DIRFS: A DragonFlyBSD File-System For Virtual Kernels
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 4 September 2013 at 10:02 PM EDT. 7 Comments
DIRFS was committed today as a new file-system for the DragonFlyBSD operating system. DIRFS isn't some competitor to the distribution's HAMMER (or the forthcoming HAMMER2 file-system), but it's a simple file-system implementation designed for use by the operating system's virtual kernel architecture.

DragonFlyBSD has a concept of "vkernel" for allowing kernels to be loaded from user-space for testing purposes. DragonFlyBSD developers can load a vkernel from user-space for debugging or testing the kernel. With it being done from user-space it's quick and easy for testing and avoids the needs for reboots, etc. For those unfamiliar with the DragonFlyBSD vkernel concept, see this handbook page or the vkernel man page.

What the new DIRFS file-system is for comes down to being a psuedo file-system that can mount the host's directories into the virtual kernel. DIRFS runs from the virtual kernel's VFS layer but uses syscalls to communicate with the host kernel about data found on the host file-system.

DIRFS is currently considered an experimental feature that's been committed to the DragonFlyBSD kernel. For more information see the Git commit message introducing the new file-system.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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