VFS ramblings

freedesktop at briangallaway.net freedesktop at briangallaway.net
Tue Sep 23 00:41:19 EEST 2003

I've been looking at some VFS stuff around the web today.  My main interest is
doing filesystem operations over ssh.  Right now there are solutions such as
KDE's fish which allow KDE applications access to files through sshd, and there
is an interesting project called lufs (http://lufs.sourceforge.net/lufs/) which
is Linux specific, but does allow filesystem mounts so that all programs may see
the virtual filesystem.  I believe it can even interface with GnomeVFS.

It seems neither option fully addresses all of the functions of an ideal VFS. 
In userland, we want to be able to do things like browse shares through LISa and
parse URIs in our desktop applications.  At the system level we'd like to be
able to mount virtual file systems and keep session information for those
protocols that need it (probably needed so that URIs can pass between KDE and
GNOME applications without re-authenticating the user).

My personal interest is to have a solution for mounting user home directories
over ssh that works on multiple platforms (ideally, the user logs in through *dm
and is authenticated through ssh - I guess this might involve pam too), although
I realize this is a bit below the concern of the desktop environment.  But it
does seem that some sort of standard, cross platform system for doing VFS and
related authentication would help the desktop environments as well.

Unfortunately I've only started following the VFS emails today, and I'm not the
most experienced guy in the desktop environment space.  I might be missing out
on some things or be completely off-base on others.  So why did I post my little
ramble here?  Well if nothing else, I thought it'd be worthwhile to bring up the
'lufs' project, as well as talk at a big picture level a bit.


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