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IBM Releases AFS 98

Raleel writes: "IBM has released the source code to AFS for AIX 4.2, Digital/Compaq UNIX 4.0, Red Hat Linux 6.2, Solaris 2.6 and 2.7, and Windows NT 4.0. You can download it from here. It is under IBM's Open Source license." This was supposed to be released a while ago, but it's good to see IBM following-thru. For more information, see our article regarding the open sourcing of AFS and the article from 1998 regarding the porting effort.
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IBM Releases AFS

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  • Once AFS is truly considered dead and no longer supported at all... there will still be some legacy systems around using it. Open source could possibly be the only avenue of support for these systems in the future.
  • sorry, my bad. It is free, but incompatible with the GPL. cen se-list.html []
  • Please note folks... AFS is not JFS. AFS is a remote file-sharing protocol, like NFS, which fails to suck in most of the ways that NFS sucks.
  • They are related in that they were both created at CMU as part of the Andrew project. The applications you are thinking of are probably part of the Andrew User Interface System []. It's a suite of integrated applications for Unix. Check the web site for more info.
  • ezmail is an AMS client; the release of the AFS source code does not impact the status of ezmail.
  • > So... They're going to release it, and not support it. Joy...

    Gee, next thing you know, IBM is going to stop supporting Linux, Emacs, gcc, flex, bison, and gmake, too!

    Man, you're thick. Open Source means that they're releasing the source code in some free manner. It does not mean that they're opening their wallet.

    If the authors of free software had to support it out of their own pockets, how much free software do you think there would be? How many people would actually bother to write any?

    Imagine the world without it..

    "Hello, GNU Software. This is Richard M. Stallman speaking."

    "Yes, sir. I know you're having trouble with Emacs, but ever since Sun and Amdahl pulled their
    code out, it hasn't been very stable under that platform. I think it's a bug with your vendor's crappy C compiler or their lexer, but since there is no other alternative cc or lex, I can't really narrow it down very well. I'm also really too busy manning the phones to code much these days...

    "No, sir, there aren't any other support people here -- nobody else wants to work for free. I'm afraid you'll have to deal with me."

    "Whoah! I'm sorry sir -- I have to go! Microsoft SourceSafe just ate my Emacs v5 source code -- boy I wish there was some sort of a revision control, or concurrent versioning system available for UNIX!"


    >IBM - "We're releasing this, isn't this great?!"
    >YOU- "wow, this is awesome, so how does bla bla bla..."
    >IBM - "RTFM!"

    It must suck to be illiterate. You have my condolences.

    Personally, I'd much rather have a piece of code that I had to RTFS or RTFM to use rather than writing it from scratch myself. But then again, you're probably one of those "Gimme, Gimme!" Americans.

  • Sadly they are not selling support. I hope that one day they will see that is the best thing for Open AFS.

    My opinions are mine alone and do not represent that of my employer.
  • And here's one reason why:

    # vos move user.janeane /vicepa /vicepe

    That's me moving my wife's homedir volume from one server to another while she's using it AND she never even notices it -- everything keeps working perfectly even while it is in transit.

    That rocks.

  • IBM bought Transarc about 5 or 6 years ago when all the pundits and industry gurus though DCE was going to be the next big thing.

    There product line was the file server, a transaction monitor (ENCINA) and some extras like transactional file and queue systems. The best selling product was a UNIX version of the mainframe transaction monitor CICS, which was remarkted by IBM as CICS/6000.

    DCE never really happended, ENCINA never really took off, and, CICS sales slowed down. So it wasn't a brilliant buy.

    The Andrew File System though is pretty good apert from the fact that it depends on DCE, it is certainly much better than NFS in all respects.

    I think as far as IBM is concerned its a case of we can't sell it so lets give it away.

  • Have you tried modifying their makefile? I just ran into the same problem and my first thought was to just *try* it for 2.2.17 by adding it in.
  • I absolutley agree that the documentation is wonderful. You don't need support except for bugs with the thorough doc. I am not sure about the "Even if AFS doesn't DO anything". But, overall you are very correct.

    My opinions are mine alone and do not represent that of my employer.
  • The Andrew File System though is pretty good apert from the fact that it depends on DCE, it is certainly much better than NFS in all respects.

    AFS does not depend on DCE - it depends on a hacked version of kerberos IV.

