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/* $Id: pfs_types.x 488 2011-10-25 21:29:23Z gerd $ -*- c -*- */

Types for the RPC interfaces

For users of the Plasma_client module: The types defined here are mapped to corresponding Ocaml types, and exported via the Plasma_rpcapi_aux module.

Within the server, however, the mappings of Pfs_rpcapi_aux are used. (These mappings differ in some minor points from the ones used for the client.)

#ifndef PFS_TYPES_X
#define PFS_TYPES_X


typedef string longstring<>;
A string up to 4G length


typedef longstring longstrings<>;
An array of longstrings


typedef longstring *longstring_opt;
A longstring option


typedef string mediumstring<4096>;


typedef mediumstring mediumstrings<4096>;


typedef hyper hypers<>;
An array of hypers


typedef hyper trans_id;
transaction IDs can be used to run several transactions over the same TCP connection


struct ug {
    mediumstring user;
    mediumstring group;
Users and groups are given by name


struct time {
    hyper tsecs;  /* Seconds since the epoch... */
    int   tnsecs; /* plus these nanoseconds */
tsecs and tnsecs must be non-negative; tnsecs < 1E9. In the filesystem procedure update_inodeinfo a negative tsecs is interpreted as "set the time to the current server time"


typedef time *time_opt;
an optional time struct


enum ftype_enum {
File types


union ftype switch(ftype_enum d) {
File types as union


The ticket is handed out for blocks or block ranges, and permits read or write access on a datanode. The ticket is valid for a single datanode only, and only for the blocks range_start to range_start+range_length-1. The validity of the ticket is further restricted: It is revoked when the current transaction ends. Also, it is revoked when the time safetrans_tmo is reached.

The safetrans_vfy is a cryptographically computed signature.

struct ticket {
    hyper      range_start;   /* First block */
    hyper      range_length;  /* number of blocks */
    hyper      safetrans_id;  /* safetrans ticket, first part */
    hyper      safetrans_tmo; /* safetrans ticket, timeout */
    hyper      safetrans_vfy; /* safetrans ticket, second part */
    bool       read_perm;     /* whether read permission is granted */
    bool       write_perm;    /* whether write permission is granted */

Background information

For securing the communication with the datanode. The blocks are accessible for a limited period of time only. The safetrans_id identifies the datanode transaction. safetrans_tmo is the point in time when the access times out. After that the data nodes will not accept access to the blocks any longer. The verifier safetrans_vfy is a hash value built from the other information, and is used by the data node to check that only accessible blocks are written:

safetrans_vfy=extract_64_bits(MD5(safetrans_id ^ "/" ^ 
        safetrans_secret ^ "/" ^ range_start ^ "/" ^ range_length ^ "/" ^
	read_perm ^ "/" ^ write_perm))

(Numbers converted to string via Int64.to_string, and booleans via string_of_bool.)

Usually, the safetrans feature is only used for securing block writes. The protocol would also allow it to use it for reads, though, and compatible clients should assume this.


blockinfo says where the n-th block of a file is stored on a datanode. The number n is called the block index (starting at 0). The datanode location is given by the identity of the datanode, and the block number of the datanode. Block numbers count from 0 to s-1 when s is the number of blocks a datanode stores.

In order to get some compression, adjacent blocks can share the same blockinfo. In this case, the index and block number in blockinfo refer to the first block of a range, and the length field denotes how long this range is. This method of compression is only used when all the other fields of the blocks of the range are identical.

In blockinfo there is also the information to which machine the identity of the datanode is assigned, and whether the machine is alive. This is purely informational, and is intended to ease the implementation of clients.

Checksums are not yet implemented.

The sequence number of the inode is increased whenever new data is written. It is also included in blockinfo to simplify the implementation of caches.

struct blockinfo {
    hyper      index;         /* block index */
    mediumstring node;          /* datanode server as "host:port" ("" if not known) */
    mediumstring identity;      /* datanode server as identity string */
    hyper      block;         /* block number on this node */
    hyper      length;        /* for how many blocks this info is valid */
    bool       node_alive;    /* informational: whether the node is alive */
    mediumstring *checksum;     /* optional checksum */
    hyper      inode_seqno;   /* current seqno of the inode */
    bool       inode_committed; /* whether [inode_seqno] is a committed version */
    ticket     ticket;        /* the access ticket */


Block lists describe where the blocks of a file are stored. Note that these phenomenons can occur:
  • the same block index can occur several times (replicas)
  • a certain block index does not occur at all (a file hole)
  • all blockinfo structs for a block index say that the datanode is down (a broken file)
After allocating blocks or retrieving a blocklist from the server, the inode_seqno and inode_committed fields have all the same values. This is not broken down per block (it would be possible that these values "remember" the sequence number when the block was first committed, resulting in finer granularity of the information.)

typedef blockinfo blocklist<>;


inodeinfo is what is stored for an inode. Documentation is inline below. Note that inodeinfo structs may be passed from the server to the client, and from the client to the server. In the latter case, the client may not know all fields, or may use special values in fields.

struct inodeinfo {
    ftype filetype;
  • The file type. Some fields are only meaningful for certain types.

    ug    usergroup;
  • The owner. Both user and group can be passed in as empty strings to set the owner to the identity of the client. The empty strings are then replaced with the real user and group. When reading inodeinfo such strings can never be returned.

    int   mode;
  • File permission bits

    hyper eof;
  • The eof value is seen as a convention only. The server never automatically changes it when blocks are allocated or freed. This means eof can be set to a position before the last block or after the last block. It is just the interpretation of the user to use this number as eof position.

    Conventionally, eof is only meaningful for regular files.

    time  mtime;
    time  ctime;
  • Time fields are not automatically maintained, except that a link or unlink operation implicitly updates the mtime of the directory. See the documentation for time how clients can request that the server fills in its own current time.

    int   replication;   
  • The replication factor the file ought to have. Clients can set it to 0 to request the default replication factor. Values returned from the server are always >= 1.

    Replication is only meaningful for regular files.

    hyper blocklimit;
  • The blocks from the index blocklimit on are not allocated. This field cannot be set by clients - the field value is ignored.

    Note that this is totally unrelated to eof which can be set to any value independent on how many blocks are allocated.

    Also, there may be holes in the file before blocklimit.

    mediumstring field1;
  • For symlinks this is the target. For other types this field has no defined meaning

    hyper seqno;
  • This number is increased by the server when blocks are allocated or freed, i.e for every content modification of the file, or when a new version of the inodeinfo is written. It is not possible to change this field directly. The number is increased for each metadata operation individually (and not only once for the transaction doing so). Until committed, the new seqno values are only valid within the transaction. It is generally possible that seqno is set to values that were already generated for previous aborted transactions.

    The seqno makes it possible to easily check for any file modification. This field is guaranteed to change for every data or metadata modification.

    bool committed;
  • This flag is true if the data in the inodeinfo struct is committed data. If false, the struct has been modified by the transaction. This flag gives valuable information for deciding whether the struct can be cached or not. This field is automatically maintained and cannot be set directly.

    hyper create_verifier;
  • intended use as NFSv3 create verifier. Set to 0 outside NFS scope.

    bool anonymous;
  • whether this inode does not have a name (read-only)



Entries of directories

struct entry {
    mediumstring entry_name;    /* basename of a file in a directory */
    hyper        entry_inode;   /* inode of this file */


typedef entry entries<>;


struct fsstat {
    hyper    total_blocks;
    hyper    used_blocks;
    hyper    trans_blocks;
  • Blocks in a transitional phase: these are allocated by a transaction, but the transaction is not yet committed

    int      enabled_datanodes;
    int      alive_datanodes;
    mediumstrings dead_datanodes;


enum errno_code {
    OK = 0,
    ENOTRANS = 1,         /* no transaction */
    EFAILEDCOMMIT = 2,    /* general commit error */
    ELONGTRANS = 3,       /* transaction too long */
    EFAILED = 4,          /* general error */
    EPERM = 5,            /* not owner, or op is otherwise not permitted */
    ENOENT = 6,           /* No such file or directory */
    EACCESS = 7,          /* Permission denied */
    EEXIST = 8,           /* File exists */
    EFHIER = 9,           /* File hierarchy violation (e.g. move a directory into its own subdirectory) */
    EINVAL = 10,          /* invalid argument */
    EFBIG = 11,           /* file too big */
    ENOSPC = 12,          /* no space left */
    EROFS = 13,           /* read-only filesystem */
    ENAMETOOLONG = 14,    /* filename too long */
    ECONFLICT = 15,       /* update conflicts with another transaction */
    ECOORD = 16,          /* this is not the coordinator */
    ENONODE = 17,         /* unknown node */
    ETBUSY = 18,          /* transaction is busy (last command not finished) */
    ESTALE = 19,          /* no such inode */
    EIO = 20,             /* datanode error, not enough datanodes */
    ELOOP = 21,           /* looping symlinks */
    ENOTDIR = 22,         /* operation can only be done for directory */
    EISDIR = 23,          /* operation can only be done for non-directory */
    ENOTEMPTY = 24,       /* directory is non-empty but need to be */
    EBADPATH = 25         /* a path component is not a directory (POSIX sees this also as ENOTDIR) */

Result types of RPC's

This macro is used for creating the result types of Filesystem RPC's. These results are always unions of the possible error codes with the special value OK. For OK, a value of some type is returned as result value, and this type is the second parameter.

#define MK_RESULT_TYPE(name,type)        \
  union name switch(errno_code d) {      \
    case OK:                             \
      type;                              \
    default:                             \
      void;                              \

Creates the types:
  • rvoid
  • rinodeinfo
  • rblocklist
  • rfsstat
  • rint
  • rhyper
  • rhypers
  • rlongstring
  • rlongstrings
  • rentries

MK_RESULT_TYPE(rinodeinfo,inodeinfo t);
MK_RESULT_TYPE(rblocklist,blocklist t);
MK_RESULT_TYPE(rfsstat,fsstat t);
MK_RESULT_TYPE(rint,int t);
MK_RESULT_TYPE(rhyper,hyper t);
MK_RESULT_TYPE(rhypers,hypers t);
MK_RESULT_TYPE(rlongstring,longstring t);
MK_RESULT_TYPE(rlongstrings,longstrings t);
MK_RESULT_TYPE(rentries,entries t);


struct ds_info {
    int        ds_id;
    mediumstring ds_identity;
    hyper      ds_size;
    bool       ds_enabled;
    mediumstring *ds_node;
    bool       ds_alive;
The ds_info struct is the wire representation of Nn_datastores.datastore

typedef ds_info ds_info_list<>;


struct param {
    mediumstring name;
    mediumstring value;

typedef param params<>;

/* Revision numbers have the format:

   YYYYMMDDHHMMSSUUUUUU:<random hex digits>

   It is meaningful to sort revision numbers.


readdata in server context

typedef string readdata<>;

writedata in server context

typedef _managed string writedata<>;

(A managed string is represented differently in Ocamlnet's language mapping layer.)

announcement in server context

struct announcement {
    mediumstring     ann_clustername;
    /* clustername */

    mediumstring     ann_sender;
    /* sender host:port */

    mediumstrings    ann_eligible;
    /* list of hosts that are eligible (host:port syntax) */

    mediumstring     ann_revision;
    /* the revision number of the sender */

    mediumstring     ann_rank;
    /* configured rank */

    hyper            ann_random[2];
    /* random numbers for self-identification */

enum ann_enum {
    ANN_REJECT = 0,
    ANN_ACCEPT = 1,
    ANN_SELF = 2

union ann_result switch(ann_enum d) {

For Datanode_ctrl.safetrans:

struct enable_ticket {
    hyper st_id;
    hyper st_tmo;
    hyper st_secret;

typedef enable_ticket enable_tickets<>;


readdata in client context

typedef _managed string readdata<>;

writedata in client context

typedef _managed string writedata<>;



Block data can be exchanged with the datanode servers on two ways:
  1. The block data is included in the normal RPC call as string
  2. The block data is put into a shared memory object
Of course, the second method works only if the client and the server are on the same node. Also, the client needs to invoke the server RPC via a Unix Domain socket, and not via TCP.

More methods may be defined in the future.

enum dn_channel_enum {
    DNCH_RPC = 0,   /* the data is embedded into the RPC channel */
    DNCH_SHM = 1    /* the data is exchanged via a POSIX shm object */


This struct identifies a shared memory object

struct dn_channel_shm_obj {
    mediumstring shm_path;     /* must be a path for POSIX shm */
    hyper        shm_offset;   /* the offset to the start in the file. */
    int          shm_length;   /* the length of the object */


This is the argument for data reads. The client can request the data exchange method. For shared memory, the client also has to say which shared memory object will receive the data.

union dn_channel_rd_req switch (dn_channel_enum d) {
case DNCH_RPC:
case DNCH_SHM:
    dn_channel_shm_obj ch;


This is the return value of the data server for a read request. If the data is included in the RPC message, it follows now. If the data is put into shared memory, the client can now expect it to be there.

union dn_channel_rd_data switch (dn_channel_enum d) {
case DNCH_RPC:
    readdata data;
case DNCH_SHM:


For write requests, the client either includes the data directly in the message, or it has already put it into a shared memory objects, and only includes the information where

union dn_channel_wr_data switch (dn_channel_enum d) {
case DNCH_RPC:
    writedata data;
case DNCH_SHM:
    dn_channel_shm_obj ch;

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