Re: filesystem transactions API

From: Ville Herva
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 08:48:58 EST

On Wed, Apr 27, 2005 at 11:34:12AM +0200, you [Jan Hudec] wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 26, 2005 at 16:24:34 +0100, Jamie Lokier wrote:
> > John Stoffel wrote:
> > > >>>>> "Jamie" == Jamie Lokier <jamie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> > >
> > > Jamie> No. A transaction means that _all_ processes will see the
> > > Jamie> whole transaction or not.
> > >
> > > This is really hard. How do you handle the case where process X
> > > starts a transaction modifies files a, b & c, but process Y has file b
> > > open for writing, and never lets it go? Or the file gets unlinked?
> >
> > Then it starts to depend on what kind of transactions you want to
> > implement.
> >
> > You can say that a transaction isn't allowed when a process has one of
> > the files opened for writing. Or you can say a transaction is
> > equivalent to calling all of the I/O system calls at once. You can
> > also decide if you want the reads and directory lookups performed in
> > the transactions to become prerequisites for the transaction
> > completing (so it's aborted if another process writes to those file
> > regions or changes the directory structure in a way which breaks a
> > prerequisite), or if you want those to lock the things which are read
> > for the duration of the transaction, or even just ignore reads for
> > transaction purposes. Or, you can say that transactions are limited
> > to just directory structure, and not file contents (that's good enough
> > for package management), or you can say they're limited to just file
> > contents (that's good enough for databases and text file edits).
> >
> > Etc, etc, quite a lot of semantic choices.
> How do we specify which calls belong to a transaction? By some kind of
> extra file handle?
> I'd think having global per-process transaction is not the best way.
> So I think we should have some kind of transaction handle (probably in
> the file handle space) and a way to say that a syscall is done within
> a transaction. To avoid duplicating all syscalls, we could have
> set_active_transaction() operation.

That's more or less what NTFS does. See the example at

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