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To: Andrew Morton <>,
	Al Viro <>, Jan Kara <>,,,,,,
	Chris Mason <>, Josef Bacik <>,
	David Sterba <>,
	"Darrick J . Wong" <>
Cc: Carlos Maiolino <>,
	Eryu Guan <>, David Howells <>,
	Christoph Hellwig <>,
	Liu Bo <>,,,,,,
Subject: [PATCH v8 12/18] Documentation: flesh out the section in vfs.txt on storing and reporting writeback errors
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2017 09:19:48 -0400
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

From: Jeff Layton <>

Let's try to make this extra clear for fs authors.

Cc: Jan Kara <>
Signed-off-by: Jeff Layton <>
 Documentation/filesystems/vfs.txt | 43 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++---
 1 file changed, 40 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/Documentation/filesystems/vfs.txt b/Documentation/filesystems/vfs.txt
index f42b90687d40..1366043b3942 100644
--- a/Documentation/filesystems/vfs.txt
+++ b/Documentation/filesystems/vfs.txt
@@ -576,7 +576,42 @@ should clear PG_Dirty and set PG_Writeback.  It can be actually
 written at any point after PG_Dirty is clear.  Once it is known to be
 safe, PG_Writeback is cleared.
-Writeback makes use of a writeback_control structure...
+Writeback makes use of a writeback_control structure to direct the
+operations.  This gives the the writepage and writepages operations some
+information about the nature of and reason for the writeback request,
+and the constraints under which it is being done.  It is also used to
+return information back to the caller about the result of a writepage or
+writepages request.
+Handling errors during writeback
+Most applications that utilize the pagecache will periodically call
+fsync to ensure that data written has made it to the backing store.
+When there is an error during writeback, they expect that error to be
+reported when fsync is called.  After an error has been reported on one
+fsync, subsequent fsync calls on the same file descriptor should return
+0, unless further writeback errors have occurred since the previous
+Ideally, the kernel would report an error only on file descriptions on
+which writes were done that subsequently failed to be written back.  The
+generic pagecache infrastructure does not track the file descriptions
+that have dirtied each individual page however, so determining which
+file descriptors should get back an error is not possible.
+Instead, the generic writeback error tracking infrastructure in the
+kernel settles for reporting errors to fsync on all file descriptions
+that were open at the time that the error occurred.  In a situation with
+multiple writers, all of them will get back an error on a subsequent fsync,
+even if all of the writes done through that particular file descriptor
+succeeded (or even if there were no writes on that file descriptor at all).
+Filesystems that wish to use this infrastructure should call
+mapping_set_error to record the error in the address_space when it
+occurs.  Then, at the end of their fsync operation, they should call
+file_check_and_advance_wb_err to ensure that the struct file's error
+cursor has advanced to the correct point in the stream of errors emitted
+by the backing device(s).
 struct address_space_operations
@@ -804,7 +839,8 @@ struct address_space_operations {
 The File Object
-A file object represents a file opened by a process.
+A file object represents a file opened by a process. This is also known
+as an "open file description" in POSIX parlance.
 struct file_operations
@@ -887,7 +923,8 @@ otherwise noted.
   release: called when the last reference to an open file is closed
-  fsync: called by the fsync(2) system call
+  fsync: called by the fsync(2) system call. Also see the section above
+	 entitled "Handling errors during writeback".
   fasync: called by the fcntl(2) system call when asynchronous
 	(non-blocking) mode is enabled for a file

  parent reply index

Thread overview: 36+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2017-06-29 13:19 [PATCH v8 00/18] fs: enhanced writeback error reporting with errseq_t (pile #1) jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 01/18] fs: remove call_fsync helper function jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 02/18] buffer: use mapping_set_error instead of setting the flag jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 03/18] fs: check for writeback errors after syncing out buffers in generic_file_fsync jlayton
2017-06-29 14:19   ` Christoph Hellwig
2017-06-29 20:17     ` Jeff Layton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 04/18] buffer: set errors in mapping at the time that the error occurs jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 05/18] jbd2: don't clear and reset errors after waiting on writeback jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 06/18] mm: clear AS_EIO/AS_ENOSPC when writeback initiation fails jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 07/18] mm: don't TestClearPageError in __filemap_fdatawait_range jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 08/18] mm: clean up error handling in write_one_page jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 09/18] lib: add errseq_t type and infrastructure for handling it jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 10/18] fs: new infrastructure for writeback error handling and reporting jlayton
2017-06-29 13:45   ` Jeff Layton
2017-06-29 17:52   ` Jeff Layton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 11/18] mm: set both AS_EIO/AS_ENOSPC and errseq_t in mapping_set_error jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` jlayton [this message]
2017-06-29 17:11   ` [PATCH v8 12/18] Documentation: flesh out the section in vfs.txt on storing and reporting writeback errors Darrick J. Wong
2017-06-29 18:13     ` Jeff Layton
2017-06-29 18:21       ` Matthew Wilcox
2017-06-29 20:42         ` Jeff Layton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 13/18] dax: set errors in mapping when writeback fails jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 14/18] block: convert to errseq_t based writeback error tracking jlayton
2017-06-29 14:18   ` Christoph Hellwig
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 15/18] fs: convert __generic_file_fsync to use errseq_t based reporting jlayton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 16/18] ext4: use errseq_t based error handling for reporting data writeback errors jlayton
2017-06-29 14:12   ` Christoph Hellwig
2017-06-29 20:26     ` Jeff Layton
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 17/18] xfs: minimal conversion to errseq_t writeback error reporting jlayton
2017-06-29 14:12   ` Christoph Hellwig
2017-06-30 16:45     ` Jeff Layton
2017-06-30 16:49       ` Christoph Hellwig
2017-06-29 17:13   ` Darrick J. Wong
2017-06-29 13:19 ` [PATCH v8 18/18] btrfs: minimal conversion to errseq_t writeback error reporting on fsync jlayton
2017-06-29 14:17   ` Christoph Hellwig
2017-06-29 20:32     ` Jeff Layton

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