    It is better than NFS in most respects, but not all:

    • Its ACLs are confusing because the UNIX mode bits are still visible, but meaningless, and only directories have ACLs.
    • Local cache is great, and generally better than NFS, but it gets swamped by very large files (>1 Gig).
    • integrating AFS into a normal UNIX environment can be tricky, especially because of the relatively limited number of platforms supported. Hopefully this will start to change.

    an AFS sysadmin for 2+ years

  • While Arla works great for some situations (I use it all the time when doing standard development stuff), it has one huge drawback: It doesn't do chunck caching. Transarc's client can cache a chunk of a file, rather than the entire file. Arla can only cache the entire file. Normally not a big deal. But when you start working with huge data sets, you can really get hosed if your server is a little slow or far away. That being said, I really like the fact that ARLA can actually be stopped without rebooting. It always seems that trying to stop transarc's client causes a kernel panic.
  • Keep an eye on This is where the real action will be happening on this project, not at the site.

  • I suppose it would be better if AFS handled HSM internally, but using AFS on top of a HSM capable filesystem should also work.

    SGI just released the DMAPI implementation for their XFS filesystem, and Sistina has DMAPI on their todolist for GFS.

    In addition, there are the openxdsm project, and mfs [] (a stackable filesystem that add HSM [not DMAPI] to a regular filesystem). I believe Unitree have their own DMAPI capable filesystem ported to linux, and they have VFS modifications to allow DMAPI (like openxdsm) on any linux filesystem in the pipeline. Unfortenately neither are open source.

  • I was the DCE/DFS Administrator / Architect at Brown University. DFS/AFS is very scalable, a monster to administer, but I didn't complain, I just rolled my own Perl scripts to administer the beast. I figured as long as this is a beast to administer, the pay will be great! Anyway I wanted to put a AFS server online for friends / collegues to access via my cable modem. But... I hit a compile snag at afsmonitor.. it looks like problems with some of the supplied header files. I get 75% compiled. Does any one else run into this? I'm hoping to have a version compiled for LinuxPPC soon! And a fully configured AFS cell. I am also going to work on a AFS/DFS gateway
  • I really would like to have an AFS Cell up on my home LAN and accessable via my cable modem, also would like to experiment and set up gateways to other hobbyist cells! Anyone interested! Yes AFS/DFS is very powerfull, and there are plenty of ways to manage it. I used my own perl scripts. Now I tried to compile the code that was on IBM's site. Here the error I get: ../afs/afs_analyze.c: In function `afs_Analyze': ../afs/afs_analyze.c:334: storage size of `opStartTime' isn't known ../afs/afs_analyze.c:334: storage size of `opStopTime' isn't known ../afs/afs_analyze.c:334: storage size of `elapsedTime' isn't known make[4]: *** [afs_analyze.o] Error 1 make[4]: Leaving directory `/home/jerryn/afs/i386_linux22/obj/libafs/MODLOAD- 2.2.5-15-MP' make[3]: *** [linux_compdirs] Error 2 make[3]: Leaving directory `/home/jerryn/afs/i386_linux22/obj/libafs' make[2]: *** [libafs] Error 2 make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/jerryn/afs' make[1]: *** [install] Error 2 make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/jerryn/afs' make: *** [all] Error 2 Did anyone else run into this? I am using kernel 2.2.14, and yes I have all configured ok! And most of the code compiles. just afs_analyze fails. my email address is I think we should start a newsgroup on egroups for all of us who want to create a massive WWW AFS implementation. I've got bandwidth from my cable modem, and I can limit the number of concurrent connections to my AFS server with my firewall.. All I need to do is get all the code compiled and I can easily configure this puppy since I used to be a DCE/DFS admin! Anyone interested?
  • I did a symbolic link of /usr/src/linux-2.4-test10 /usr/src/linux-2.2.14, but it wasn't fooled. It checked the version.h header in the kernel source to verify the correct kernel version. Maybe if I edit the version header manually to 2.2.14...hmmmmmm
  • OK, call that subject the reaction to reading too much FUD on here lately, and at having that FUD directed at a License *I* release code under; my appologies.

    That said, the OSD [], is derived from the DFSG []. Both of which clearly contain points related to free (as in speech) code such as #3, #4, #6, #8 and #9. As well as the expected free (as in beer) points you're thinking of: #1, #2, #4 - 7, and #9. As I said, if they don't meet your definitions of free (as in beer and speech) then WHAT DOES?

