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bug#9500: [PATCH]: use posix_fallocate where supported

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: bug#9500: [PATCH]: use posix_fallocate where supported
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 08:06:57 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:8.0) Gecko/20111115 Thunderbird/8.0

My read of the situation is that the filesystem guys have
spent a lot of time optimizing ordinary write but they
haven't gotten around to optimizing fallocate because it's
so rarely used -- which means that if one uses fallocate
one gets lousy performance.

It's a chicken and egg problem.

If coreutils started using fallocate now, one can be pretty
sure they'd tune their filesystems over the next few years,
to make fallocate compatible with delayed-write optimizations.
On the other hand if nobody uses fallocate, there will be little
incentive on their part to make it go fast.

It's a question of whether we want to inflict temporary pain
on users for a long-term benefit (early warning of file system
full, which is something I'd dearly love to have).

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