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Allocating uninitialized file blocks

Allocating uninitialized file blocks

Posted Apr 20, 2012 5:41 UTC (Fri) by jzbiciak (subscriber, #5246)
In reply to: Allocating uninitialized file blocks by nybble41
Parent article: Allocating uninitialized file blocks

Well, this new fallocate() feature is explicit. It's not like we're suddenly changing the semantics of holes in files. It's really about policy vs. mechanism. We need to ask if this is a useful mechanism, and if so, can user space use it safely if it adopts appropriate polices?

The definition of "appropriate policy" depends entirely on the usage scenario and security requirements of the system and application. A DVR disk that has nothing but video files on it won't leak anything interesting, so this fallocate() mode may be perfectly suited to it, for example, assuming a bittorent-style scattered download.

All that said, this new mode does need to prove its usefulness. If the performance issue is unique to ext4, then it's probably better to just fix ext4.

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