Re: [PATCH RFC] stat.2: Document that stat can fail with EINTR

From: Keno Fischer
Date: Mon Dec 04 2017 - 16:04:26 EST

Hi Michael,

I was hoping to get a clear statement one way or another from the kernel
maintainers as to whether an EINTR from stat() is supposed to be allowed
kernel behavior (hence the RFC in the subject). If it's not, then I don't think
it should be documented, even if there is buggy filesystems that do at
the moment.
So I'd say let's hold off on applying this until more people have had a chance
to comment. If it would be more convenient for you, feel free to drop
this from your
patch queue and if appropriate, I'll resend a non-RFC version of this
patch for you
to apply, once a conclusion has been reached.

On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 3:58 PM, Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
<mtk.manpages@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hello Keno
> On 12/03/2017 04:15 AM, Keno Fischer wrote:
>> Resending as plain text (apologies for those receiving it twice, and
>> those that got
>> an HTML copy, I'm used to my mail client switching that over
>> automatically, which
>> for some reason didn't happen here).
>> This is exactly the discussion I want to generate, so thank you.
>> I should point out that I'm not advocating for anything other
>> than clarity of what kernel behavior user space may assume.
> So, should the documentation patch be applied at this point, or dropped?
> Thanks,
> Michael
>> On Sat, Dec 2, 2017 at 9:25 PM, Matthew Wilcox <willy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On Sat, Dec 02, 2017 at 07:23:59PM -0500, Keno Fischer wrote:
>>>> The catalyst for this patch was me experiencing EINTR errors when
>>>> using the 9p file system. In linux commit 9523feac, the 9p file
>>>> system was changed to use wait_event_killable instead of
>>>> wait_event_interruptible, which does indeed address my problem,
>>>> but also makes me a bit unhappy, because uninterruptable waits
>>>> prevents things like ^C'ing the execution and some debugging
>>>> tools which depend on being able to cancel long-running operations
>>>> by sending signals.
>>> Wait, wait, wait. killable is not uninterruptible. It's "can accept
>>> a signal if the signal is fatal". ie userspace will never see it.
>>> So, no, it doesn't prevent ^C. It does prevent the debugging tool you're
>>> talking about from working, because it's handling the signal, so it's not
>>> fatal.
>> This probably shows that I've been in REPL based environments too long,
>> that catch SIGINT ;). You are of course correct that a fatal SIGINT would
>> still be delivered.
>>>> I realize I'm probably 20 years too late here, but it feels like
>>>> clarificaion on what to expect from the kernel would still go a long
>>>> way here.
>>> A change to user-visible behaviour has to be opt-in.
>> I agree. However, it was my impression that stat() can return EINTR
>> depending on the file system. Prior to the referenced commit,
>> this was certainly true on 9p and I suspect it's not the only network file
>> system for which this is true (though prior to my experiencing this
>> with 9p, the only
>> time I've ever experienced it was on HPC clusters with who knows what
>> code providing the network filesystem). If it is indeed the case that
>> an EINTR return from stat() and similar is illegal and should be considered
>> a kernel bug, a statement to that extent all I'm looking for here.
> --
> Michael Kerrisk
> Linux man-pages maintainer;
> Linux/UNIX System Programming Training: