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Re: eventfd(2) and timerfd(2) APIs

    Date:        Sat, 18 Sep 2021 13:21:27 -0700
    From:        Jason Thorpe <>
    Message-ID:  <>

  | >  unless the
  | >  .Nm
  | >  object was created with
  | >  .Dv TFD_NONBLOCK .
  | I'm using those names, because those are the names used in the Linux API.

It wasn't the names I was concerned about.

  | If you look at the code (it's on the thorpej-futex branch),
  | you will see that they are aliases for O_NONBLOCK and O_CLOEXEC.

That was kind of obvious anyway from the man page:

  The following flags define the behavior of the resulting object:
  .Bl -tag -width "EFD_SEMAPHORE"
  Sets the
  flag; see
  .Xr open 2
  for more information.

  | I will clarify this in the man page.

probably isn't really necessary.   I was more concerned with the
"unless the object was created with" - implying that if those flags
are changed later, that would be irrelevant, as it is the state at
create time that matters.   That would be unfortunate indeed, but:

  | Actually, I didn't plumb fcntl through because just about nothing

might explain part of that (though you can't avoid the ability to
alter O_CLOEXEC that way, as that's a much higher level operation).

  | else plumbs it through either, but I'll go ahead and do so.

Please do.   What other things don't permit fcntl() to work?   We
should fix any of those.

  | The behavior of timerfd with respect to read is documented in my man page:

Yes, I saw that.

  | Writes to a timerfd return an error.  I will clarify this in the man page.

That would be useful.   You might want to also indicate how these
descriptors are destroyed (I assume just close(2) but who knows).

  | > Finally, what does fstat() return about these fds?

The one I should have asked about, but forgot, was (st_mode & _S_FMT)
Ie: what kind of object are these things pretending to be?

Since they're fd's, they can be inherited, open, by other processes
(and since the man page hints at it, probably sent through a AF_UNIX
socket), but particularly in the former case, the receiving process
needs to know (or at least be able to find out) what it is that is on
this fd it has received.

  | Of course, we don't document what these are for other kinds of descriptors,

for many there's no need, as everything is exactly what stat(2) claims
it will be.   For any where that is not true, or is insufficient, we
should be documenting it.

If this was just a linux compat hack, so linux binaries could run,
then most of this wouldn't matter - the application would do whatever
linux allows it to do, and nothing actually built on NetBSD would
ever care.

But if these are to be full NetBSD interfaces, they need to be
both complete (and sane) and properly documented.   That means
which of the f*() interfaces (fstat, fchmod, fchown, ...) work,
and which simply return errors, and whether any of them which
do work do anything useful.   Not necessarily documented in
those 2 man pages, but perhaps a section 9 page, and/or
section 4 if theses things are pretending to be some kind
of special file.


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