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NAMEI(9)                 BSD Kernel Developer's Manual                NAMEI(9)

     namei, lookup, relookup, NDINIT -- pathname lookup

     #include <&lt;sys/namei.h>&gt;
     #include <&lt;sys/proc.h>&gt;
     #include <&lt;sys/uio.h>&gt;
     #include <&lt;sys/vnode.h>&gt;

     namei(struct nameidata *ndp);

     lookup(struct nameidata *ndp);

     relookup(struct vnode *dvp, struct vnode **vpp,
         struct componentname *cnp);

     NDINIT(struct nameidata *ndp, u_long op, u_long flags,
         enum uio_seg segflg, const char *namep, struct proc *p);

     The namei interface is used to convert pathnames to file system vnodes.
     The name of the interface is actually a contraction of the words name and
     inode for name-to-inode conversion, in the days before the vfs(9) inter-
     face was implemented.

     The arguments passed to the functions are encapsulated in the nameidata
     structure.  It has the following structure:

     struct nameidata {
              * Arguments to namei/lookup.
             const char *ni_dirp;            /* pathname pointer */
             enum    uio_seg ni_segflg;      /* location of pathname */
              * Arguments to lookup.
             struct  vnode *ni_startdir;     /* starting directory */
             struct  vnode *ni_rootdir;      /* logical root directory */
              * Results: returned from/manipulated by lookup
             struct  vnode *ni_vp;           /* vnode of result */
             struct  vnode *ni_dvp;          /* vnode of intermediate dir */
              * Shared between namei and lookup/commit routines.
             size_t  ni_pathlen;             /* remaining chars in path */
             const char *ni_next;            /* next location in pathname */
             u_long  ni_loopcnt;             /* count of symlinks encountered */
              * Lookup parameters
             struct componentname ni_cnd;

     The namei interface accesses vnode operations by passing arguments in the
     partially initialised componentname structure ni_cnd.  This structure
     describes the subset of information from the nameidata structure that is
     passed through to the vnode operations.  See vnodeops(9) for more infor-
     mation.  The details of the componentname structure are not absolutely
     necessary since the members are initialised by the helper macro NDINIT().
     It is useful to know the operations and flags as specified in

     The namei interface overloads ni_cnd.cn_flags with some additional flags.
     These flags should be specific to the namei interface and ignored by
     vnode operations.  However, due to the historic close relationship
     between the namei interface and the vnode operations, these flags are
     sometimes used (and set) by vnode operations, particularly VOP_LOOKUP().
     The additional flags are:

           NOCROSSMOUNT  do not cross mount points
           RDONLY        lookup with read-only semantics
           HASBUF        caller has allocated pathname buffer ni_cnd.cn_pnbuf
           SAVENAME      save pathname buffer
           SAVESTART     save starting directory
           ISDOTDOT      current pathname component is ..
           MAKEENTRY     add entry to the name cache
           ISLASTCN      this is last component of pathname
           ISSYMLINK     symlink needs interpretation
           ISWHITEOUT    found whiteout
           DOWHITEOUT    do whiteouts
           REQUIREDIR    must be a directory
           PDIRUNLOCK    vfs_lookup() unlocked parent dir
           PARAMASK      mask of parameter descriptors

     If the caller of namei() sets the SAVENAME flag, then it must free the
     buffer.  If VOP_LOOKUP() sets the flag, then the buffer must be freed by
     either the commit routine or the VOP_ABORT() routine.  The SAVESTART flag
     is set only by the callers of namei().  It implies SAVENAME plus the
     addition of saving the parent directory that contains the name in
     ni_startdir.  It allows repeated calls to lookup() for the name being
     sought.  The caller is responsible for releasing the buffer and for
     invoking vrele() on ni_startdir.

     All access to the namei interface must be in process context.  Pathname
     lookups cannot be done in interrupt context.

              Convert a pathname into a pointer to a locked inode.  The path-
              name is specified by ndp-&gt;ni_dirp and is of length
              ndp-&gt;ni_pathlen.  The ndp-&gt;segflg flags defines whether the name
              in ndp-&gt;ni_dirp is an address in kernel space (UIO_SYSSPACE) or
              an address in user space (UIO_USERSPACE).  The locked vnode for
              the pathname is returned in ndp-&gt;ni_vp.

              If ndp-&gt;ni_cnd.cn_flags has the FOLLOW flag set then symbolic
              links are followed when they occur at the end of the name trans-
              lation process.  Symbolic links are always followed for all
              other pathname components other than the last.

              Search for a pathname.  This is a very central and rather com-
              plicated routine.

              The pathname is specified by ndp-&gt;ni_dirp and is of length
              ndp-&gt;ni_pathlen.  The starting directory is taken from
              ndp-&gt;ni_startdir.  The pathname is descended until done, or a
              symbolic link is encountered.

              The semantics of lookup() are altered by the operation specified
              by ndp-&gt;ni_cnd.cn_nameiop.  When CREATE, RENAME, or DELETE is
              specified, information usable in creating, renaming, or deleting
              a directory entry may be calculated.

              If ndp-&gt;ci_cnd.cn_flags has LOCKPARENT set, the parent directory
              is returned locked in ndp-&gt;ni_dvp.  If WANTPARENT is set, the
              parent directory is returned unlocked.  Otherwise the parent
              directory is not returned.  If the target of the pathname exists
              and LOCKLEAF is set, the target is returned locked in
              ndp-&gt;ni_vp, otherwise it is returned unlocked.

     relookup(dvp, vpp, cnp)
              Reacquire a path name component is a directory.  This is a
              quicker way to lookup a pathname component when the parent
              directory is known.  The unlocked parent directory vnode is
              specified by dvp and the pathname component by cnp.  The vnode
              of the pathname is returned in the address specified by vpp.

     NDINIT(ndp, op, flags, segflg, namep, p)
              Initialise a nameidata structure pointed to by ndp for use by
              the namei interface.  It saves having to deal with the compo-
              nentname structure inside ndp.  The operation and flags are
              specified by op and flags respectively.  These are the values to
              which ndp-&gt;ni_cnd.cn_nameiop and ndp-&gt;ni_cnd.cn_flags are
              respectively set.  The segment flags which defines whether the
              pathname is in kernel address space or user address space is
              specified by segflag.  The argument namep is a pointer to the
              pathname that ndp-&gt;ni_dirp is set to and p is the calling

     This section describes places within the NetBSD source tree where actual
     code implementing or using the name lookup subsystem can be found.  All
     pathnames are relative to /usr/src.

     The name lookup subsystem is implemented within the file

     intro(9), namecache(9), vfs(9), vnode(9), vnodeops(9)

     It is unfortunate that much of the namei interface makes assumptions on
     the underlying vnode operations.  These assumptions are an artefact of
     the introduction of the vfs interface to split a file system interface
     which was historically designed as a tightly coupled module.

BSD                            October 13, 2001                            BSD