[OpenAFS] Directory layout for new cells

Kelsang Wangden wngdn@src.uchicago.edu
Wed, 15 Nov 2000 16:59:06 -0600

To answer the question about layouts ...

We built a new cell from scratch last December because our old cell
had gotten quite crufty, and we were moving to new servers for Y2K
anyway.  I asked for some feedback on info-afs@transarc.org and got
some really good responses - you might want to look in the archive for

Anyway, here's the layout we settled on in /afs/src.uchicago.edu:

admin/                  administrative files
    sun4x_57/           one directory per @sys
common/                 stuff common to all system types
data/                   stuff belonging to our data library
home/                   symlinks to user home directories
pkg/                    opt-style software installations
users/                  actual user home directories
www/                    web pages

Under arch/@sys and common/ are directories such as bin, lib, include,
and man.  In the arch/@sys ones the contents are generally symlinks
into pkg/<pkgname>/.  In common/, these are generally scripts and
config files which work across architechtures.

In pkg/, there is a directory for each version of each software
package - e.g. automake-1.4, bison-1.28, etc.  Inside each of these
are the standard dirctories such as bin, lib, and include.  Some
things are broken down further by architechture name (generaly bin and

Under users/ we have the user directories split up to keep directory
contents low.  If your username is foobar, for example, then the
official mount point for your home directory is users/f/o/foobar/, but
I wouldn't actually tell you that.  home/foobar is a symlink to there,
and that's the one I tell users.  (Actually I tell them
/afs/home/foobar, because /afs/home is a symlink to

User web pages live in volumes which are mounted once inside www/ and
once in their home directories.  If they want multiple users editing
the files, then multiple users get a mount of the volume in their home
directories.  Because of this, ordinary users don't need read access
to the web tree, and permissions can be quite tight.

I think that covers it.  This is probably more complexity than the
average user wants if they're just installing a package with dselect
or apt-get.  Good AFS cell structure takes some thinking, some
planning, and (IMHO) some experience with good or bad structure to
which you can compare your ideas.


Kelsang Wangden (Buddhist monk)        Technical Manager
Social Science Research Computing, University of Chicago
       wngdn@src.uchicago.edu      (773) 702-3792
  PGP key:  http://www.src.uchicago.edu/~wngdn/key.txt