• Eric Van Hensbergen's avatar
    [PATCH] v9fs: Documentation, Makefiles, Configuration · 93fa58cb
    Eric Van Hensbergen authored
    V9FS is a distributed file system for Linux which provides an
    implementation of the Plan 9 resource sharing protocol 9P.  It can be
    used to share all sorts of resources: static files, synthetic file servers
    (such as /proc or /sys), devices, and application file servers (such as
    Plan 9 (http://plan9.bell-labs.com/plan9) is a research operating
    system and associated applications suite developed by the Computing
    Science Research Center of AT&T Bell Laboratories (now a part of
    Lucent Technologies), the same group that developed UNIX , C, and C++.
    Plan 9 was initially released in 1993 to universities, and then made
    generally available in 1995. Its core operating systems code laid the
    foundation for the Inferno Operating System released as a product by
    Lucent Bell-Labs in 1997. The Inferno venture was the only commercial
    embodiment of Plan 9 and is currently maintained as a product by Vita
    Nuova (http://www.vitanuova.com). After updated releases in 2000 and
    2002, Plan 9 was open-sourced under the OSI approved Lucent Public
    License in 2003.
    The Plan 9 project was started by Ken Thompson and Rob Pike in 1985.
    Their intent was to explore potential solutions to some of the
    shortcomings of UNIX in the face of the widespread use of high-speed
    networks to connect machines. In UNIX, networking was an afterthought
    and UNIX clusters became little more than a network of stand-alone
    systems. Plan 9 was designed from first principles as a seamless
    distributed system with integrated secure network resource sharing.
    Applications and services were architected in such a way as to allow
    for implicit distribution across a cluster of systems. Configuring an
    environment to use remote application components or services in place
    of their local equivalent could be achieved with a few simple command
    line instructions. For the most part, application implementations
    operated independent of the location of their actual resources.
    Commercial operating systems haven't changed much in the 20 years
    since Plan 9 was conceived. Network and distributed systems support is
    provided by a patchwork of middle-ware, with an endless number of
    packages supplying pieces of the puzzle. Matters are complicated by
    the use of different complicated protocols for individual services,
    and separate implementations for kernel and application resources.
    The V9FS project (http://v9fs.sourceforge.net) is an attempt to bring
    Plan 9's unified approach to resource sharing to Linux and other
    operating systems via support for the 9P2000 resource sharing
    V9FS was originally developed by Ron Minnich and Maya Gokhale at Los
    Alamos National Labs (LANL) in 1997.  In November of 2001, Greg Watson
    setup a SourceForge project as a public repository for the code which
    supported the Linux 2.4 kernel.
    About a year ago, I picked up the initial attempt Ron Minnich had
    made to provide 2.6 support and got the code integrated into a 2.6.5
    kernel.   I then went through a line-for-line re-write attempting to
    clean-up the code while more closely following the Linux Kernel style
    guidelines.  I co-authored a paper with Ron Minnich on the V9FS Linux
    support including performance comparisons to NFSv3 using Bonnie and
    PostMark - this paper appeared at the USENIX/FREENIX 2005
    conference in April 2005:
    ( http://www.usenix.org/events/usenix05/tech/freenix/hensbergen.html ).
    Our 2.6 kernel support is stabilizing and we'd like to begin pursuing
    its integration into the official kernel tree.  We would appreciate any
    review, comments, critiques, and additions from this community and are
    actively seeking people to join our project and help us produce
    something that would be acceptable and useful to the Linux community.
    The code is reasonably stable, although there are no doubt corner cases
    our regression tests haven't discovered yet.  It is in regular use by several
    of the developers and has been tested on x86 and PowerPC
    (32-bit and 64-bit) in both small and large (LANL cluster) deployments.
    Our current regression tests include fsx, bonnie, and postmark.
    It was our intention to keep things as simple as possible for this
    release -- trying to focus on correctness within the core of the
    protocol support versus a rich set of features.  For example: a more
    complete security model and cache layer are in the road map, but
    excluded from this release.   Additionally, we have removed support for
    mmap operations at Al Viro's request.
    Detailed performance numbers and analysis are included in the FREENIX
    paper, but we show comparable performance to NFSv3 for large file
    operations based on the Bonnie benchmark, and superior performance for
    many small file operations based on the PostMark benchmark.   Somewhat
    preliminary graphs (from the FREENIX paper) are available
    The source code is available in a few different forms:
    tarballs: http://v9fs.sf.net
    CVSweb: http://cvs.sourceforge.net/viewcvs.py/v9fs/linux-9p/
    CVS: :pserver:anonymous@cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/v9fs/linux-9p
    Git: rsync://v9fs.graverobber.org/v9fs (webgit: http://v9fs.graverobber.org)
    9P: tcp!v9fs.graverobber.org!6564
    The user-level server is available from either the Plan 9 distribution
    or from http://v9fs.sf.net
    Other support applications are still being developed, but preliminary
    version can be downloaded from sourceforge.
    Documentation on the protocol has historically been the Plan 9 Man
    pages (http://plan9.bell-labs.com/sys/man/5/INDEX.html), but there is
    an effort under way to write a more complete Internet-Draft style
    specification (http://v9fs.sf.net/rfc).
    There are a couple of mailing lists supporting v9fs, but the most used
    is v9fs-developer@lists.sourceforge.net -- please direct/cc your
    comments there so the other v9fs contibutors can participate in the
    conversation.  There is also an IRC channel: irc://freenode.net/#v9fs
    This part of the patch contains Documentation, Makefiles, and configuration
    file changes.
    Signed-off-by: default avatarEric Van Hensbergen <ericvh@gmail.com>
    Signed-off-by: default avatarAndrew Morton <akpm@osdl.org>
    Signed-off-by: default avatarLinus Torvalds <torvalds@osdl.org>