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Re: Atomicity under Windows

From: Paul Marculescu <paul_at_p16.pub.ro>
Date: 2002-06-08 23:51:07 CEST

Greg Hudson wrote:

> On Unix, you have some basic tools available for local filesystems:
> * fsync() provides the basics of failure atomicity by guaranteeing
> that a file's contents have been flushed to disk. (With some
> fileystems, you may also have to fsync() directories in order to
> make sure that directory entries are flushed to disk; with others,
> fsync()ing a file guarantees that all paths referencing the file
> have been flushed.)

The dwFlagsAndAttributes parameter in CreateFile() can have a value of
FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH which urges the system to go directly to disk.
Note that CreateFile() does much more things than _creating_ files. :)

HANDLE CreateFile(
  LPCTSTR lpFileName, // file name
  DWORD dwDesiredAccess, // access mode
  DWORD dwShareMode, // share mode
  LPSECURITY_ATTRIBUTES lpSecurityAttributes, // SD
  DWORD dwCreationDisposition, // how to create
  DWORD dwFlagsAndAttributes, // file attributes
  HANDLE hTemplateFile // handle to template file

> * rename() is both failure-atomic and concurrency-atomic; either the
> rename has happened or it hasn't. There is no in-between state
> where the target doesn't exist. (You can't get this for
> directories, incidentally.)

BOOL MoveFileEx(
  LPCTSTR lpExistingFileName, // file name
  LPCTSTR lpNewFileName, // new file name
  DWORD dwFlags // move options

If you specify MOVEFILE_REPLACE_EXISTING in the flags, this function
will act like the UNIX rename().
MOVEFILE_WRITE_THROUGH - the function will return only after the file
has actually been moved on the disk.

However there is a rename() function under Windows too, but I couldn't
find anything about its atomicity in MSDN.

> * open() with the O_CREAT|O_EXCL flags will fail if the file already
> exists; you can use this to create unique files or do rudimentary
> locking.

CreateFile has a tone of options and flags and dwCreationDisposition can
have the following values:

> * fcntl() can create advisory locks on files, when the above two
> approaches aren't sufficient for concurrency atomicity. fcntl()
> locks are convenient because they are automatically cleaned up if
> the locking process dies or the machine reboots. You can also use
> it to do locking over subranges of a file.

From MSDN:

LockFile function locks a region in an open file.
BOOL LockFile(
  HANDLE hFile, // handle to file
  DWORD dwFileOffsetLow, // low-order word of offset
  DWORD dwFileOffsetHigh, // high-order word of offset
  DWORD nNumberOfBytesToLockLow, // low-order word of length
  DWORD nNumberOfBytesToLockHigh // high-order word of length

LockFileEx function locks a region in an open file for shared or
exclusive access.
BOOL LockFileEx(
  HANDLE hFile, // handle to file
  DWORD dwFlags, // lock options
  DWORD dwReserved, // reserved
  DWORD nNumberOfBytesToLockLow, // low-order word of length
  DWORD nNumberOfBytesToLockHigh, // high-order word of length
  LPOVERLAPPED lpOverlapped // contains starting offset

Of course, there are also UnlockFile() and UnlockFileEx().

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Received on Sat Jun 8 22:51:21 2002

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