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DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2010-01
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About FLUSH and SUJ.

From: Jeff Roberson <jroberson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 14:17:58 -1000 (HST)

Hey Folks,

I read your thread about flush, softdep, and suj, and I wanted to take a moment to reply. SUJ already has mechanisms to delay the acknowledgement of journal writes and also delay the free of journal space. Using these mechanisms it wouldn't take longer than a day to add flush support. The journal already tolerates the constituent metadata writes happening in any order. All that is needed is a flush barrier before the dependencies are released and again before journal space is released.

I have not yet added flush support simply because it is not my priority. People with non-enterprise hardware are also the most likely to have disks that don't obey flush. Furthermore, determining how well your drive honors flush is not a trivial task. The existing fsck can be used in the event of a power failure, which is typically quite rare, to successfully recover the fs. For those that want to tolerate some moderate slowdown at runtime it could be enabled with a mount option.

Anyhow, my point is, it has not been overlooked, and it is simple to add, but it is not yet on the top of my todo. This is quite a large project with a lot of moving pieces and I'm still not yet finished. I made sure the design did not preclude flush but I think it warrants more investigation.

I also wanted to comment on Matt's suggestion to put the segment header on every 512 byte block. This is indeed a great idea and I was just in the process of revising the segment format to solve this problem. Initially I had been working on a per-fs fragment basis but there are cases where you must flush a journal entry before there is a fragments worth of data leading to poor utilization. So now it can write and recover a disk block at a time.

Thanks for the comments,

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