[PATCH] fs: push sync_filesystem() down to the file system's remount_fs()

Theodore Ts'o tytso at mit.edu
Thu Mar 13 19:23:00 MDT 2014

On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 07:33:02PM -0500, Steve French wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM, Theodore Ts'o <tytso at mit.edu> wrote:
> > Previously, the no-op "mount -o mount /dev/xxx" operation when the
> > file system is already mounted read-write causes an implied,
> > unconditional syncfs().  This seems pretty stupid, and it's certainly
> > documented or guaraunteed to do this, nor is it particularly useful,
> > except in the case where the file system was mounted rw and is getting
> > remounted read-only.
> Is there a case where a file system, not mounted read-only,
> would want to skip the syncfs on remount?  I don't know
> of any particular reason to do a syncfs on remount unless
> caching behavior is changing (or moving to read-only mount),
> but if as you say it is documented and guaranteed...

If the file system is mounted read-write, and it is transitioning to
read-only, i.e. "mount -o remount,ro /" then you do want to write out
all dirty data before you transition it to be read-only (otherwise you
would lose data).

It is my belief that this is the _only_ data integrity issue which is
implied by remount (and this is more about not losing work done by
previous system calls).

The background reason for this commit is that a user complained on the
ext4 list that he is using containers in a virtualization environment,
and due to the init scripts which the user doesn't want to change, it
is causing gazillions of no-op remounts, and this is causing ext4 (and
xfs) to do send CACHE FLUSH commands because it is required by the
syncfs(2) system call, which also calls sync_filesystem.  These CACHE
FLUSH commands are unneeded for anything, especially for these no-op
remounts, and so I want them to go away for remounts, but they should
still be there in response to syncfs(2) requests.


					- Ted

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