Coda File System

Re: CODA kernel module limitations...

From: Jan Harkes <>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 09:55:58 -0400
On Tue, Oct 17, 2000 at 02:07:33AM +0200, Roland Mainz wrote:
> Think about a ftp site (using CODA kernel-module and podfuk+ftpfs) which
> has large INDEX files (~60MB). File manager likes to determinate the
> datatype - reads the first two bytes - but triggers the download of
> 60MB. 
> Quite efficient, isn't it ? ;-(((
> (Possible) solution:
> Allow random-access (read/write etc.) to remote files.
> What about an interface to the SYSV-VFS layer, e.g. moving more stuff
> from kernel to userspace layer ?

This would actually introduce far too much overhead in context switches
between the application and the cache-manager. Besides, as far as Coda
is concerned, it makes it impossible to guarantee consistency. However,
there is another solution which we've been thinking of.

When a large file is opened, CODA_OPEN could return early, f.i. when
the first 8-64KB have been fetched. The kernel would get a `lease' on
accessing these first pages (both read and write), while the cache
manager pulls in the rest of the file.

When the application accessing the file seeks or reads past it's `lease'
it is blocked until the data is available, and the cachemanager has
returned a new lease. However when the application is done and closes
the file before everything has been fetched, the ongoing fetch can be

In this model, we can keep streaming data into the container files as
efficiently as possible, while at the same time allowing some early
access to the containerfile. One of the big problems is that most
applications don't handle read/write errors very well, so an interrupted
transfer (disconnection) would lead to silently truncated files. Mostly
due to user `error', when someone opens a file in an editor, makes some
changes but doesn't notice the end of the file was lost and saves it back.

Received on 2000-10-17 09:56:20