    Now, IANAL, however I have read through both licenses in detail... what have I missed? What does your obviously superior legal knowledge expose that makes the IBMPL not free as in beer AND free as in speech? And what is it about the IBMPL that prevents software released under it from being included in a Linux distro? are you somehow indicating that just because the kernel and much of the runtime is released under the GPL that this means ALL software in the distro must also be GPL? If that's what you're thinking then you've missed the point of #9.
  • Woah! who said anything about the OSD? I'm talking about the Ibm Public Licence. I'm not criticizing your choice of licence, nor am I saying you should use a particular licence. I'm just saying that because the Ibm licence is incompatable with the GPL, there may be problems if someone decides to link it to a GPL'd piece of source (the Linux Kernel is one such possibility.).
    There may be ways around this, I don't know.
    If you read the IBM P.L., there are some interesting clauses with regard to liability and such. I don't know if it is this that makes it incompatable, but I know that I sure came away from with the feeling that I don't want to touch their source.
  • You did. The OSD is the definition of what free is, you infered that the IPL isn't free. I counter that it is, and that the OSI's acceptance of it as conformant to the OSD is the proof (by real legal people, not just us hackers).

    The key word you keep coming back to is "incompatible". This word has some specific meanings but I see none of them that are special to the relation between the IPL and the GPL. There is actually very little differnce between this relationship and that between the FSF license and the GPL, or the MPL and the GPL, or the FSF license and the MPL, or any other pair of licenses that aren't built with the intent of being combined with others (i.e. LGPL and GPL).

    In regard to those clauses about liability and such, that's no different that the GPL's paragraphs 11 and 12. In fact they read very similarly. The biggest difference really is the assignment of copyright, wherein it's more like the FSF License, and the comercial distribution allowances, which make it more like many other licenses, including that which may someday become GPL v3.

    If anyone chooses to link together code from two or more different licenses then they need to get their lawyers analysis, it doesn't matter what those two licenses are. So please don't vilify the IBM Public License just because it beongs to a Corporation; if you can find a legitimate legally whole argument then run it past a legal expert and make it.
  • Yeah, and they had to go through the code and remove all the names and initials of all the past developers. For some reason.
  • by debrain ( 29228 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @03:04AM (#658920) Journal
    Superb documentation. Even if AFS doesn't DO anything, I'm really impressed with the quality and detail of the documentation included with it (well, online, after you "agree" --click-- to a license agreement ...)

    One of the things nice about what happened here is that a slew of documentation was released with the software - in general, I have noticed relatively sparse documentation around new open software. Not a complaint, just something I noticed.

  • A lot of Free and Open Source software is offered commercial support, and the FAQ simply states that you won't get support from IBM even if you are willing to pay.

    No, it doesn't - it says that if you pay for 'IBM AFS' support you won't get 'Open AFS' support - they're distinguishing between products (you might not be able to get 'Open AFS' support either, I don't know, but the FAQ doesn't preclude it).


  • Erm, Doh!

    I was wrong. Sorry about that - maybe I should learn to read properly or something.

    [watching karma drop as previous post gets modded down...]


  • AFS looks very cool. I've looked around at the FAQ and done some searching but I haven't been able to determine whether it supports SSL for transporting the raw data. However, I have observed that it supports secure authentication. Does AFS provide the capability to encrypt all data traffic with SSL? If not, might we have some luck including that feature now that the package has been open-sourced?
  • So on the one hand we should make sure they get lots of positive attention to encourage further OS releases by companies (otherwise as you say 'they won't bother'). Yet also stop patting them on the back? Well you can't have it both ways! If _you_ don't like it, then don't use it. And if no one uses it, big deal, it's not costing you anything at all. Just be glad that the effort is being made, even if it is only with something _you_ don't rate.

    Rant: off
    Azrael - The Angel of Death
  • I don't get it. I suppose some people just like to piss and moan about how their asses aren't being correctly kissed on BOTH cheeks. WTF could there possibly be to complain about this announcement. AFS is great <DFS is better but fewer people fully understand it> A robust distributed file system that was designed to handle huge gobs of data and huge numbers of users. And this is bad how?

    If you think this is something to complain about then shut the fuck up and work on the code.
  • I tried the AFS diet a couple of years ago, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    Previously, I was constantly stuffing my face with packets, unable to stop this neurotic activity because of demands on the job.

    AFS is great, I lost 500KB bandwidth _per second_.


    Mr. Switch

  • Everyone who knows Martin knows that he's a schizophrenic crack-addict. No right-minded person would desire a return to EZMAIL.
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    I'm using Arla now because it compiles on 2.4, but arla isn't terribly stable yet even as a client, and I've heard that it's even worse as a server.

