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Date:	Wed, 27 Jun 2007 10:04:56 +1000
From:	David Chinner <>
To:	"Amit K. Arora" <>
Cc:,,, David Chinner <>,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH 7/7][TAKE5] ext4: support new modes

On Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 12:59:08AM +0530, Amit K. Arora wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 26, 2007 at 12:14:00PM -0400, Andreas Dilger wrote:
> > On Jun 26, 2007  17:37 +0530, Amit K. Arora wrote:
> > > > I also thought another proposed flag was to determine whether mtime (and
> > > > maybe ctime) is changed when doing prealloc/dealloc space?  Default should
> > > > probably be to change mtime/ctime, and have FA_FL_NO_MTIME.  Someone else
> > > > should decide if we want to allow changing the file w/o changing ctime, if
> > > > that is required even though the file is not visibly changing.  Maybe the
> > > > ctime update should be implicit if the size or mtime are changing?
> > > 
> > > Is it really required ? I mean, why should we allow users not to update
> > > ctime/mtime even if the file metadata/data gets updated ? It sounds
> > > a bit "unnatural" to me.
> > > Is there any application scenario in your mind, when you suggest of
> > > giving this flexibility to userspace ?
> > 
> > One reason is that XFS does NOT update the mtime/ctime when doing the
> > XFS_IOC_* allocation ioctls.

Not totally correct.

XFS_IOC_ALLOCSP/FREESP change timestamps if they change
the file size (via the truncate call made to change the file size).
If they don't change the file size, then they are a no-op and should
not change the file size.

XFS_IOC_RESVSP/UNRESVSP don't change timestamps just like they don't
change file size. That is by design AFAICT so these calls can be
used by HSM-type applications that don't want to change timestamps
when punching out data blocks or preallocating new ones.

> Hmm.. I personally will call it a bug in XFS code then. :)

No, I'd call it useful. :)

> > > I think, modifying ctime/mtime should be dependent on the other flags.
> > > E.g., if we do not zero out data blocks on allocation/deallocation,
> > > update only ctime. Otherwise, update ctime and mtime both.
> > 
> > I'm only being the advocate for requirements David Chinner has put
> > forward due to existing behaviour in XFS.  This is one of the reasons
> > why I think the "flags" mechanism we now have - we can encode the
> > various different behaviours in any way we want and leave it to the
> > caller.
> I understand. May be we can confirm once more with David Chinner if this
> is really required. Will it really be a compatibility issue if new XFS
> preallocations (ie. via fallocate) update mtime/ctime?

It should be left up to the filesystem to decide. Only the
filesystem knows whether something changed and the timestamp should
or should not be updated.


Dave Chinner
Principal Engineer
SGI Australian Software Group
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