File systems are historically mounted by specifying which type of file system is mounted from where (e.g. mount -t ffs /dev/wd0a /mnt). However, sometimes a user is only interested in making the data available and not particularly interested in how or from where it is made available.

This project investigates the first steps in turning file systems into network-transparent services by making it possible to mount any kernel file system type from any location on the network. The file system components to be used are puffs and rump. puffs is used to forward local file system requests from the kernel to userspace and rump is used to facilitate running the kernel file system in userspace as a service daemon.

The milestones are the following:

The end result will look something like this:

# start serving ffs from /dev/wd0a on port 12675
onehost> ffs_serv -p 12675 /dev/wd0a
# start serving cd9660 from /dev/cd0a on port 12676
onehost> cd9660_serv -p 12675 /dev/cd0a

# meanwhile in outer space, mount anotherhost from port 12675
anotherhost> mount_puffs -t tcp onehost:12675 /mnt
anotherhost> mount
anotherhost:12675 on /mnt type <negotiated>
anotherhost> cd /mnt
anotherhost> ls
  ... etc

The student should have some familiarity with file systems and network services. The application should include an answer to the following question: "how is this different from nfs?"

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