    Too bad ARLA won't be able to use code from OpenAFS...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • IIRC, Coda was originally under a BSD-style license which was changed to GPL 6-12 months after they started work.
  • Does AFS provide the capability to encrypt all data traffic with SSL?

    Nope.&nbsp This was a feature of DFS.&nbsp The authentication however is quite secure since it uses a modified Kerberos IV protocol.&nbsp

    Hopefully one of the new changes the community makes will be updating AFS to work within an existing Kerberos V environment without a krb4->krb5 daemon.

  • 1) how the hell did this get mod'd up?
    2) install either a tarball or packaged version of the kernel source code, and chances are your problems will all disappear!

    ...I guess this proves that just about anyone with make and gcc thinks they need to be compiling every source tarball they miander across while aimlessly wondering the 'Net.

    What would you even do with ASF? If you couldn't figure out how to compile the code, chances are you were going to be hopelessly doomed at using it!
  • Here is what I know of the two after being an AFS user and once looking into CODA for my home lan:

    - AFS is relatively bug free and stable, while CODA is still an alpha/beta quality product that has plenty of disclaimers about losing data.
    - AFS is well documented and somewhat easy to use, while I personally had a tough time figuring out anything whatsoever about CODA.
    -AFS supports multiple "cells", while last I checked CODA supported one.
    - I think AFS is generally targetted at large installations (for example nearly all of IBM uses it) while CODA is intended for smaller ones.
    - CODA supports "disconnected operation", while AFS dies even if you just have a temporary network glitch.

    If any of this is now inaccurate, please feel free to correct me, or mod me down to flamebait.

  • This was posted to info-afs recently (subscritpion information at ListRequest.html , archive at )

    From: Derrick J Brashear
    Subject: OpenAFS lists, cvs to be available at

    As soon as the relevant DNS changes happen, lists devoted to openafs development will be available at, and a cvs archive will also be available. A preview of the site is available at


  • It may fail to suck in the ways NFS sucks, but it sucks in its own ways: access control that is incompatible with UNIX, can't handle any kind of special files in AFS space, last-write-wins, and it doesn't deal well with updates to big files, to name just a few. In addition to that, AFS has unpleasant problems when the local cache fills up. NFS may have lots of problems, but AFS isn't the answer.
  • All those hooks, bells and whistles, and features look good on paper. But I've actually worked on trying to convert and merge ACLs from different AFS installations. What I found is that the ACLs are often non-sensical.

    AFS ACLs allow users to come up with quick fixes to permission problems, and they ultimately leave a complete and often unsecure mess behind, something that the system administrator has to deal with.

    The tedious but simple NFS/UNIX permission schemes make it much easier to figure out what is going on, and they force people to think carefully about what kinds of groups they want, rather than creating them willy-nilly by accident.

    That's only one of the many problems with AFS in my experience. That isn't to say that AFS is all bad--it works reasonably well in its original environment. But it isn't the universal answer to .com's or corporate computing.

    I think it's fine AFS has been released by IBM. I also think the open source and Linux community should think carefully about whether to invest any resources in it. There are probably better directions to go in and better projects to spend time and resources on.

  • Yet more funky stuff enters the OSS world... The question now is 'What will Big Blue opensource next?', and who wants to port it? :o)
  • by aat ( 106366 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @01:25AM (#658937) Homepage Journal
    It's nice that IBM has released OpenAFS two or so months after they said that it would be released, but a Free (libre) clone
    called ARLA [] has existed for sometime, and in my experience hasn't caused me any problems on several platforms, and is GPL'd .
    Also, arla supports many platforms, including (Free|Net|Open)BSD, and non x86 Linuxen, which Transarc (the IBM owned
    company which actually develops AFS) hasn't bothered porting AFS to.

  • The IPL (IBM Public License) isn't the GPL or even the LGPL. Among other atrocities, it allows for the distribution in binary-only form. This seems to me to make it more of a freeware or shareware license than a public license.

    You can read about it here [].

  • I found this interesting in their FAQ
    "Will IBM support "Open AFS"?

    IBM will support "IBM AFS" clients and servers for those customers who have active IBM AFS support contracts. IBM will not offer support services for Open AFS."

    So... They're going to release it, and not support it. Joy...

    IBM - "We're releasing this, isn't this great?!"

    YOU- "wow, this is awesome, so how does bla bla bla..."

