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Date:   Tue, 12 Jan 2021 18:16:00 +0000
From:   Christoph Hellwig <>
To:     Avi Kivity <>
Cc:     Andres Freund <>,
        "Darrick J. Wong" <>,,,,
Subject: Re: fallocate(FALLOC_FL_ZERO_RANGE_BUT_REALLY) to avoid unwritten

On Mon, Jan 04, 2021 at 09:57:48PM +0200, Avi Kivity wrote:
> > I don't have a strong opinion on it. A complex userland application can
> > do a bit better job managing queue depth etc, but otherwise I suspect
> > doing the IO from kernel will win by a small bit. And the queue-depth
> > issue presumably would be relevant for write-zeroes as well, making me
> > lean towards just using the fallback.
> > 
> The new flag will avoid requiring DMA to transfer the entire file size, and
> perhaps can be implemented in the device by just adjusting metadata. So
> there is potential for the new flag to be much more efficient.

We already support a WRITE_ZEROES operation, which many (but not all)
NVMe devices and some SCSI devices support.  The blkdev_issue_zeroout
helper can use those, or falls back to writing actual zeroes.

XFS already has a XFS_IOC_ALLOCSP64 that is defined to actually
allocate written extents.  It does not currently use
blkdev_issue_zeroout, but could be changed pretty trivially to do so.

> But note it will need to be plumbed down to md and dm to be generally
> useful.

DM and MD already support mddev_check_write_zeroes, at least for the
usual targets.

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