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Date:   Wed, 20 Jul 2022 15:11:21 +0100
From:   Matthew Wilcox <>
To:     "Darrick J. Wong" <>
Cc:     Jeremy Bongio <>, Ted Tso <>,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v4] Add ioctls to get/set the ext4 superblock uuid.

On Tue, Jul 19, 2022 at 08:30:57PM -0700, Darrick J. Wong wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 20, 2022 at 04:18:51AM +0100, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> > On Tue, Jul 19, 2022 at 04:41:31PM -0700, Jeremy Bongio wrote:
> > > +/*
> > > + */
> > > +struct fsuuid {
> > > +	__u32       fsu_len;
> > > +	__u32       fsu_flags;
> > > +	__u8        fsu_uuid[];
> > > +};
> > 
> > A UUID has a defined size (128 bits):
> >
> > 
> > Why are we defining flags and len?
> @flags because XFS actually need to add a superblock feature bit
> (meta_uuid) to change the UUID while the fs is mounted.  That kind of
> change can break backwards compatiblity, so we might want to make
> *absolutely sure* that the sysadmin is aware of this:

OK.  So we'll define a 'force' flag at some point in the future.  Got it.

> @len because some filesystems like vfat have volume identifiers that
> aren't actually UUIDs (they're u32); some day someone might want to port
> vfat to implement at least the GETFSUUID part (they already have
> FAT_IOCTL_GET_VOLUME_ID); and given the amount of confusion that results
> when buffer lengths are implied (see [GS]ETFSLABEL) I'd rather this pair
> of ioctls be explicit about the buffer length now rather than deal with
> the fallout of omitting it now and regretting it later.

Uhhh.  So what are the semantics of len?  That is, on SET, what does
a filesystem do if userspace says "Here's 8 bytes" but the filesystem
usually uses 16 bytes?  What does the same filesystem do if userspace
offers it 32 bytes?  If the answer is "returns -EINVAL", how does
userspace discover what size of volume ID is acceptable to a particular

And then, on GET, does 'len' just mean "here's the length of the buffer,
put however much will fit into it"?  Should filesystems update it to
inform userspace how much was transferred?

I think there was mention of a manpage earlier.  And if this is truly
for "volume ID" instead of "UUID", then lets call it "volume ID" and
not "UUID" to prevent confusion.

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