    IBM - "RTFM!"

  • by pb ( 1020 )
    This sounds very much like a good thing; arla works okay as a client, but not great, and it's probably the least stable thing I have running under 2.4 right now.

    I do have a few questions, though:

    1) Does IBM own Transarc? What's the deal here?

    2) What are the extra restrictions on the "IPL"? (Like we need YAOSSL (-> another license...))
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • I thought that Win2K had it's own journalling file system, so most users will just use that, irrespective of how good the alternatives are. IBM probably don't want to expend resources porting to a platform where it won't be used much, although there's nothing stopping some other clever folk from doing it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why would they support it for free?

    This is common practice.

    No companies support anything for free if they can possibly help it. Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat... you name it.
  • That actually doesn't look so bad, but thanks for the link!

    A Contributor may choose to distribute the Program in object code form under its own license agreement, provided that:
    b) its license agreement:
    iv) states that source code for the Program is available from such Contributor, and informs licensees how to obtain it in a reasonable manner on or through a medium customarily used for software exchange.

    That isn't actually so different from the GPL. It can be distributed binary-only, as long as you can *still* get the source code; that's fine.

    I suppose next week, we'll argue over whether it's DFSG compliant, or DEAHTHIS compliant or whatever, but until then, it looks fine for me.
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • Great, looks promising. Just a shame there's no win2000 support (well there's a surprise). I don't particularly wanna play with it on my linux machine, and I'm damned if I'm gonna resort to using NT4 ;)
  • I thought that Win2K had it's own journalling file system

    AFS stands for "Andrew File System", it's a network filesystem, and has little to do with IBM's journaled filesystem JFS and the effort to port it to Linux.

  • Among other atrocities, it allows for the distribution in binary-only form.
    Um, I might not be a licenselawyer (or any other kind of laywer), but doesn't the GPL allow that, as well? AFAIK, it (the GPL) only states that source should be available; there's no requirement that it be distributed with the software.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...and I'll keep saying it: IBM is Linux's best friend, period. They're doing more to push Linux into the enterprise, and eventually on to the desktop, than any other company. This AFS release is just one more example of their commitment to Linux.
  • Why would they support it for free?

    Where did you read "support for free"?

    A lot of Free and Open Source software is offered commercial support, and the FAQ simply states that you won't get support from IBM even if you are willing to pay.

    This also mean that if there is enough commercial interest [in offering commercial support for Open AFS], someone else will probably provide that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @01:51AM (#658949)
    Someone moderate this bloke's post down as stupid.

    Buddy, AFS might be old but that doesn't mean it is "dead".

    AFS is a superior distributed file system which has a _proven_ track record. It has extensible ACL's. It has redundancy. It has fault tolerance. It is scalable. It has backing up built into its architecture. Kerberos fits nicely into the picture.

    Let's say you have a large corporation, maybe you merged with other corporations. So now there's one corporation with all these departments that trust/might not trust eachother. Unix file permissions _break down horribly_ here whereas AFS shines. Just make groups for each corporation, add group names you trust to the ACL list of your directory and you're done. But that's not all, you can add individual users to your directory.

    AFS is perfect for today's dot-coms who are now merging and forming huge corporations. And now that it is open source, it will be improved upon hopefully - not too familiar with the license.

    Please read [] about AFS before posting ignorant-bad-big-corporation posts such as yours.

    We should stand up and demand that they fully support Open Source by releasing code to viable products. If hundreds of thousands of programmers can do it every day we should expect the big guys to find a way to make it work.

    lmao. Thank you for amusing me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As someone has just pointed out on the Mailing List, Atheos' [] journaling filesystem is called AFS too. Now people are wondering what to call it to avoid confusion....
  • On my 2.2.16 box:

    ERROR: Cannot build for Linux kernel 2.2.5-15: /usr/src/linux-2.2.5-15 does not exist.
    ERROR: Cannot build for Linux kernel 2.2.10: /usr/src/linux-2.2.10 does not exist.
    ERROR: Cannot build for Linux kernel 2.2.12: /usr/src/linux-2.2.12/include/linux/version.h does not exist.
    ERROR: Cannot build for Linux kernel 2.2.12-20: /usr/src/linux-2.2.12-20 does not exist.
    ERROR: Cannot build for Linux kernel 2.2.13: /usr/src/linux-2.2.13 does not exist.
    ERROR: Cannot build for Linux kernel 2.2.14:
    No UTS_RELEASE string found in /usr/src/linux-2.2.14/include/linux/version.h.
    ERROR: Should be able to build at least one of 2.2.5-15 2.2.10 2.2.12 2.2.12-20 2.2.13 2.2.14.
    Valid headers not present for any Linux kernel.

