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Re: [Nbd] [PATCH v4 04/11] nbd: Improve server handling of bogus commands

On 14 Jun 2016, at 14:32, Paolo Bonzini <pbonzini@...696...> wrote:

> On 13/06/2016 23:41, Alex Bligh wrote:
>> That's one of the reasons that there is a proposal to add
>> STRUCTURED_READ to the spec (although I still haven't had time to
>> implement that for qemu), so that we have a newer approach that allows
>> for proper error handling without ambiguity on whether bogus bytes must
>> be sent on a failed read.  But you'd have to convince me that ALL
>> existing NBD server and client implementations expect to handle a read
>> error without read payload, otherwise, I will stick with the notion that
>> the current spec wording is correct, and that read errors CANNOT be
>> gracefully recovered from unless BOTH sides transfer (possibly bogus)
>> bytes along with the error message, and which is why BOTH sides of the
>> protocol are warned that read errors usually result in a disconnection
>> rather than clean continuation, without the addition of STRUCTURED_READ.
> I suspect that there are exactly two client implementations,

My understanding is that there are more than 2 client implementations.
A quick google found at least one BSD client. I bet read error handling
is a mess in all of them.

> namely
> Linux and QEMU's, and both do the right thing.

This depends what you mean by 'right'. Both appear to be non-compliant
with the standard.

Note the standard is not defined by the client implementation, but
by the protocol document.

IMHO the 'right thing' is what is in the spec. Servers can't send an
error in any other way if they don't buffer the entire read first, as the
read may error towards the end.

To illustrate the problem, look consider what qemu itself would do as
a server if it can't buffer the entire read issued to it.

> What servers do doesn't matter, if all the clients agree.

The spec originally was not clear on how errors on reads should be
handled, leading to any read causing a protocol drop. The spec is
now clear. Unfortunately it is not possible to make a back compatible
fix. Hence the real fix here is to implement structured replies,
which is what Eric and I have been working on.

Alex Bligh

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