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July 13th-16th, 2010
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User space storage system stack modules with file level control

Rohit Kumar Mehta (

Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) is a typical solution to simplifying writing a new file system. This is done by exporting all file system calls to the user-space, and by giving the user the ability to implement the real file system code in user-space but with a small overhead applicable due to context switching between kernel and the user-space. FUSE, however, only allows writing a nonstackable file systems. The other alternative to simplify writing file system code is to use File System Translator (FiST), a tool which can be used to develop stackable file system from a template code. FiST is limited to the kernel space and requires learning a slightly simplified file system language that describes the operation of the stackable file system. In this work, we combine FUSE with FiST and present a stackable FUSE module which will allow users to write stackable file systems in the user-space. Further, to overcome the overhead of FUSE operations, we provide this module in combination with our previously developed ATTEST framework which will limit only files with specific extended attributes to be exported to the user-space daemon. This design allows us to have multiple functions in user-space that can behave as stackable modules with dynamic ordering. Such a set-up also allows non-admin users to have stackable modules implemented, for example, in their respective home directories. In our experiments, we observe that having stackable modules in user-space has a very minimal overhead compared to the regular FUSE-based file systems.

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