Exporting jffs2 by nfs with kernel 2.6

David Woodhouse dwmw2 at infradead.org
Thu Sep 28 03:07:12 EDT 2006

On Thu, 2006-09-28 at 16:50 +1000, Neil Brown wrote:
> On Thursday September 28, dwmw2 at infradead.org wrote:
> > On Wed, 2006-09-27 at 16:31 +0200, Gregory CLEMENT wrote:
> > > Hi all,
> > > 
> > > On 2.4.18 we managed to export a jffs2 filesystem by nfs.
> > > Now on 2.6.16 we can't.
> > > I found 2 problems for it:
> > > First, changed was made in nfs, and now they test if
> > > s_export_op is not a void pointer. By dding a pointer on
> > > this structure (even this structure is void) makes nfs happy.
> > 
> > > If the structure is void nfs use generic function, so for this part
> > > I think it's ok
> > 
> > Hm, OK. What are the implications of providing _none_ of our own
> > functions and just using the defaults? Shouldn't we provide at least a
> > get_parent() function?
> Yes.  You need a get_parent function.
> Minimally it can just return -ESTALE, but that can propagate out to
> the client if your dcache gets flushed or you reboot.  It is best to
> do it properly, and shouldn't be too hard (providing your directories
> actually have a ".." or equivalent).

They don't. OTOH, it might not be impossible to record that information
if it's really necessary. Since it's a purely log-structured file system
we have to keep a lot of information in RAM at all times anyway,
including a small amount of data for each inode on the file system. We
_do_ know the parent inode when we initially scan the medium, so we
could feasibly store that information by expanding the existing
per-inode data structure. (struct jffs2_inode_cache)

> > By do we need that anyway? I thought we used to just have disconnected
> > dentries until we happen to find their place in the tree, at which point
> > we connect them.
> Disconnected dentries are fine for files, but not for directories.
> For directories, the VFS invariants really require a full path down
> from the root to be in the dcache.

Hm. That wasn't the case in the past; that's an unfortunate development,
from this point of view. This file system was designed for Linux, but
that didn't include the possibility of finding parents like that. I
suppose I could do it, but it means an increase in RAM usage.

Hmm.... I wonder if I could abuse the nlink field we already have, and
use it to remember the parent inode in the case of directories. Is it OK
for get_parent() to return a correct answer only for directories, and
-ESTALE for files? Do we still use disconnected dentries for files in
that case, or will that be visible to the client as -ESTALE errors on

> > > Second, nfs need to identify the filesystem to export. It is done
> > > either by the device of the filesystem or by a "fsid". I didfn't see any
> > > filesystem use a "fsid" and I don't know how to use it. So identification
> > > is made if FS_REQUIRES_DEV is set. The problem was in kernel 2.5.7,
> > > this flag was removed because "We never really used the block device anyway".
> > > Do you mind setting this flag again? Or have you a better idea?
> > 
> > I suspect that we should add another export_ops function for get_fsid().
> Possibly.  but the normal approach with none-FS_REQUIRES_DEV
> filesystems is to specify an fsid= in /etc/exports.

It's not infeasible that other types of file system will have constant
fsids which can be provided by the file system code though. I'll take a
look at doing this.


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