  • I can't see any reference to DMAPI (Data Manager API) compliance in the docs. Linux needs a DMAPI compliant FS to implement HSM (Hierarchical Storage Management). There's a good page on DMAPI here []. Is there any HSM development on linux in the pipeline? I'm aware of openxdm [] who are working on an Open Source DMAPI implementation, and OTG [] have made noises about porting DiskXtender, but is there anybody working on a Free (libre) implementation? And what happened to Unitree's linux HSM [] which they claimed "Initially UCFM for Linux will ship on Redhat Software's Linux release 6.0"? RedHat's website seems to know nothing about it.

    So, can anybody give me the skinny on any Free (libre) DMAPI/HSM work going on?

  • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @04:10AM (#658953) Homepage
    Documentation link without the clickwrap []

  • by cjsteele ( 27556 ) <> on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @04:11AM (#658954) Homepage
    Actually, the best model for open sourcing your code is exactly what IBM is doing here -- release the code, sell the support.

    Why shouldn't the do what they've done?
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @04:14AM (#658955) Journal
    I don't get it. First they scrap their plans for the Crusoe laptop, then the open source AFS. And then they use an obscure prprietry license on their open sourcing which makes it next to useless for most Open Source apps.

    Do they support Open Source or not?
  • I bet you vote NDP ... (if you don't get that, don't worry... :} ) That aside, the "AFS doesn't do anything" was a without-loss-of-generality conjecture insinuating the uselessness of software without adequate documentation.
  • by map ( 10940 )
    We mainly develop arla on FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris.
  • ln -s /usr/src/linux /usr/src/linux-2.2.14

    Now cross your fingers and pray ;-)
  • by map ( 10940 )
    Arla has been working on *BSD and Linux for several years. In the beginning of 1998, we had *BSD and Linux working. In May 1998, we had Linux 2.2 support working, long before Transarc. I am right now writing this on a Mac OS X Public Beta with Arla running.
  • Yes, yes ,yes, thank you
  • demand? it's their software. buy a controlling share of IBM, then you can demand stuff from them. although i do see the appeal in your logic. i hereby demand that you hand over your bank account, credit cards, and any associated PINs. hundreds of thousands of bank customers have money they don't "need," they'll find a way to make it work.
  • What, exactly, has the Crusoe processor got to do with Open Source anyway?

    Yes, Linus is employed by Transmeta, but the processor is nothing to do with Open Source as far as I can tell. Transmeta's a promising company, but IBM not using their processor says nothing about whether they support Open Source or not.

  • Since AFS began at CMU prior to going to Transarc, it seems relevant to compare it to what came next. Coda is now the distributed filesystem pet project at CMU. Can someone compare/contrast the two?

    Coda also appears to be at least partly GPL (or LGPL?), since it shows up in the kernel configurator. Was this a reaction to AFS going for-profit?
  • I agree with your point about code that would make money via sales not being OSS'd. Good call.

    BTW: I ain't no OSS cheerleader! hehe... I've never heard RMS called a cheerleader before, but it fits -- I just hope most cheerleaders aren't so damn ignorant about it.
  • The IBM style license is more friendly to commercial entities then the GPL. That way they can get other operating system makers to adopt AFS client, and spread the use of AFS. AFS, one world, one filesystem. It rocks.
  • That's cuz there is no "IBM Open Source" license. OpenAFS is released under the IBM Public License.
  • 1) how the hell did this get mod'd up?

    It hasn't been moderated. (at least not yet)

  • Oh, there documentation is slightly wrong.

    The line to build it (for Linux 2.2 - kernel 2.2.17) should be

    make SYS_NAME=i386_linux22 LINUX_VERS="2.2.17"


  • Yeah, that's right - every software project always comes out on time so IBM must be acting in bad faith. I'm sure all of *your* projects have been done on time. Oh wait, that's probably true because you've never been part of a large software project. It was late. Deal. A two month delay on a large project is hardly something to whine about.

    Also, their lawyers probably had to go through all the code and clear it. That's why it took so long for us (SGI) to open source XFS.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... Beowulf clustering?

    Thank you.
  • That is a strange thing to say.

