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+ This document gives a brief introduction to the caching
+mechanisms in the sunrpc layer that is used, in particular,
+for NFS authentication.
+
+CACHES
+======
+The caching replaces the old exports table and allows for
+a wide variety of values to be caches.
+
+There are a number of caches that are similar in structure though
+quite possibly very different in content and use. There is a corpus
+of common code for managing these caches.
+
+Examples of caches that are likely to be needed are:
+ - mapping from IP address to client name
+ - mapping from client name and filesystem to export options
+ - mapping from UID to list of GIDs, to work around NFS's limitation
+ of 16 gids.
+ - mappings between local UID/GID and remote UID/GID for sites that
+ do not have uniform uid assignment
+ - mapping from network identify to public key for crypto authentication.
+
+The common code handles such things as:
+ - general cache lookup with correct locking
+ - supporting 'NEGATIVE' as well as positive entries
+ - allowing an EXPIRED time on cache items, and removing
+ items after they expire, and are no longer in-use.
+ - making requests to user-space to fill in cache entries
+ - allowing user-space to directly set entries in the cache
+ - delaying RPC requests that depend on as-yet incomplete
+ cache entries, and replaying those requests when the cache entry
+ is complete.
+ - clean out old entries as they expire.
+
+Creating a Cache
+----------------
+
+1/ A cache needs a datum to store. This is in the form of a
+ structure definition that must contain a
+ struct cache_head
+ as an element, usually the first.
+ It will also contain a key and some content.
+ Each cache element is reference counted and contains
+ expiry and update times for use in cache management.
+2/ A cache needs a "cache_detail" structure that
+ describes the cache. This stores the hash table, some
+ parameters for cache management, and some operations detailing how
+ to work with particular cache items.
+ The operations requires are:
+ struct cache_head *alloc(void)
+ This simply allocates appropriate memory and returns
+ a pointer to the cache_detail embedded within the
+ structure
+ void cache_put(struct kref *)
+ This is called when the last reference to an item is
+ dropped. The pointer passed is to the 'ref' field
+ in the cache_head. cache_put should release any
+ references create by 'cache_init' and, if CACHE_VALID
+ is set, any references created by cache_update.
+ It should then release the memory allocated by
+ 'alloc'.
+ int match(struct cache_head *orig, struct cache_head *new)
+ test if the keys in the two structures match. Return
+ 1 if they do, 0 if they don't.
+ void init(struct cache_head *orig, struct cache_head *new)
+ Set the 'key' fields in 'new' from 'orig'. This may
+ include taking references to shared objects.
+ void update(struct cache_head *orig, struct cache_head *new)
+ Set the 'content' fileds in 'new' from 'orig'.
+ int cache_show(struct seq_file *m, struct cache_detail *cd,
+ struct cache_head *h)
+ Optional. Used to provide a /proc file that lists the
+ contents of a cache. This should show one item,
+ usually on just one line.
+ int cache_request(struct cache_detail *cd, struct cache_head *h,
+ char **bpp, int *blen)
+ Format a request to be send to user-space for an item
+ to be instantiated. *bpp is a buffer of size *blen.
+ bpp should be moved forward over the encoded message,
+ and *blen should be reduced to show how much free
+ space remains. Return 0 on success or <0 if not
+ enough room or other problem.
+ int cache_parse(struct cache_detail *cd, char *buf, int len)
+ A message from user space has arrived to fill out a
+ cache entry. It is in 'buf' of length 'len'.
+ cache_parse should parse this, find the item in the
+ cache with sunrpc_cache_lookup, and update the item
+ with sunrpc_cache_update.
+
+
+3/ A cache needs to be registered using cache_register(). This
+ includes it on a list of caches that will be regularly
+ cleaned to discard old data.
+
+Using a cache
+-------------
+
+To find a value in a cache, call sunrpc_cache_lookup passing a pointer
+to the cache_head in a sample item with the 'key' fields filled in.
