This week at LWN: A kernel change breaks GlusterFS

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Apr 4, 2013 3:56 AM EDT; By Michael Kerrisk
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GlusterFS's problems sprang from an ext4 filesystem patch by Fan Yong that addressed a long-standing issue in ext4's support for the readdir() API by widening the "directory offset" values used by the API from 32 to 64 bits. That change was needed to reliably support readdir() traversals in large directories; we'll discuss those changes and the reasons for making them in a companion article. One point from that discussion is worth making here: these "offset" values are in truth a kind of cookie, rather than a true offset within a directory. Thus, for the remainder of this article, we'll generally refer to them as "cookies". Fan's patch made its way into the mainline 3.4 kernel (released in May 2012), but appears also to have been ported into the 3.3.x kernel that was released with Fedora 17 (also released in May 2012).

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