[OpenAFS] possibly stupid question: why can't AFS serve "normal" directories like samba/nfs?

Adam Megacz megacz@cs.berkeley.edu
Sat, 08 Oct 2005 13:28:35 -0700

It's always made me a bit nervous that AFS keeps the data on the
server's disk in a nonstandard format, but there must be a good reason
for this.  Why doesn't the afs server just serve files out of a "plain
old directory structure" like nfsd, smbd, and the rest?

AFS-specific stuff (acls, locks, etc) could be kept in an extra file
in each directory (".acl") which isn't served to the client, and if
the client tries to create a file called ".acl", the server just maps
that to "..acl" (and "..acl" maps to "...acl", etc).

Would it be feasible to construct an afs server that worked this way?

I'm sure everybody here who's been working with AFS for a long time
has complete faith in the chunk format used to store server-side
files, but in terms of adoption, I have to say that this aspect is a
huge, huge turn-off to most sysadmins who are considering AFS for the
first time.  That may be irrational, but it's the way a lot of people
think, and it's been a problem for me when trying to convince people
to adopt OpenAFS.

  - a

PGP/GPG: 5C9F F366 C9CF 2145 E770  B1B8 EFB1 462D A146 C380