[LFS/MM TOPIC] Enabling file and directory change notification for network and cluster file systems

Amir Goldstein amir73il at gmail.com
Tue Jan 21 07:47:42 UTC 2020

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 5:55 AM Steve French <smfrench at gmail.com> wrote:
> Currently the inotify interface in the kernel can only be used for
> local file systems (unlike the previous change notify API used years
> ago, and the change notify interface in Windows and other OS which is
> primarily of interest for network file systems).
> I wanted to discuss the VFS changes needed to allow inotify requests
> to be passed into file systems so network and cluster file systems (as
> an example in the SMB3 case this simply means sending a
> SMB3_CHANGE_NOTIFY request to the server, whether Samba or Cloud
> (Azure) or Mac or Windows or Network Appliance - all support the API
> on the server side, the problem is that the network or cluster fs
> client isn't told about the request to wait on the inotify event).
> Although user space tools can use file system specific ioctls to wait
> on events, it is obviously preferable to allow network and cluster
> file systems to wait on events using the calls which current Linux
> GUIs use.
> This would allow gnome file manager GUI for example to be
> automatically updated when a file is added to an open directory window
> from another remote client.
> It would also fix the embarrassing problem noted in the inotify man page:
> "Inotify  reports  only events that a user-space program triggers
> through the filesystem
>        API.  As a result, it does not catch remote events that occur
> on  network  filesystems."
> but that is precisely the types of notifications that are most useful
> ... users often are aware of updates to local directories from the
> same system, but ... automatic notifications that allow GUIs to be
> updated on changes from **other** clients is of more value (and this
> is exactly what the equivalent API allows on other OS).
> The changes to the Linux VFS are small.

Miklos has already posted an RFC patch:

Did you try it?

You also did not answer Miklos' question:
does the smb protocol support whole filesystem (or subtree) notifications?
(or just per-directory notifications)?


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