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From: Hans de Goede <>
To: Christoph Hellwig <>
Cc: Alexander Viro <>,
	David Howells <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v13] fs: Add VirtualBox guest shared folder (vboxsf) support
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:01:13 +0200
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>


Thank you once more more for the review and also for
the quick turn-around time.

On 16-08-19 09:56, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> A couple minor comments.  Otherwise we should be fine, things aren't
> going to get much better for such a messed up protocol design.
>> +			return dir_emit(ctx, d_name, strlen(d_name),
>> +					fake_ino, d_type);
>> +		} else {
>> +			return dir_emit(ctx,
>> +					info->name.string.utf8,
>> +					info->name.length,
>> +					fake_ino, d_type);
>> +		}
>> +	}
> Nitpick: no need for an else after a return.

Fixed for the next version.

>> +static int vboxsf_file_release(struct inode *inode, struct file *file)
>> +{
>> +	struct vboxsf_inode *sf_i = VBOXSF_I(inode);
>> +	struct vboxsf_handle *sf_handle = file->private_data;
>> +
>> +	filemap_write_and_wait(inode->i_mapping);
> Normal Linux semantics don't include writing back data on close, so
> if you are doing this to follow other things like NFS CTO semantics
> it should have a comment explaining that.

Ok, I've added the following comment for the next version:

          * When a file is closed on our (the guest) side, we want any subsequent
          * accesses done on the host side to see all changes done from our side.

>> +
>> +	mutex_lock(&sf_i->handle_list_mutex);
>> +	list_del(&sf_handle->head);
>> +	mutex_unlock(&sf_i->handle_list_mutex);
>> +
>> +	kref_put(&sf_handle->refcount, vboxsf_handle_release);
>> +	file->private_data = NULL;
> There is no need to zero ->private_data on release, the file gets
> freed and never reused.

Fixed for the next version.

>> + * Ideally we would wrap generic_file_read_iter with a function which also
>> + * does this check, to reduce the chance of us missing writes happening on the
>> + * host side after open(). But the vboxsf stat call to the host only works on
>> + * filenames, so that would require caching the filename in our
>> + * file->private_data and there is no guarantee that filename will still
>> + * be valid at read_iter time. So this would be in no way bulletproof.
> Well, you can usually generate a file name from file->f_path.dentry.
> The only odd case is opened by unliked files.  NFS has a special hack
> for those called sillyrename (you can grep for that). 

Right, so since the unlink or a normal rename could happen on the host side
and there is no notification of that, those will be 2 areas where a stat
call to verify will fail, which leaves us with 3 options:

1) Make stat calls before read() calls, if they fail purge the cache to be safe
2) Make stat calls before read(), on failure ignore the stat call
3) Treat read() calls like other page-cache reads such as sendfile or mmap
and only check if the cache is stale at open() time.

> How similar to normal posix semantics are expected from this fs?

Similar enough to have most apps work normally. Certainly we should make
all accesses from the guest side be consistent with each other / have
full posix semantics.

But mixing writes from both the host and guest side is something which the
user IMHO should simply be careful with doing. Until I fixed it about a year
ago there was a long standing bug upstream where users would edit web-pages
on the host and then serve them from Apache on the guest. Apache would use
sendfile, going through the pagecache and keep serving the old file.
This is where the stale cache check in vboxsf_inode_revalidate() comes from
I added that to fix this issue.

The out of tree version of vboxsf is in use for many years and they have
gotten away without even the staleness check at open time() all that
time. To be fair they did pass through read() calls directly to the host
without going through the page-cache but that causes consistency issues
for accesses from within the guest which are more important to get right
IMHO, as there we can actually get things right.

TL;DR: I believe that the current approach which is 3. from above is
good enough and I like that it is very KISS. We can always switch to
1. or 2. (or add 1. and 2. and make it configurable) later if this shows
to be necessary.

Can you please let me know if option 3. / the KISS method is ok with you,
or if you would prefer me to add code to do 1. or 2?

Once I have an answer on this I will post a new version.

>> +
>> +	mutex_lock(&sf_i->handle_list_mutex);
>> +	list_for_each_entry(h, &sf_i->handle_list, head) {
>> +		if (h->access_flags == SHFL_CF_ACCESS_WRITE ||
>> +		    h->access_flags == SHFL_CF_ACCESS_READWRITE) {
>> +			kref_get(&h->refcount);
> Does this need a kref_get_unless_zero to deal with races during list
> removal?

List remove always happens with the handle_list_mutex held, so no
that is not necessary.



  reply index

Thread overview: 7+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-08-15 13:12 Hans de Goede
2019-08-15 13:12 ` Hans de Goede
2019-08-16  7:56   ` Christoph Hellwig
2019-08-16  9:01     ` Hans de Goede [this message]
2019-08-16  9:39       ` Hans de Goede
2019-08-16 12:49       ` Christoph Hellwig
2019-08-15 13:33 ` Hans de Goede

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