Re: what is necessary for directory hard links

From: Valdis . Kletnieks
Date: Mon Jul 24 2006 - 03:25:07 EST

On Mon, 24 Jul 2006 10:45:45 +0400, Nikita Danilov said:
> Joshua Hudson writes:

> > In my filesystem, any attempt to create a loop of hard links
> > is detected and cancelled.
> Can you elaborate a bit on this exciting mechanism? Obviously an ability
> to efficiently detect loops would be a break-through in a
> reference-counted garbage collection, somehow missed for last 40

It's actually pretty trivial to do if it's a toy filesystem and all the
relevant inodes are in-memory already. The hard-to-solve part is getting
around the (apparent) need to walk across essentially the entire tree
structure making sure that you aren't creating a loop. This can get
rather performance piggy - even /home on my laptop has some 400K
inodes on it, and a 'find /home -type d' takes 28 seconds. That's a *long*
time to lock and freeze a filesystem.

Where it gets *really* messy is that it isn't just mkdir that's the problem -
once you let there be more than one path from the fs root to a given directory,
it gets *really* hard to make sure that any given 'mv' command isn't going to
to screw things up (is 'mv a/b/c/d ../../w/z/b' safe? How do you know, without
examining a *lot* of stuff under a/ and ../../w/?

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