should we change the name/macros of file-private locks?

Jeff Layton jlayton at
Wed Apr 16 12:57:46 MDT 2014

Sorry to spam so many lists, but I think this needs widespread
distribution and consensus.

File-private locks have been merged into Linux for v3.15, and *now*
people are commenting that the name and macro definitions for the new
file-private locks suck.

...and I can't even disagree. They do suck.

We're going to have to live with these for a long time, so it's
important that we be happy with the names before we're stuck with them.

Michael Kerrisk suggested several names but I think the only one that
doesn't have other issues is "file-associated locks", which can be
distinguished against "process-associated" locks (aka classic POSIX

At the same time, he suggested that we rename the command macros since
the 'P' suffix would no longer be relevant. He suggested something like


That would also make them more visually distinguishable from the
classic F_GETLK/F_SETLK/F_SETLKW commands. I like that change in
particular, as the original macros names would be easy to typo.

I think we'd also need to rename how these are reported in /proc/locks.
Currently they have a type label of "FLPVT". I'd suggest that we
change that to "FASSOC". For v3.15, this is the only part we'd
absolutely have to change before it ships. The rest I can fix up in

Does this sound like a reasonable set of changes to make? Does anyone
else have a better set of names they can suggest? Speak now, or forever
hold your peace!

Jeff Layton <jlayton at>

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