Pool features


Since the very first release, PMDK pools had internal feature flags. They were mostly a hidden implementation detail. The more observant users might have noticed pool features listing in pmempool info output, but that’s about it.

Release 1.5 introduced a set of new feature flags. And since it’s imperative that system administrators have the ability to manage enabled features, we’ve added functionality that helps with that:

Taxonomy of pool features

Each of the toggleable features can be disabled or enabled for the given pool and the support for these features might vary depending on the library version. All features are divided into two groups:

  • compatible features:
  • incompatible features:
    • CKSUM_2K

Resulting in the following alternatives:

  • if a feature is disabled, it’s disabled (obviously)
  • if a feature is enabled and supported by the library, it’s enabled
  • if a feature is enabled and not supported, two things that might happen:
    • if it’s a compatible feature, it’s disabled
    • if it’s an incompatible feature, the pool cannot be opened

CKSUM_2K dependent features

The first 4K of a pool is reserved for a pool header. The pool header is checksummed to ensure its consistency. If CKSUM_2K feature is enabled, only first 2K of the pool header is checksummed; otherwise, the entire header is. This feature gives the library more flexibility which is needed for features that require extra pool header capacity.

Some features will depend on that. Currently, that’s only SHUTDOWN_STATE feature. This means that it will need to be enabled prior to enabling those features and they will need to be disabled prior to disabling CKSUM_2K feature.

Feature toggling and querying

Toggling and querying features for already existing and not open pools can be performed using the pmempool tool:

$ pmempool feature --enable SHUTDOWN_STATE /path/to/poolset.file # to enable

$ pmempool feature --disable SHUTDOWN_STATE /path/to/poolset.file # to disable

$ pmempool feature --query SHUTDOWN_STATE /path/to/poolset.file # to query
0 # query result: 0 == disabled, 1 == enabled

or using libpmempool API calls:

const char *path = "/path/to/poolset.file";
enum pmempool_feature f = SHUTDOWN_STATE;
unsigned flags = 0; /* only currently supported value */
int result = 0;

/* to enable */
result = pmempool_feature_enable(path, f, flags);
if (result < 0) {
	fprintf(stderr, "pmempool_feature_enable failed with errno: %d", errno);

/* to disable */
result = pmempool_feature_disable(path, f, flags);
if (result < 0) {
	fprintf(stderr, "pmempool_feature_disable failed with errno: %d", errno);

/* to query */
result = pmempool_feature_query(path, f, flags);
if (result < 0) {
	fprintf(stderr, "pmempool_feature_query failed with errno: %d", errno);
} else {
	printf("pmempool_feature_query results is %s", result == 0 ? "disabled" : "enabled");


  • toggling features is not supported for poolsets with remote replicas
  • SINGLEHDR feature is read-only (enabling or disabling it will fail)

Enabling feature at creation time

Some features might be disabled by default. To enable them at creation time, use appropriate query from the CTL namespace. An example using pmem_ctl(5) environment variable:

$ PMEMOBJ_CONF="sds.at_create=1" pmempool create obj /path/to/poolset.file
$ pmempool feature --query SHUTDOWN_STATE /path/to/poolset.file

An example using pmemobj_ctl_set(3) API:

const char path[] = "/path/to/poolset.file";

/* force-enable SDS feature during pool creation*/
int sds_write_value = 1;
pmemobj_ctl_set(NULL, "sds.at_create", &sds_write_value);

/* create pool and use it */
PMEMobjpool *pop = pmemobj_create(path, LAYOUT_NAME, POOL_SIZE, 0644);
/* ... */

/* check SDS feature */
int sds_read_value = pmempool_feature_query(path, PMEMPOOL_FEAT_SHUTDOWN_STATE, 0);
/* now sds_write_value == sds_read_value */
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