Documentation / filesystems / ext4 / eainode.rst


Based on kernel version 5.10.1. Page generated on 2020-12-14 21:14 EST.

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.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0

Large Extended Attribute Values
-------------------------------

To enable ext4 to store extended attribute values that do not fit in the
inode or in the single extended attribute block attached to an inode,
the EA\_INODE feature allows us to store the value in the data blocks of
a regular file inode. This “EA inode” is linked only from the extended
attribute name index and must not appear in a directory entry. The
inode's i\_atime field is used to store a checksum of the xattr value;
and i\_ctime/i\_version store a 64-bit reference count, which enables
sharing of large xattr values between multiple owning inodes. For
backward compatibility with older versions of this feature, the
i\_mtime/i\_generation *may* store a back-reference to the inode number
and i\_generation of the **one** owning inode (in cases where the EA
inode is not referenced by multiple inodes) to verify that the EA inode
is the correct one being accessed.