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3.3.16 Procedure 16: READDIR - Read From Directory Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
3.3.16 Procedure 16: READDIR - Read From Directory

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Prev: 3.3.15 Procedure 15: LINK - Create Link to an object
Next: 3.3.17 Procedure 17: READDIRPLUS - Extended read from directory

3.3.16 Procedure 16: READDIR - Read From Directory

3.3.16 Procedure 16: READDIR - Read From Directory



      struct READDIR3args {
           nfs_fh3      dir;
           cookie3      cookie;
           cookieverf3  cookieverf;
           count3       count;

      struct entry3 {
           fileid3      fileid;
           filename3    name;
           cookie3      cookie;
           entry3       *nextentry;

      struct dirlist3 {
           entry3       *entries;
           bool         eof;

      struct READDIR3resok {
           post_op_attr dir_attributes;
           cookieverf3  cookieverf;
           dirlist3     reply;

      struct READDIR3resfail {
           post_op_attr dir_attributes;

      union READDIR3res switch (nfsstat3 status) {
      case NFS3_OK:
           READDIR3resok   resok;
           READDIR3resfail resfail;


Procedure READDIR retrieves a variable number of entries, in sequence, from a directory and returns the name and file identifier for each, with information to allow the client to request additional directory entries in a subsequent READDIR request. On entry, the arguments in READDIR3args are:


The file handle for the directory to be read.


This should be set to 0 in the first request to read the directory. On subsequent requests, it should be a cookie as returned by the server.


This should be set to 0 in the first request to read the directory. On subsequent requests, it should be a cookieverf as returned by the server. The cookieverf must match that returned by the READDIR in which the cookie was acquired.


The maximum size of the READDIR3resok structure, in bytes. The size must include all XDR overhead. The server is free to return less than count bytes of data.

On successful return, READDIR3res.status is NFS3_OK and READDIR3res.resok contains:


The attributes of the directory, dir.


The cookie verifier.


The directory list:


Zero or more directory (entry3) entries.


TRUE if the last member of reply.entries is the last entry in the directory or the list reply.entries is empty and the cookie corresponded to the end of the directory. If FALSE, there may be more entries to read.

Otherwise, READDIR3res.status contains the error on failure and READDIR3res.resfail contains the following:


The attributes of the directory, dir.


In the NFS version 2 protocol, each directory entry returned included a cookie identifying a point in the directory. By including this cookie in a subsequent READDIR, the client could resume the directory read at any point in the directory. One problem with this scheme was that there was no easy way for a server to verify that a cookie was valid. If two READDIRs were separated by one or more operations that changed the directory in some way (for example, reordering or compressing it), it was possible that the second READDIR could miss entries, or process entries more than once. If the cookie was no longer usable, for example, pointing into the middle of a directory entry, the server would have to either round the cookie down to the cookie of the previous entry or round it up to the cookie of the next entry in the directory. Either way would possibly lead to incorrect results and the client would be unaware that any problem existed.

In the NFS version 3 protocol, each READDIR request includes both a cookie and a cookie verifier. For the first call, both are set to 0. The response includes a new cookie verifier, with a cookie per entry. For subsequent READDIRs, the client must present both the cookie and the corresponding cookie verifier. If the server detects that the cookie is no longer valid, the server will reject the READDIR request with the status, NFS3ERR_BAD_COOKIE. The client should be careful to avoid holding directory entry cookies across operations that modify the directory contents, such as REMOVE and CREATE.

One implementation of the cookie-verifier mechanism might be for the server to use the modification time of the directory. This might be overly restrictive, however. A better approach would be to record the time of the last directory modification that changed the directory organization in a way that would make it impossible to reliably interpret a cookie. Servers in which directory cookies are always valid are free to use zero as the verifier always.

The server may return fewer than count bytes of XDR-encoded entries. The count specified by the client in the request should be greater than or equal to FSINFO dtpref.

Since UNIX clients give a special meaning to the fileid value zero, UNIX clients should be careful to map zero fileid values to some other value and servers should try to avoid sending a zero fileid.




Next: 3.3.17 Procedure 17: READDIRPLUS - Extended read from directory

Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
3.3.16 Procedure 16: READDIR - Read From Directory


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