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Date:   Sat, 18 Jan 2020 20:11:05 +1100
From:   Dave Chinner <>
To:     Dan Williams <>
Cc:     "Darrick J. Wong" <>,
        Ira Weiny <>, Jan Kara <>,
        Linux Kernel Mailing List <>,
        Alexander Viro <>,
        Christoph Hellwig <>,
        "Theodore Y. Ts'o" <>,
        linux-ext4 <>,
        linux-xfs <>,
        linux-fsdevel <>
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH V2 01/12] fs/stat: Define DAX statx attribute

On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 10:05:00PM -0800, Dan Williams wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 9:39 PM Darrick J. Wong <> wrote:
> [..]
> > >         attempts to minimize software cache effects for both I/O and
> > >         memory mappings of this file.  It requires a file system which
> > >         has been configured to support DAX.
> > >
> > >         DAX generally assumes all accesses are via cpu load / store
> > >         instructions which can minimize overhead for small accesses, but
> > >         may adversely affect cpu utilization for large transfers.
> > >
> > >         File I/O is done directly to/from user-space buffers and memory
> > >         mapped I/O may be performed with direct memory mappings that
> > >         bypass kernel page cache.
> > >
> > >         While the DAX property tends to result in data being transferred
> > >         synchronously, it does not give the same guarantees of
> > >         synchronous I/O where data and the necessary metadata are
> > >         transferred together.
> >
> > (I'm frankly not sure that synchronous I/O actually guarantees that the
> > metadata has hit stable storage...)
> Oh? That text was motivated by the open(2) man page description of O_SYNC.

Ugh. "synchronous I/O" means two different things, depending on
context. In the AIO context, it means "process context waits for operation
completion direct", but in the O_SYNC context, it means "we guarantee
data integrity for each I/O submitted".

Indeed, O_SYNC AIO is a thing. i.e. we can do an "async sync
write" to guarantee data integrity without directly waiting for
it. Now try describing that only using the words "synchronous
write" to describe both behaviours. :)

IOWs, if you are talking about data integrity, you need to
explicitly say "O_SYNC semantics", not "synchronous write", because
"synchronous write" is totally ambiguous without the O_SYNC context
of the open(2) man page...



Dave Chinner

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