[Opendnssec-develop] SoftHSMv2 and IPC

Jerry Lundström jerry at opendnssec.org
Wed Oct 31 07:42:04 UTC 2012

On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM, Rickard Bellgrim
<rickard at opendnssec.org> wrote:
>> Why do we have a semaphore per object?
> For synchronizing changes between processes. There is a memory layer
> and file layer. To minimize the number of semaphore, it would be
> better to re-design this part.

I've been looking at the code and from what I can see it uses
semaphores as a type of revision for the object tokens and files to
know when to reread them from disk, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Since we have a file per key (I assume) then there is another
limitation that you must be aware of, the number of files in a
directory is limited depending on the file system used. This is why
most file based backends like this split the first part of the files
names into 2-3 levels of directories to increase the number of files
it can have.

The use of semaphores here is very strange in my view but it could work.

There is one thing that came to mind, if instead of using semaphore
you use the first bytes of the file and a revision marker then this
type of object store could be used on a network based file system
(NFS) running two active setups. Then put Lim (or similar) on top and
you have a redundant network based (H)SM with REST/SOAP/* APIs.

I also noticed that in ObjectFile::commitTransaction it releases the
mutex for the object, releases the transaction lock and puts it out of
transaction before storing the object. And in store() it does not lock
the mutex before checking if its in transaction. This can lead to
another thread/process starting an transaction after store() checked
that and alter information of the ObjectFile as it is storing it.
commitTransaction should not release the mutex, it should be locked
during the store().

And I see a lot of mutexes, transaction locks and locks on the files
itself all in different orders which will eventually lead to dead


Jerry Lundström - OpenDNSSEC Developer

More information about the Opendnssec-develop mailing list