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DIRFS: A DragonFlyBSD File-System For Virtual Kernels

Free Software

Published on 04 September 2013 10:02 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
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.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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