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

Jeffrey Hutzelman jhutz@cmu.edu
Sun, 09 Oct 2005 23:25:35 -0400

On Saturday, October 08, 2005 04:41:14 PM -0400 Derrick J Brashear 
<shadow@dementia.org> wrote:

> On Sat, 8 Oct 2005, Adam Megacz wrote:
>> 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?
> You certainly could, protocol-wise. Look in the archives for comments
> about hostafsd.

Note that hostafsd was built as a proof-of-concept for this sort of thing. 
It does some pretty hideous things to get something approaching reasonable 
security semantics, given the assumptions people make about how access 
controls work on UNIX filesystems.  That's just with read-only support; 
write support was never implemented, but would be even more complex.  Also, 
performance was very much a non-goal; for what we were planning at the 
time, we didn't consider performance important even if hostafsd ever went 
into production (it never did, mostly due to lack of cycles to complete the 
development work).

-- Jeff (who wrote the thing)