Documentation: seq_file: Document seq_open_private(), seq_release_private()

Despite the fact that these functions have been around for years, they
are little used (only 15 uses in 13 files at the preseht time) even
though many other files use work-arounds to achieve the same result.

By documenting them, hopefully they will become more widely used.

Signed-off-by: Rob Jones <>
Acked-by: Steven Whitehouse <>
Signed-off-by: Randy Dunlap <>
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <>
diff --git a/Documentation/filesystems/seq_file.txt b/Documentation/filesystems/seq_file.txt
index 1fe0ccb..8ea3e90 100644
--- a/Documentation/filesystems/seq_file.txt
+++ b/Documentation/filesystems/seq_file.txt
@@ -235,6 +235,39 @@
 private field of the seq_file structure; that value can then be retrieved
 by the iterator functions.
+There is also a wrapper function to seq_open() called seq_open_private(). It
+kmallocs a zero filled block of memory and stores a pointer to it in the
+private field of the seq_file structure, returning 0 on success. The
+block size is specified in a third parameter to the function, e.g.:
+	static int ct_open(struct inode *inode, struct file *file)
+	{
+		return seq_open_private(file, &ct_seq_ops,
+					sizeof(struct mystruct));
+	}
+There is also a variant function, __seq_open_private(), which is functionally
+identical except that, if successful, it returns the pointer to the allocated
+memory block, allowing further initialisation e.g.:
+	static int ct_open(struct inode *inode, struct file *file)
+	{
+		struct mystruct *p =
+			__seq_open_private(file, &ct_seq_ops, sizeof(*p));
+		if (!p)
+			return -ENOMEM;
+		p->foo = bar; /* initialize my stuff */
+			...
+		p->baz = true;
+		return 0;
+	}
+A corresponding close function, seq_release_private() is available which
+frees the memory allocated in the corresponding open.
 The other operations of interest - read(), llseek(), and release() - are
 all implemented by the seq_file code itself. So a virtual file's
 file_operations structure will look like: