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Date:	Fri, 24 May 2013 20:21:08 -0700
From:	Linus Torvalds <>
To:	Al Viro <>
Cc:	Linux Kernel Mailing List <>,
	Eric Paris <>,
	James Morris <>
Subject: Re: Stupid VFS name lookup interface..

On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM, Linus Torvalds
<> wrote:
> Untested patch attached. It compiles cleanly, looks sane, and most of
> it is just making the function prototypes look much nicer. I think it
> works.

Ok, here's another patch in the "let's make the VFS go faster series".
This one, sadly, is not a cleanup.

The concept is simple: right now the inode->i_security pointer chasing
kills us on inode security checking with selinux. So let's move two of
the fields from the selinux security fields directly into the inode.
So instead of doing "inode->i_security->{sid,sclass}", we can just do
"inode->{i_sid,i_sclass}" directly.

It's a very mechanical transform, so it should all be good, but the
reason I don't much like it is that I think other security models
might want to do something like this too, and right now it's
selinux-specific. I could imagine making it just an anonymous union of
size 64 bits or something, and just making one of the union entries be
an (anonymous) struct with those two fields. So it's not conceptually
selinux-specific, but right now it's pretty much a selinux hack.

But it's a selinux-specific hack that really does matter. The
inode_has_perm() and selinux_inode_permission() functions show up
pretty high on kernel profiles that do a lot of filename lookup, and
it's pretty much all just that i_security pointer chasing and extra
cache miss.

With this, inode->i_security is not very hot any more, and we could
move the i_security pointer elsewhere in the inode.

Comments? I don't think this is *pretty* (and I do want to repeat that
it's not even tested yet), but I think it's worth it. We've been very
good at avoiding extra pointer dereferences in the path lookup, this
is one of the few remaining ones.


Download attachment "patch.diff" of type "application/octet-stream" (22962 bytes)

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