This document is for a development version of Ceph.

CephFS Reclaim Interface


NFS servers typically do not track ephemeral state on stable storage. If the NFS server is restarted, then it will be resurrected with no ephemeral state, and the NFS clients are expected to send requests to reclaim what state they held during a grace period.

In order to support this use-case, libcephfs has grown several functions that allow a client that has been stopped and restarted to destroy or reclaim state held by a previous incarnation of itself. This allows the client to reacquire state held by its previous incarnation, and to avoid the long wait for the old session to time out before releasing the state previously held.

As soon as an NFS server running over cephfs goes down, it’s racing against its MDS session timeout. If the Ceph session times out before the NFS grace period is started, then conflicting state could be acquired by another client. This mechanism also allows us to increase the timeout for these clients, to ensure that the server has a long window of time to be restarted.

Setting the UUID

In order to properly reset or reclaim against the old session, we need a way to identify the old session. This done by setting a unique opaque value on the session using ceph_set_uuid(). The uuid value can be any string and is treated as opaque by the client.

Setting the uuid directly can only be done on a new session, prior to mounting. When reclaim is performed the current session will inherit the old session’s uuid.

Starting Reclaim

After calling ceph_create and ceph_init on the resulting struct ceph_mount_info, the client should then issue ceph_start_reclaim, passing in the uuid of the previous incarnation of the client with any flags.


This flag indicates that we do not intend to do any sort of reclaim against the old session indicated by the given uuid, and that it should just be discarded. Any state held by the previous client should be released immediately.

Finishing Reclaim

After the Ceph client has completed all of its reclaim operations, the client should issue ceph_finish_reclaim to indicate that the reclaim is now complete.

Setting Session Timeout (Optional)

When a client dies and is restarted, and we need to preserve its state, we are effectively racing against the session expiration clock. In this situation we generally want a longer timeout since we expect to eventually kill off the old session manually.

Example 1: Reset Old Session

This example just kills off the MDS session held by a previous instance of itself. An NFS server can start a grace period and then ask the MDS to tear down the old session. This allows clients to start reclaim immediately.

(Note: error handling omitted for clarity)

struct ceph_mount_info *cmount;
const char *uuid = "foobarbaz";

/* Set up a new cephfs session, but don't mount it yet. */
rc = ceph_create(&cmount);
rc = ceph_init(&cmount);

 * Set the timeout to 5 minutes to lengthen the window of time for
 * the server to restart, should it crash.
ceph_set_session_timeout(cmount, 300);

 * Start reclaim vs. session with old uuid. Before calling this,
 * all NFS servers that could acquire conflicting state _must_ be
 * enforcing their grace period locally.
rc = ceph_start_reclaim(cmount, uuid, CEPH_RECLAIM_RESET);

/* Declare reclaim complete */
rc = ceph_finish_reclaim(cmount);

/* Set uuid held by new session */
ceph_set_uuid(cmount, nodeid);

 * Now mount up the file system and do normal open/lock operations to
 * satisfy reclaim requests.
ceph_mount(cmount, rootpath);

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