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Re: [Qemu-block] [Qemu-devel] [PATCH 1/1] qcow2: handle cluster leak hap

From: Denis V. Lunev
Subject: Re: [Qemu-block] [Qemu-devel] [PATCH 1/1] qcow2: handle cluster leak happening with a guest TRIM command
Date: Tue, 23 May 2017 17:52:25 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.1.1

On 05/22/2017 04:02 PM, Eric Blake wrote:
> On 05/22/2017 06:56 AM, Denis V. Lunev wrote:
>>> As it is, your patch doesn't apply to master.  And even if it did, your
>>> patch breaks semantics - we CANNOT discard clusters that must read back
>>> as zeroes.
>> Can you pls give some details why the cluster can not be
>> discarded? This is something that I can not understand.
> The cluster CAN be discarded if the guest requests it.  There is a
> difference between:
> qemu-img -f qcow2 'w -z    0 64k' 1.img
> which says to ensure that the cluster reads back as zero, but to NOT
> unmap things (corresponding to NBD_CMD_WRITE_ZEROES with
> NBD_CMD_FLAG_NO_HOLE set), and:
> qemu-img -f qcow2 'w -z -u 0 64k' 1.img
> which says to ensure that the cluster reads back as zero, and that
> unmapping the cluster is permitted if that will make the operation
> faster and/or use less space (corresponding to NBD_CMD_WRITE_ZEROES with
> In current master, we've gone as far as to make an obvious difference
> between the two types of qcow2 zero clusters (see commit fdfab37);
> QCOW2_CLUSTER_ZERO_PLAIN corresponds to the case where the guest allowed
> a cluster to be unmapped, while QCOW2_CLUSTER_ZERO_ALLOC corresponds to
> the case where we've written zeroes but require the allocation mapping
> to remain intact.
> One of the big reasons why we do NOT want the guest to be able to
> convert a cluster to QCOW2_CLUSTER_UNALLOCATED after a write zero
> request (but only after a discard request) is that we don't want to
> audit what will happen if a backing file is later added to the image.
> If a guest does a discard, then they are acknowledging that the data in
> that cluster can read back as anything (we try to make it read back as
> zero where practical, but do not guarantee that).  But if a guest does a
> write zero request, even if they permit unmapping, the semantics require
> that they can read back zero, no matter what happens to the backing chain.
> An example that Kevin used to convince me was the process of drive
> mirroring: if you mirror just the active qcow2 layer, then cancel the
> mirror, the destination is supposed to be a snapshot of what the guest
> saw at that moment, once you rebase the destination image to be on top
> of the same backing contents as the source saw.  That implies that I can
> use 'qemu-img rebase -u' to inject a backing chain.  If we mirror a zero
> cluster over to the destination, and make sure the destination sees a
> QCOW2_CLUSTER_ZERO_PLAIN, then no matter what the backing chain we later
> rebase the destination onto, we still read 0 for that cluster (as the
> guest expected).  But if we mirror the zero cluster over and leave the
> destination image with QCOW2_CLUSTER_UNALLOCATED, then supply a backing
> chain where the cluster does not read as zero, then we have altered the
> guest-visible contents.  So it is safer to ALWAYS require that a guest
> write-zero action uses one of the two types of qcow2 zero clusters, to
> keep the guest-visible contents of that cluster constant no matter what
> rebasing actions later occur.
> That said, we've also had a conversation on things we can do to improve
> mirroring; one of the ideas was to add a new flag (comparable to the
> existing BDRV_REQ_MAY_UNMAP) that mirroring (but not guest actions) can
> use to request that zero_single_l2() is permitted to reuse
> QCOW2_CLUSTER_UNALLOCATED instead of having to switch to
> QCOW2_CLUSTER_ZERO_PLAIN, or where we can exploit PUNCH_HOLE semantics
> on the underlying bs->file to efficiently write zeroes into the file
> system even while keeping QCOW2_CLUSTER_ZERO_ALLOC at the qcow2 layer.
>> At my opinion the cluster is clearly marked with QCOW_OFLAG_ZERO
>> and thus will be read with zeroes regardless of the content of the
>> cluster which is pointed by the offset. This is actually what
>> happens on the FS without PUNCH_HOLE support.
>> That is why this offset can be actually reused for any other
>> block, what is I am trying to propose.
> Yes, when using write zeros with unmap (qemu-io -c 'w -z -u ...'), then
> the code already unmaps the cluster, so that it can be reused for any
> other block.  So it boils down to whether your guest is really
> requesting write zeroes with permission to unmap, and whether any other
> options you have specified regarding the disk are filtering out
> BDRV_REQ_MAY_UNMAP before it reaches the qcow2 layer.
this is very clear now. Thank you very much for this letter.

Thank you and best regards,

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