[Gluster-devel] Report ESTALE as ENOENT
rgowdapp at redhat.com
Wed Oct 11 11:26:43 UTC 2017
We ran into a regression . Hence reviving this thread.
----- Original Message -----
> From: "J. Bruce Fields" <bfields at fieldses.org>
> To: "Vijay Bellur" <vbellur at redhat.com>
> Cc: "Gluster Devel" <gluster-devel at gluster.org>, "Ira Cooper" <icooper at redhat.com>
> Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2016 1:22:46 AM
> Subject: Re: [Gluster-devel] Report ESTALE as ENOENT
> On Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 04:21:00PM -0400, Vijay Bellur wrote:
> > On 03/28/2016 09:34 AM, FNU Raghavendra Manjunath wrote:
> > >
> > >I can understand the concern. But I think instead of generally
> > >converting all the ESTALE errors ENOENT, probably we should try to
> > >analyze the errors that are generated by lower layers (like posix).
> > >
> > >Even fuse kernel module some times returns ESTALE. (Well, I can see it
> > >returning ESTALE errors in some cases in the code. Someone please
> > >correct me if thats not the case). And aso I am not sure if converting
> > >all the ESTALE errors to ENOENT is ok or not.
> > ESTALE in fuse is returned only for export_operations. fuse
> > implements this for providing support to export fuse mounts as nfs
> > exports. A cursory reading of the source seems to indicate that fuse
> > returns ESTALE only in cases where filehandle resolution fails.
> > >
> > >For fd based operations, I am not sure if ENOENT can be sent or not (as
> > >though the file is unlinked, it can be accessed if there were open fds
> > >on it before unlinking the file).
> > ESTALE should be fine for fd based operations. It would be analogous
> > to a filehandle resolution failing and should not be a common
> > occurrence.
> > >
> > >I feel, we have to look into some parts to check if they generating
> > >ESTALE is a proper error or not. Also, if there is any bug in below
> > >layers fixing which can avoid ESTALE errors, then I feel that would be
> > >the better option.
> > >
> > I would prefer to:
> > 1. Return ENOENT for all system calls that operate on a path.
> > 2. ESTALE might be ok for file descriptor based operations.
> Note that operations which operate on paths can fail with ESTALE when
> they attempt to look up a component within a directory that no longer
But, "man 2 rmdir" or "man 2 unlink" doesn't list ESTALE as a valid error. Also rm doesn't seem to handle ESTALE too 
> Maybe non-creating open("./foo") returning ENOENT would be reasonable in
> this case since that's what you'd get in the local filesystem case, but
> creat("./foo") returning ENOENT, for example, isn't something
> applications will be written to handle.
> The Linux VFS will retry ESTALE on path-based systemcalls *one* time, to
> reduce the chance of ESTALE in those cases.
I should've anticipated bug  due to this comment. My mistake. Bug  is indeed due to kernel not retrying open on receiving an ENOENT error. Glusterfs sent ENOENT because file's inode-number/nodeid changed but same path exists. The correct error would've been ESTALE, but due to our conversion of ESTALE to ENOENT, the latter was sent back to kernel.
Looking through kernel VFS code, only open *seems* to retry (do_filep_open). I couldn't find similar logic to other path based syscalls like rmdir, unlink, stat, chmod etc.
> The bugzilla entry that
> tracked those patches might be interesting:
> > NFS recommends that applications add special code for handling
> > ESTALE . Unfortunately changing application code is not easy and
> > hence it does not come as a surprise that coreutils also does not
> > accommodate ESTALE.
> We also need to consider whether the application's handling of the
> ENOENT case could be incorrect for the ESTALE case, with consequences
> possibly as bad as or worse than consequences of seeing an unexpected
> My first intuition is that translating ESTALE to ENOENT is less safe
> than not doing so, because:
> - once an ESTALE-unaware application his the ESTALE case, we
> risk a bug regardless of which we return, but if we return
> ESTALE at least the problem should be more obvious to the
> person debugging.
> - for ESTALE-aware applications, the ESTALE/ENOENT distinction
> is useful.
Another place to not convert is for those cases where kernel retries the operation on seeing an ESTALE.
I guess we need to think through each operation and we cannot ESTALE to ENOENT always.
> But I haven't really thought through examples.
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