Domain backup file explodes on s3fs

Eric Blake eblake at
Tue Apr 7 19:37:26 UTC 2020

[adding libvirt list]

On 4/7/20 2:13 PM, Tim Haley wrote:
> Hi all,
> Have been playing with `virsh backup-begin` of late and think it's an 
> excellent feature. I've noticed one behavior I'm not sure I understand. 

It looks like is a 
similar description of the same problem: namely, if qemu is not able to 
determine that the destination already reads as zero, then it forcefully 
zeroes the destination of a backup job.  We may want to copy the fact 
that qemu 5.0 is adding 'qemu-img convert --target-is-zero' to add a 
similar knob to the QMP commands that trigger disk copying 
(blockdev-backup, blockdev-mirror, possibly others) as well as logic to 
avoid writing zeroes when the destination is already treated as zero 
(whether by a probe, or by the knob being set).


> If my /backups directory is just XFS, I get a backup file that looks 
> like it is just the size of data blocks in use
> -rw------- 1 root  root  2769551360 Mar 19 16:56 
> vda.2aa450cc-6d2e-11ea-8de0-52542e0d008a

For a local file, qemu is easily able to probe whether the destination 
starts as all zeroes (thanks to lseek(SEEK_DATA));

> but if I write to an s3fs (object storage backend) the file blows up to 
> the whole size of the disk
> -rw------- 1 root  root  8591507456 Mar 18 19:03 
> vda.2aa450cc-6d2e-11ea-8de0-52542e0d008a

whereas for s3fs, it looks like qemu does not have access to a quick 
test to learn if the image starts all zero (POSIX does not provide a 
quick way for doing this on a generic block device, but if you are aware 
of an ioctl or otherwise that qemu could use, that might be helpful). 
Or maybe the s3fs really is random contents rather than all zero, in 
which case forcefully writing zeroes is the only correct behavior.

Eric Blake, Principal Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc.           +1-919-301-3226
Virtualization: |

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