    I feel a strong need for something like AFS when there is a environment with lots of different hosts, servers and clients.

    It is as far as I know the greatest distributed filesystem with superb features like the backupsystem (which is like snaphots you can mount in your filetree)

    Just the thing that you can easily have a common filestructure for the whole company wherever you are and not dependent on what OS you are running...

    I do not share your view and you probably should tell us if you have had experience with AFS.
    Probably not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @02:00AM (#658972)
    In case you don't know what AFS is (wink, wink) and would like to know more, here is the AFS FAQ []:

    What is AFS?

    AFS is a distributed filesystem that enables co-operating hosts (clients and servers) to efficiently share filesystem resources across both local area and wide area networks.

    AFS is marketed, maintained, and extended by Transarc Corporation [].

    AFS is based on a distributed file system originally developed at the Information Technology Center at Carnegie-Mellon University that was called the "Andrew File System".

    "Andrew" was the name of the research project at CMU - honouring the founders of the University. Once Transarc was formed and AFS became a product, the "Andrew" was dropped to indicate that AFS had gone beyond the Andrew research project and had become a supported, product quality filesystem. However, there were a number of existing cells that rooted their filesystem as /afs. At the time, changing the root of the filesystem was a non-trivial undertaking. So, to save the early AFS sites from having to rename their filesystem, AFS remained as the name and filesystem root.


    What are the benefits of using AFS?

    The main strengths of AFS are its:

    + caching facility
    + security features
    + simplicity of addressing
    + scalability
    + communications protocol

    Here are some of the advantages of using AFS in more detail: ( see FAQ for more) []
  • Why just Red Hat 6.2?
    What about Red Hat 7, SuSe, Mandrake and, elementary, DEBIAN???
  • Its source not binaries.
    Compile it yourself.

    If you need to fix something, well, mail the ibm guys the fixes.

  • by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) <> on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @02:07AM (#658975) Homepage Journal
    The GPL says you have to either distribute the source with the binary; or provide a written offer, valid for three years, to provide the source; or to offer the source for download when you offer the binary for download.

    The IBM public license doesn't specify HOW you are supposed to get hold of the source, but that you do have a right to get it.

    If there is something atrocious about this license, I'd love to hear about it. It looks a whole lot like the Mozilla license, actually.

  • It has (if they didn't fix it lately) one big disadvantage, it isn't reliable on SMP boxen... (I think it was something about locking that was missing)
    But it looks promising though...

  • by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) <> on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @02:22AM (#658977) Homepage Journal
    We should stand up and demand that they fully support Open Source by releasing code to viable products.

    IBM isn't doing this? What about:

    • SashXB [] (LGPL)
    • JFS [] (GPL)
    • Jikes [] (IBM Public License)
    Or how about all the money IBM is pouring into Linux? This has been but a selection of articles I could find in five minutes.
  • nag nag,

    Grow up.
    AFS is a great filesystem.

    The OpenSource alternatives (1) up to date is not even close.

    1. Coda, intermezzo.

  • Thank you for updating my clue rating. Since the JFS is due very soon, I made the mistake of thinking that AFS was it.
  • "Do they support Open Source or not? "

    Huh? Moron, look, read the flipping headline: " "IBM has released the source code to AFS for AIX 4.2, Digital/Compaq UNIX 4.0, Red Hat Linux 6.2, Solaris 2.6 and 2.7, and Windows NT 4.0. "

    Obviously, IBM have offices in St Petersburg, yeah?
    .|` Clouds cross the black moonlight,
  • sorry, my bad. It is free, but incompatible with the GPL. cen se-list.html

    Is it? I don't see it on that list. I see the IBM Public License listed as GPL incompatible, but that doesn't mean that the IBM Open Source license is the same.


    Toby Haynes

  • Is this Andrew FS in any way related to that Andrew utils i vaguely remember from my slackware youth to be installed in /usr/andrew/ ? Something like an Editor and an mail-reader which were on one of the yggdrassill cds... [Dave, my mind is going, I can feel it ...]

  • Yea but how long will it take to port the OPEN AFS to (Free|Net|Open)BSD? As long as we have the source. It will just take man hours.

    Now I like Arla and the development team has done a great job of getting arla stable to use in every day applications. And I most likely stick with it for now.


  • ... IBM is Linux's best friend, ...

    And why is this?

    IBM seems to have morphed into a services company rather than primarily a H/W & S/W vendor.

    OK, so they provide services- many of which end up selling IBM's own H/W, but, doesn't Linux
    undercut Windows?

