On Mon, 2005-05-30 at 11:24 -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
> Wouldn't count on it :-(.  One thing I'm particularly worried about is
> buffer cache consistency: does the kernel guarantee to flush any buffers
> it has that overlap the O_DIRECT write operation?

At least on Linux I believe the kernel guarantees consistency between
O_DIRECT and non-O_DIRECT operations. From googling, it seems AIX also
provides consistency, albeit not for free[1]:

        To avoid consistency issues, if there are multiple calls to open
        a file and one or more of the calls did not specify O_DIRECT and
        another open specified O_DIRECT, the file stays in the normal
        cached I/O mode. Similarly, if the file is mapped into memory
        through the shmat() or mmap() system calls, it stays in normal
        cached mode. If the last conflicting, non-direct access is
        eliminated, then the file system will move the file into direct
        I/O mode (either by using the close(), munmap(), or shmdt()
        subroutines). Changing from normal mode to direct I/O mode can
        be expensive because all modified pages in memory will have to
        be flushed to disk at that point.



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