Disabling atime

Eric Sandeen esandeen at redhat.com
Fri Aug 10 16:04:33 UTC 2007

Rudolf Kastl wrote:
> turning off features that have design flaws in my eyes simply isnt a
> fix, but only a mere attempt to cure the symptom from a pure
> philosophical point of view. surely alot of more experienced users do
> use and enjoy those workarounds but at the end of the day we are
> crippling features instead of fixing issues.
> workarounds just slow down fixes though.

I agree with this...

Before we take a step like turning off atime, I think those who wish to
do so need to provide good justification for it, well beyond "I heard it
may go faster" or "it feels faster to me" - we need some good tests,
some actual, measurable difference shown on various workloads, at a minimum.

The only hard numbers presented in the lkml thread (unless I missed
some...) didn't actually show a *huge* difference IIRC.

I'd also suggest that we at least identify that if atime does have a
measurable difference, whether this is true in general, or if this is
somewhat more specific to a particular filesystem which could be
fixed... etc.

IOW, if this change is made, I think it should be done with eyes wide
open - what is the measurable advantage, under what workloads, for what
filesystems, etc - as well as what the potential drawbacks are.



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