DragonFly BSD
DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2003-09
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cache_lookup() work this week.

From: Matthew Dillon <dillon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2003 22:10:31 -0700 (PDT)

    (also posted to freebsd-stable)

    I am starting work on on cache_lookup() and related functions now in
    DragonFly.  I expect it will take at least the week to get a prototype
    working and I believe the resulting patch set will be fairly easy to
    port to FreeBSD.

    The first step I am taking is to make the namecache more persistent.
    *ALL* active vnodes accessed via lookup() will be guarenteed to have a
    namecache entry.  I have successfully booted a test system with this
    change, though I am sure there are bugs :-).  I am not entirely sure what
    to do about the filehandle functions but I am not going to worry about
    it for the moment.  What this basically means is that vnodes cannot be
    recycled in the 'middle' of the topology, only at the leafs.  This does
    not present a big problem since files are always leafs.  The namecache
    topology will be guarenteed to remain unbroken except in cases where
    the namespace is deleted (e.g. removing a file with active descriptors).

    The second step will be to use a namecache structural pointer for our
    'directory handle' in all places in the system where a directory handle
    is expected (e.g. 'dvp').  This will also involve getting rid of the
    vnode-based parent directory support (v_dd).  Since the namecache
    structure has a pointer to the vnode this is a pretty easy step.  A
    little harder will be to fix all the directory scanning functions to
    use the namecache topology instead of the vnode topology. 

    The third step will be to use the namecache for all name-based locking
    operations instead of the underlying vnodes.  For example, if you
    are renaming a/b to c/d you only need to hold locks on the namecache
    entry representing "b" and the one representing "d" prior to executing
    the rename operation.  The one representing "d" will be a negative
    cache entry, placemarking the operation.  This will not only completely
    solve the locking issues with rename(), remove(), and create, it also
    completely solves directory recursion stalls in both directions, 
    completely solves the race to root issue, solves most of the directory
    lookup stalls (cache case lookups will not need a vnode lock and can
    run in parallel with directory operations that do need the vnode lock),
    gets rid of all name-related deadlock situations, and potentially allows
    modifying directory operations to become reentrant down the line.

    The fourth step will be a *BIG* Carrot... the namecache topology does
    not have a problem with vnodes appearing in multiple places in the
    filesystem.  This means that (A) it will be possible to hardlink
    directories and (B) it will be possible to implement semi-hard links,
    basically softlinks that *look* like hardlinks and (C) to be able to 
    CD forwards and backwards without the system getting confused about
    paths.  In other words, some way cool shit.

    Additional optimizations are possible for the future.  For example,
    it will be possible to cache ucred pointers in the namecache structure
    and thus allow namei() to *COMPLETELY* resolve a path without making
    any VOP calls at all, which will at least double and probably quadruple
    best case path lookup performance.

    I'll post an update after step 3, probably near the end of the week or
    on the weekend.  I expect people will start screaming for Step 4 now
    that they know it is possible :-)

					Matthew Dillon 

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