    IBM's AIX5L (L for Linux, eh?) provides a growth path for Linux based apps; Assuming Linux is a good low-end platform, at least an App can be ported to IBM's own AIX platform (if it cain't be run as a binary) which is NOT something that can be done for an NT-based Application. If IBM really encouraged the use of NT, then there's no real growth path for their customers since you can't take the applications with you. Of course, I suspect IBM's learned from the MFC error.

    So- success of the Linux environment doesn't seem to hurt IBM. Amusingly, IBM seems to be betting on it since it can't be taken away (look at how blue they got over Sun's moves w/ Java 2).

    "The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend"- Especially if you find a way to avoid direct competition.

    Let's see M$ get NT ported to the S/390 platform...

  • Obviously, IBM have offices in St Petersburg, yeah?

    Oh yes! I saw it in a movie, Goldeneye!!

  • The IPL (IBM Public License) isn't the GPL or even the LGPL. Among other atrocities, it allows for the distribution in binary-only form

    Horrors! You know, the X, WINE, and BSD licenses all allow for the distribution in binary-only forms, too!
  • I wouldn't think porting the NT code to win2k would be all that bad. I know there are win2k bits in the works for IBM AFS. Personally I'd like to see work started on making an AFS Light Gateway Server that runs on unix. A plug-in for SAMBA maybe? Or make the client code for win9x be a full fledged client instead of the light one thats offered now. AFS on my home net would be great but without any NT boxes to act as a Light Gateway for my 98 machine I'll just stick to SAMBA.
  • The IBM Public License [] ("IBM Open Source Licence" is a typo/lack of understanding) is fully endorsed by the OSI []. It was originally called the Jikes [] Compiler License, but when corporate wanted to use it for more projects they renamed it. You'll notice that Jikes is included in many of the current distros, hell, it's even in main debian [] and if that doesn't fit your definition of free [] I don't know what will!
  • No need for profanity.
    Osi does not endorse free (as in liberated) software. They endorse OPEN SOURCE software. The GPL is a free software license, and as such is not compatible with the IBM public licence 1.0
  • by henley ( 29988 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @02:37AM (#658990) Homepage
    We should stand up and demand that they [companies] fully support Open Source by releasing code to viable products.

    I've never understood this attitude. Especially in the context of the article, this strikes me as extremely ungrateful, rude and even childish. Something about Gift Horses and Mouths springs to mind.

    You seem to be saying "Large companies whose business models include the concepts of selling and servicing software should immediately release their entire source code to the world at large". Without getting into the ethics, or the value of one business model over another, this attitude appears to be saying that the whole world should just stop what it's doing and obey the commands of a particular group of people.

    Open Source / Free Software is a wonderfull, valuable, empowering movement. It's not the totality of the field, and it probably never will be. When corporations whose entire mindset involves the concept of exchange of cash for goods or services rendered embrace even a fraction of the values of these movements, it is indeed a cause for celebration. Not a time for beating them over the head that they haven't come all the way over from the Dark Side.

  • This is AFS. Not JFS. Two separate filesystems, doing different jobs. JFS for Linux hasn't been released yet. I believe it's due Real Soon Now.

  • by evil_one ( 142582 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @02:51AM (#658992) Homepage
    Because of the licencing, this can't be included in the core distribution of our favorite Linux flavours.
    It's open, but not free.
  • And we shall have ezmail once again!!!!!!!


    heavenly ezmail how I have missed you
  • AFS is a dying (maybe dead) file system that never actually had a lot of life in the first place. Just because a formerly proprietary only company releases the code to one of their creations doesn't mean that the community should rejoice.

    Can't you see past the "release" of the product forwards to the benefits that this can have.

    AFS may well be a dead file system but there is no doubt that in it's open source state it will prove an invaluable teaching tool - not only for people that are interested in seeing how a file system works but also for people interested in seeing how IBM have written the code.

    Yes it is a good bit of publicity for Big Blue but let's not let disdain for the motives of IBM's marketing department blind us to the other oportunities that their actions have presented.

  • >1) Does IBM own Transarc? What's the deal here?

    IBM bought Transarc in 1994 and ran it as a somewhat independent subsidiary until last year. In '99 Transarc was disolved into IBM and exists in name only as the IBM/Transarc Lab. Our jobs are pretty much the same but our checks say IBM now. Its a pretty cool place to work and we get paid pretty well for living in Pittsbugh.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.