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User Space File Systems

Jun 23, 2010, 12:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeffrey B. Layton)

"I've been writing a fair amount on file systems in Linux because I think we are in the midst of a file system Renaissance. We are seeing new file systems added to the kernel coupled with increasingly enterprise class features giving us more options than ever before. What is even more remarkable is that not too long ago Linux file system development was almost non-existent and in a few short years we have so much development and testing happening (for a brief commentary on that, read the interview with Valerie Aurora).

"But getting file systems into the kernel is a very long and arduous process. It is complicated, difficult work that takes a great deal of determination. This usually means that file systems won't address a niche requirement that is needed by a segment of Linux users, but instead will be general file systems addressing the broader Linux market. But what if you wanted to create a file system so you could take compressed tar files (.tar.gz) and mount them as a file system so you can easily read and write to them? Or what if you wanted to be able to mount remote file systems using secure tools such as ssh or sftp? I think even if you wrote some very conforming Linux kernel code to address file system need such as this, it would take a very long time for them to be added to the kernel if they are included at all (it's likely they would not because they are more niche than mainstream)."

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