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    SubjectRe: Linux On-Demand Network Access (LODNA)
    You might look into SFS by David Mazieres, some concepts in it are
    likely to interest you.

    Hans

    Vlad C. wrote:

    >--- Hans Reiser <reiser@namesys.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Please treat at greater length how your proposal
    >>differs from NFS.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >I think NFS is not flexible enough because:
    >
    >1) NFS requires synchronization of passwd files or
    >NIS/LDAP to authenticate users (which themselves
    >require root access on both server and client to
    >install)
    >2) NFS by definition understands only its own network
    >protocol.
    >3) NFS requires root privileges on the client to
    >mount. I'm not aware of a way to let normal users
    >mount an NFS partition other than listing it in the
    >client's fstab and adding the 'users' option... but
    >then changing fstab still requires root access.
    >4) Users have to contact their sysadmin every time
    >they want to mount a different partition, a different
    >subdirectory of the same partition, or if they want to
    >change the local mountpoint, all because the partition
    >and mountpoint are hard-coded in fstab.
    >
    >On the other hand, I envision the following:
    >
    >1) No authentication layer required other than the
    >authentication built into the protocol. All the user
    >needs is the DNS/IP address of the server, a username,
    >a password, a path on the server, and a local
    >directory they own to act as a mountpoint. Note that
    >the user's identity on the server is not tied to his
    >identity on the client, as it is the case with NFS,
    >but rather the user can chose which username to
    >"Connect As" when he performs the mount.
    >2) Support for multiple network protocols.
    >3) No need for root privileges when choosing what to
    >mount and where to mount. Some may say this is a
    >security risk, but I see it as improved usability.
    >After all, DE-level implementations like KDE's fish:/
    >don't require root privileges either. Nevertheless, I
    >think there should be some sort of switch where the
    >sysadmin can allow/deny user mounting on a global or
    >per user basis (rather than a per fstab-line basis).
    >
    >Reasons 3 and 4 for why NFS is not flexible enough
    >could also apply to the current Linux implementation
    >of smbfs, which leads me to believe that part of the
    >problem lies in the fact that users can't mount
    >locations that aren't explicitly listed in fstab. I
    >guess a per fstab-line basis of allowing mounts makes
    >sense when there are a finite number of devices, but
    >it doesn't make much sense when there are an infinite
    >number of network addresses. I'm just thinking out
    >loud here, but would it be possible to specify ranges
    >of addresses and directories using wildcards? Such a
    >line in fstab would look like:
    >*.myhost.com:/home/* /home/* nfs
    >rsize=8192,wsize=8192,timeo=14,users
    >
    >In this case, users could do:
    >mount -t nfs host1.myhost.com:/home/username
    >~/remote_home
    >
    >but they couldn't do:
    >mount -t nfs host1.myhost.com:/tmp ~/remote_tmp
    >
    >After receiving several suggestions, it appears that
    >FUSE (http://fuse.sourceforge.net/) and the various
    >projects that build on it
    >(http://fuse.sourceforge.net/filesystems.html) have
    >the potential to do a lot of what I had envisioned
    >LODNA doing. Therefore, I realize that there's
    >probably no need for yet another VFS framework ;)
    >Nevertheless, I think there is room for improvement
    >when it comes to giving users more flexibility in
    >mounting network locations (as described above).
    >
    >Thanks,
    >Vlad
    >
    >__________________________________________________
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    >
    >
    >

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