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Re: [Qemu-block] [PATCH for-2.12 v2] qcow2: Reset free_cluster_index whe

From: Kevin Wolf
Subject: Re: [Qemu-block] [PATCH for-2.12 v2] qcow2: Reset free_cluster_index when allocating a new refcount block
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 16:07:28 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.9.1 (2017-09-22)

Am 21.03.2018 um 15:10 hat Alberto Garcia geschrieben:
> On Wed 21 Mar 2018 02:52:38 PM CET, Kevin Wolf wrote:
> >>      qemu-img create -f qcow2 -o cluster_size=512 hd.qcow2 1M
> >>      qemu-io -c 'write 0 124k' hd.qcow2
> >>      qemu-io -c 'write 124k 512' hd.qcow2
> >
> > So if I understand correctly, this is what we get:
> >
> > 0x20000: free
> > 0x20200: refcount block
> > 0x20400: data cluster
> > 0x20600: potential next data cluster
> Yes.
> >> What this patch does is reset s->free_cluster_index to its previous
> >> value when alloc_refcount_block() returns -EAGAIN. This way the caller
> >> will try to allocate again the original clusters if they are still
> >> free.
> >
> > This is an improvement, because now we should avoid the unused cluster:
> >
> > 0x20000: data cluster
> > 0x20200: refcount block
> > 0x20400: potential next data cluster
> That's correct.
> > But now the data clusters are fragmented. Should we try to change the
> > logic so that already the refcount block allocation can make use of
> > the free space? That is:
> >
> > 0x20000: refcount block
> > 0x20200: data cluster
> > 0x20400: contiguous potential next data cluster
> Well, the clusters before 0x20000 are also data clusters so there's
> going to be fragmentation anyway. Also, if you're writing more than 1
> data cluster in a single request when the refcount block allocation
> happens all those new data clusters are still going to be contiguous
> (before the new refcount block).

That's true.

I just remembered that when I looked at an image recently, I noticed
that the refcount block wasn't in the first cluster and I disliked it,
though mostly because it felt untidy rather than being a problem. There
was one effect that might count as an advantage, though: The first few
data clusters covered by the refcount block were corrupted before the
overlap check for the refcount block stopped it.

Not necessarily worth changing the logic, I just thought I'd bring it
up and see whether anyone else dislikes it.

> Another possibility that I considered was to make alloc_clusters_noref()
> return the offset but let free_cluster_index untouched until the
> refcounts are correct, but this requires more code and I fear that
> keeping free_cluster_index pointing to the clusters we're trying to
> allocate can lead to unexpected surprises.

Possibly. I think if I wanted to change the order, I'd consider
returning a hard error from update_refcount() when no refcount block is
available, and then the caller would have to call alloc_refcount_block()
manually before retrying update_refcount().

> The solution I chose is -I think- the simplest and easiest to audit.
> On a related note, I'm using a script that I wrote myself to debug qcow2
> images. It prints the contents of the header and lists all host
> clusters, indicating the type of each one. I find it useful to debug
> problems like this one. If there's nothing similar already existing I
> can post it and we could put it in the scripts/ directory.

Having a qcow2 analysis script in the repo sounds like a good idea. John
has something, too. Maybe we can check whether the two things complement
each other and then check in a script that combines both (or if one
provides a superset of the other, just check in that one).


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