The AndrewFileSystem:

  • was developed as part of the AndrewProject
  • is a NetworkFileSystem
  • uses full ACLs rather than traditional Unix permissions - see AFSACLs
  • supports replication of the filebase across multiple servers for Reliability and Availability
  • uses Kerberos for Authentication (Kerberos5 prefered, though Kerberos 4 is native to OpenAFS)
  • uses "tokens" tied to your UID to your PAG, which are Kerberos 4 tickets stuffed into the kernel
  • can cache files locally for fast access even to files only available to you over a slow link
  • was originally called "Vice" (the Andrew Toolkit was known as 'Virtue')
  • no longer copies the entire file when it's opened for writing, which is slow for large files

The AFS team went on to develop Coda as a research project on DisconnectedOperation, which spun off Intermezzo, which in turn spun off Lustre.

AFS however has not been abandoned and continues to thrive, offering gigantic scaling capacities.

There is OpenAFS support in Kernel 2.6.7.

See also: