[OpenAFS] Basic OpenAFS questions

Jason Edgecombe jason@rampaginggeek.com
Thu, 26 Jun 2008 17:28:05 -0400

outsider wrote:
> I'm considering using OpenAFS on my home system/LAN, but have a few questions
> first (things thate not quite clear) before I take the plunge.
> 1. Is AFS a tool that is used on top of existing file systems? Do I still
> format my partition with ext3 and then add it to OpenAFS ? Or does the
> partition get formated using the OpenAFS FS?
> 2. On a setup with multiple drives/shares/partitions how does OpenAFS manage
> where data gets written? Does it fill up one volume before moving on the
> next? Does it spread the data evenly between all the volumes?
> 3. If I remove a drive from the OpenAFS system, will that drive still be
> readable on it's own? (I guess this will be answered by question 1)
1. Yes and no. The partition is formatted as ext3, but OpenAFS stores 
it's data in an opaque file format, which is stored in the ext3 
filesystem.  It's kind of it's own filesystem on top of ext3 or whatever 
the raw disk is formatted as.

2. OpenAFS treats each partition as a separate bucket. The AFS admin 
must specify which bucket the data is stored in. In OpenAFS parlance, 
these buckets are called vice partitions or just partitions. They must 
be mounted as /vicepa .. /vicepzz

3. The filesystem is readable, but you can't interpret the files that 
OpenAFS stored without an OpenAFS server running or using some other tool.