Subject: Re: Large inodes for ffs
To: Bill Studenmund <>
From: Paul Goyette <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 03/23/1999 13:25:42
Is the vnextops interface going to be sufficiently general to store
(pointers to) arbitrarily large amounts of "opaque data" per file?
Where would this info be stored, in "continuation inodes"?

On Tue, 23 Mar 1999, Bill Studenmund wrote:

> Jason, Albeaus Bayucan, and I have been working on adding large inode
> support to ffs. We've had it working here for a few months, and would like
> to get it in 1.4.
> Jason did most of the ffs kernel work, Albeaus the userland, and I got
> vnextops going.
> The main idea is to grow ffs inode to 256 bytes so that we can add new
> features to the fs, such as adding acess control lists (ACL's) and storing
> application-specific info in the node (to let layered filesystems store
> their info in the inode). We also pick up enough room to handle being
> Y2038-safe.
> We do this by giving large inode ffs's a different magic number from
> current ffs's. Everything which depends on the size of the on-disk inode
> tests/remembers which inode type we have, and reacts accordingly.
> We also have added a new system call, vnextops, which performs "extended
> operations" on a vnode. This system call gives a general interface to
> testing, reading, and changing the information saved in the extra space. 
> These "extended ops" are like ioctl's, except they manipulate the file
> system rather than a device. They can be used to update ACL's (not yet
> implimented) or to perform fs-specific operations. The vnextops() command
> space is broken into two spaces of 32k each. One is for general operations
> (like testing for the presence of Application Specific opaque data or acl
> updating), and the other half is for fs-specific use.
> At present, we have:
> Defined a large inode structure which contains: the traditional inode, 96
> bytes of application-specific (layer fs, etc) data, a flags byte to
> indicate what optional data is present, and 28 u_int32_t's. One of the
> bits in the flag byte indicates the presence of application-specific data.
> The other bits will indicate the presence of ACL's, etc., when defined.
> Modified ffs to support two sizes of inodes. All tests to determine the
> size of the inode check the inode type and return the correct value (128
> or 256). We also handle endian-independence correctly.
> We added a vnextops() syscall, designed to manipulate this extra
> information. At present the only defined extened ops are to test, get,
> set, and clear application-specific opaque data.
> We have updated newfs, fsck, dump, restore, fsirand, and quotacheck to
> deal with the different indoe structure.
> We have been running this changed code on both i386 and Alpha machines,
> and it seems fine.
> Thoughts?
> Take care,
> Bill

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