implement
MAP_PMEM_AWARE by having .page_mkwrite work roughly like this:

if (metadata is dirty) {
sync the metadata;
return 0; /* retry the fault */
} else {
return whatever success code;

This might require returning VM_FAULT_RETRY instead of 0 and it might
require auditing the core mm code to make sure that it can handle
mmap_sem being dropped like this. I don't see why it couldn't work in
principle, though.