+This will be passed to ->match to identify the target entry. If no
+entry is found, a new entry will be create, added to the cache, and
+marked as not containing valid data.
+
+The item returned is typically passed to cache_check which will check
+if the data is valid, and may initiate an up-call to get fresh data.
+cache_check will return -ENOENT in the entry is negative or if an up
+call is needed but not possible, -EAGAIN if an upcall is pending,
+or 0 if the data is valid;
+
+cache_check can be passed a "struct cache_req *". This structure is
+typically embedded in the actual request and can be used to create a
+deferred copy of the request (struct cache_deferred_req). This is
+done when the found cache item is not uptodate, but the is reason to
+believe that userspace might provide information soon. When the cache
+item does become valid, the deferred copy of the request will be
+revisited (->revisit). It is expected that this method will
+reschedule the request for processing.
+
+The value returned by sunrpc_cache_lookup can also be passed to
+sunrpc_cache_update to set the content for the item. A second item is
+passed which should hold the content. If the item found by _lookup
+has valid data, then it is discarded and a new item is created. This
+saves any user of an item from worrying about content changing while
+it is being inspected. If the item found by _lookup does not contain
+valid data, then the content is copied across and CACHE_VALID is set.
+
+Populating a cache
+------------------
+
+Each cache has a name, and when the cache is registered, a directory
+with that name is created in /proc/net/rpc
+
+This directory contains a file called 'channel' which is a channel
+for communicating between kernel and user for populating the cache.
+This directory may later contain other files of interacting
+with the cache.
+
+The 'channel' works a bit like a datagram socket. Each 'write' is
+passed as a whole to the cache for parsing and interpretation.
+Each cache can treat the write requests differently, but it is
+expected that a message written will contain:
+ - a key
+ - an expiry time
+ - a content.
+with the intention that an item in the cache with the give key
+should be create or updated to have the given content, and the
+expiry time should be set on that item.
+
+Reading from a channel is a bit more interesting. When a cache
+lookup fails, or when it succeeds but finds an entry that may soon
+expire, a request is lodged for that cache item to be updated by
+user-space. These requests appear in the channel file.
+
+Successive reads will return successive requests.
+If there are no more requests to return, read will return EOF, but a
+select or poll for read will block waiting for another request to be
+added.
+
+Thus a user-space helper is likely to:
+ open the channel.
+ select for readable
+ read a request
+ write a response
+ loop.
+
+If it dies and needs to be restarted, any requests that have not been
+answered will still appear in the file and will be read by the new
+instance of the helper.
+
+Each cache should define a "cache_parse" method which takes a message
+written from user-space and processes it. It should return an error
+(which propagates back to the write syscall) or 0.
+
+Each cache should also define a "cache_request" method which
+takes a cache item and encodes a request into the buffer
+provided.
+
+Note: If a cache has no active readers on the channel, and has had not
+active readers for more than 60 seconds, further requests will not be
+added to the channel but instead all lookups that do not find a valid
+entry will fail. This is partly for backward compatibility: The
+previous nfs exports table was deemed to be authoritative and a
+failed lookup meant a definite 'no'.
+
+request/response format
+-----------------------
+
+While each cache is free to use its own format for requests
+and responses over channel, the following is recommended as
+appropriate and support routines are available to help:
+Each request or response record should be printable ASCII
+with precisely one newline character which should be at the end.
+Fields within the record should be separated by spaces, normally one.
+If spaces, newlines, or nul characters are needed in a field they
+much be quoted. two mechanisms are available:
+1/ If a field begins '\x' then it must contain an even number of
+ hex digits, and pairs of these digits provide the bytes in the
+ field.
+2/ otherwise a \ in the field must be followed by 3 octal digits
+ which give the code for a byte. Other characters are treated
+ as them selves. At the very least, space, newline, nul, and
+ '\' must be quoted in this way.