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[Qemu-devel] [PATCH v2] qemu-nbd: Deprecate qemu-nbd --partition

From: Eric Blake
Subject: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v2] qemu-nbd: Deprecate qemu-nbd --partition
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2019 17:48:37 -0600

The existing qemu-nbd --partition code claims to handle logical
partitions up to 8, since its introduction in 2008 (commit 7a5ca86).
However, the implementation is bogus (actual MBR logical partitions
form a sort of linked list, with one partition per extended table
entry, rather than four logical partitions in a single extended
table), making the code unlikely to work for anything beyond -P5 on
actual guest images. What's more, the code does not support GPT
partitions, which are becoming more popular, and maintaining device
subsetting in both NBD and the raw device is unnecessary duplication
of effort (even if it is not too difficult).

Note that obtaining the offsets of a partition (MBR or GPT) can be
learned by using 'qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0 file.qcow2 && sfdisk --dump
/dev/nbd0', but by the time you've done that, you might as well
just mount /dev/nbd0p1 that the kernel creates for you instead of
bothering with qemu exporting a subset.  Or, keeping to just
user-space code, use nbdkit's partition filter, which has already
known both GPT and primary MBR partitions for a while, and was
just recently enhanced to support arbitrary logical MBR parititions.

Start the clock on the deprecation cycle, with examples of how
to write device subsetting without using -P.

Signed-off-by: Eric Blake <address@hidden>

v2: actual nbdkit example [Rich], improved doc wording
 qemu-deprecated.texi | 33 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 qemu-nbd.texi        |  6 ++++--
 qemu-nbd.c           |  2 ++
 3 files changed, 39 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/qemu-deprecated.texi b/qemu-deprecated.texi
index 219206a836f..d35e78c81ff 100644
--- a/qemu-deprecated.texi
+++ b/qemu-deprecated.texi
@@ -175,3 +175,36 @@ The above, converted to the current supported format:
 @subsubsection "irq": "" (since 3.0.0)

 The ``irq'' property is obsoleted.
address@hidden Related binaries
address@hidden qemu-nbd --partition (since 4.0.0)
+The ``qemu-nbd --partition $digit'' code (also spelled @option{-P})
+can only handle MBR partitions, and has never correctly handled
+logical partitions beyond partition 5.  If you know the offset and
+length of the partition (perhaps by using @code{sfdisk} within the
+guest), you can achieve the effect of exporting just that subset of
+the disk by use of the @option{--image-opts} option with a raw
+blockdev using the @code{offset} and @code{size} parameters layered on
+top of any other existing blockdev. For example, if partition 1 is
+100MiB long starting at 1MiB, the old command:
address@hidden -t -P 1 -f qcow2 file.qcow2}
+can be rewritten as:
address@hidden -t --image-opts 
+Alternatively, the @code{nbdkit} project provides a more powerful
+partition filter on top of its nbd plugin, which can be used to select
+an arbitrary MBR or GPT partition on top of any other full-image NBD
+export.  Using this to rewrite the above example results in:
address@hidden -t -k /tmp/sock -f qcow2 file.qcow2 &}
address@hidden -f --filter=partition nbd socket=/tmp/sock partition=1}
+Note that if you are exposing the export via /dev/nbd0, it is easier
+to just export the entire image and then mount only /dev/nbd0p1 than
+it is to reinvoke @command{qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0} limited to just a
+subset of the image.
diff --git a/qemu-nbd.texi b/qemu-nbd.texi
index 386bece4680..d0c51828149 100644
--- a/qemu-nbd.texi
+++ b/qemu-nbd.texi
@@ -56,8 +56,10 @@ auto-detecting.
 @item -r, --read-only
 Export the disk as read-only.
 @item -P, address@hidden
-Only expose MBR partition @var{num}.  Understands physical partitions
-1-4 and logical partitions 5-8.
+Deprecated: Only expose MBR partition @var{num}.  Understands physical
+partitions 1-4 and logical partition 5. New code should instead use
address@hidden with the raw driver wrapping a subset of the
+original image.
 @item -B, address@hidden
 If @var{filename} has a qcow2 persistent bitmap @var{name}, expose
 that bitmap via the ``qemu:dirty-bitmap:@var{name}'' context
diff --git a/qemu-nbd.c b/qemu-nbd.c
index 1f7b2a03f5d..00c07fd27ea 100644
--- a/qemu-nbd.c
+++ b/qemu-nbd.c
@@ -787,6 +787,8 @@ int main(int argc, char **argv)
             flags &= ~BDRV_O_RDWR;
         case 'P':
+            warn_report("The '-P' option is deprecated; use --image-opts with "
+                        "a raw device wrapper for subset exports instead");
             if (qemu_strtoi(optarg, NULL, 0, &partition) < 0 ||
                 partition < 1 || partition > 8) {
                 error_report("Invalid partition '%s'", optarg);

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