Author ntninja
Recipients ntninja
Date 2020-02-03.04:26:02
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Background: For a long time several Linux filesystems have been tracking two extra bits of information. The file attributes bits[1] and the file creation time (aka crtime aka btime aka birthtime)[2]. Before Linux 4.11 accessing these required secret knowledge (ioctl numbers) or access to unstable interfaces (debugfs). However since that version the statx(2) system call[3] has finally been added (it has a long history), which exposes these two fields adds (struct) space for potentially more.

Since CPython already exposes `st_birthtime` on FreeBSD and friends, I think it would be fair to also expose this field on Linux. As the timestamp value is only available on some file systems and configurations it is not guaranteed that the system call will return a value for btime at all. I suppose the field should be set to `None` in that case. In my opinion it should also become a regular field (available on all platforms) since, with this addition, we now have a suitable value to return on every major platform CPython targets: `stx_btime` on Linux, `st_birthtime` on macOS/FreeBSD and `st_ctime` on Windows.

`stx_attributes` could be exposed as a new `st_attributes` flag specific to Linux as there is no equivalent on other platforms to my knowledge (Window's `st_file_attributes` is similar in some aspects but has a completely different format and content).

There is a Python script I created, that calls statx(2) using ctypes here: https://github.com/ipfs/py-datastore/blob/e566d40a8ca81d8628147e255fe7830b5f928a43/datastore/filesystem/util/statx.py
It may be useful as a reference when implementing this in C.

  [1]: https://man.cx/chattr(1)
  [2]: https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/50184/47938
  [3]: https://man.cx/statx(2)
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Date User Action Args
2020-02-03 04:26:02ntninjasetrecipients: + ntninja
2020-02-03 04:26:02ntninjasetmessageid: <1580703962.85.0.294314145935.issue39533@roundup.psfhosted.org>
2020-02-03 04:26:02ntninjalinkissue39533 messages
2020-02-03 04:26:02ntninjacreate