[linux-elitists] network filesystem (not Samba nor NFS)

Academician Kula tkula@io.com
Tue Jun 15 19:57:16 PDT 2004

On Mon, Jun 14, 2004 at 04:47:28PM +0000, wuonm wrote:
> After some research it seems that the only useable networked filesystem
> is AFS (openafs.org)
> Any good/bad experience with this? with other? 

The place I work at, Iowa State University, uses AFS fairly heavily. 
I don't work for the group that maintains the service, but I use it
quite a bit. It's interesting enough that one of these days I'll get
around to setting it set up at home. 

Some of the nice things that I see about it are that: it is a true 
distributed filesystem --- volumes (a logical grouping of files,
one would probably have a volume for each user's home directory,
for example) can move from one afs server to another without the
client having to know about it; it's fairly well integrated with
Kerberos; it has a nice access control model (more advanced than
the standard user, group and world). 

Some downsides: it tends to be a bit more arcane --- you can find
a wealth of knowledge about NFS, for instance, but AFS tends to
take a bit more digging; it will involve the use of Kerberos for
authentication (which you may or may not see as an advantage; I
like it); and if you are interested in the 2.6 Linux kernel you'll
still have to wait a bit for AFS to work under it (2.6 changed the
mechanism by which AFS passed around authentication information,
and while the AFS group is working on fixing that, it seems to
have been a bit slow). 

>From what I understand (and, again, I've never ran an AFS service,
just used it) it is a bit steeper learning curve to get it running,
but once it is running, it just keeps running.

Thomas L. Kula | tkula@io.com | http://www.madscientistresearch.net
Mathom House upon the Canw, The People's Republic of Ames

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