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SubjectRe: POSIX violation by writeback error
On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 4:04 PM Rogier Wolff <> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 05, 2018 at 09:39:58AM +0200, Martin Steigerwald wrote:
> > Rogier Wolff - 05.09.18, 09:08:
> > > So when a mail queuer puts mail the mailq files and the mail processor
> > > can get them out of there intact, nobody is going to notice. (I know
> > > mail queuers should call fsync and report errors when that fails, but
> > > there are bound to be applications where calling fsync is not
> > > appropriate (*))
> >
> > AFAIK at least Postfix MDA only reports mail as being accepted over SMTP
> > once fsync() on the mail file completed successfully. And I´d expect
> > every sensible MDA to do this. I don´t know how Dovecot MDA which I
> > currently use for sieve support does this tough.

Is every implementation of mail editor really going to call fsync()? Why
they are going to call fsync(), when fsync() is meant to persist the file
on disk which is apparently unnecessary if the delivering to SMTP task
won't start again after reboot?

> Yes. That's why I added the remark that mailers will call fsync and know
> about it on the write side. I encountered a situation in the last few
> days that when a developer runs into this while developing, would have
> caused him to write:
> /* Calling this fsync causes unacceptable performance */
> // fsync (fd);
> I know of an application somewhere that does realtime-gathering of
> call-records (number X called Y for Z seconds). They come in from a
> variety of sources, get de-duplicated standardized and written to
> files. Then different output modules push the data to the different
> consumers within the company. Billing among them.
> Now getting old data there would be pretty bad. And calling fsync
> all the time might have performance issues....
> That's the situation where "old data is really bad".
> But when apt-get upgrade replaces your /bin/sh and gets a write error
> returning error on subsequent reads is really bad.

At this point, the /bin/sh may be partially old and partially new. Execute
this corrupted bin is also dangerous though.

> It is more difficult than you think.
> Roger.
> --
> ** ** ** +31-15-2600998 **
> ** Delftechpark 26 2628 XH Delft, The Netherlands. KVK: 27239233 **
> *-- BitWizard writes Linux device drivers for any device you may have! --*
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> Phil, this plan just might work.

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