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Separating Directory Structures from Physical File Systems

Muntz, Dan


Keyword(s): file systems; distributed; naming; directories

Abstract: Traditionally, file systems contain directory structures that are tightly bound to a particular file system implementation. These structures may be embedded, both logically and physically, in the file system and contain data that are specific to the file system implementation. Changing the directory structure of a file system can be extremely tedious: the file system code must be changed and rebuilt, new file system initialization code (mkfs) is needed, and new recovery code (fsck) is also likely to be necessary. Several areas of file system research could benefit from a generic directory structure that is implemented above the physical file system layer, allowing experimentation with directory contents and possibly alternative naming schemes.

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