Up through bk-4.x, hardlinks were only used in a must or not manner: bk clone -l would use hardlinks and fail if it couldn’t. bk clone would not use hardlinks.

The new model is based on bang for buck opportunistic reasoning: use hardlinks if hardlinks can be used, unless told not to, but don’t go crazy trying to use hardlinks in all cases they could be used.

There are classes of hardlinks in the system: 1. sfile - break link when sfile is updated 2. bam files between repos - big file never altered - great candidate 3. bam files checked out readonly in a repo - supporting this means: * user can chmod +w and modify the copy in the BAM storage area. * two files with same content and different permissions means storing both in the BAM storage area * Timestamps are meaningless, so if part of a make based system, make will fight it.

This file is not concerned with the 3rd type of hardlink.

Why opportunistic?

With BK/Nested, a user doesn’t know if a certain operation will result in a clone or bam fetch, or if it does, where that clone or bam operation will be fetching from.

For example, bk alias add TCLTK ./src/gui/tcltk/l-squared Or bk edit super-high-density-pic.jpg which causes a fetch from the BAM server.

The other big reason is performance — hardlinks can make things go faster.

Technically, if the source and destination are in the same file system, and that file system supports the hardlink. How do we know if they are in the same FS? Try and see if it works.

Practically, if the remote_parse() has no r→host field returned. That means if the user says bk clone /home/bk/bk they may get a hardlinked repo, but if they say bk clone bk://work/bk, no hard links even if same FS which supports it.

Current plan is to go with practicality. This means that urllist sorting not only same host, but same FS, could improve perf. Current sorting plan is to just go with file based url as reason for prioritizing.

Operations where hard links can be used:

bk clone - as it does now: sfiles and BAM files Forms of pull: bk add here; bk alias

bk get - BAM files that are fetched from a remote server

bk pull - bringing in new sfiles or update only sfiles. Note: update only sfiles are currently only recognized in an update only pull.

  • When user disables. Current means passing --no-hardlinks to clone or setting BK_NO_HARDLINK_CLONE in the environment.

  • When user is crossing storage formats - old style SCCS to new style. Currently this is used when explicit clone command is given, even if the clone style is not a switch. It is not used when populating a component that was in one style and the clone source is in another.

How to test if it can?

In a clone, given a file based URL, try linking the ChangeSet file. In a bam case, try the ChangeSet file, because we know where it is.

In a pull, also try the ChangeSet file, as we know that it is a file which is there. We don’t know the new files which will be there. Or in an advanced case, which non-update pull has update only files.

Design influences: blobs,…​

Q: If file is part of a blob (someday) then is it still a candidate for hardlinking? Is there a directory on an sfio blob as to where things are?

A: Yes. Blobs have an index that gets you to the latest version of the file and that index is a cache that can be rederived from the blob.

QA Testing what we have works

(work has been started here to build this) We need something reliable in the cluster to test source and destination being on different file systems. All the non-windows machines have /home nfs mounted, so we could put some repos in /home/bk/test-data and that would work in a read-only sense (which is all I need). We can have repos in the various old and new style of sfile and bam. On windows, we can use the f:/ drive on some of the machines to both use as the read-only source for the same repos, but also as a writable test on a FS which doesn’t support hardlinks.

Dimensions of the unpruned problem space: old and new style SCCS. old and new style BAM. Standalone and product clone includes components or populate components later. clone includes BAM or fetched later with get