New Filesystem Ideas

I really like FUSE, the filesystem in userspace that facilitated the creation of gcfuse. I think the killer app for FUSE is sshfs. It’s a minor miracle that if you have an SSH server running on a machine you can use sshfs to mount a filesystem from another machine. Authentication, encryption, all taken care of. None of that NFS or Samba configuration hassle.

I started wondering what else I might be able to use FUSE for. There is the small issue of Sega Dreamcast disc images. These games contain a lot of multimedia encoded with Sofdec’s middleware tools. For the most part, these discs use an ISO-9660-like filesystem that’s just a little different and doesn’t operate with Linux’s ISO-9660 module. Perhaps a FUSE/ISO-9660 module that can also handle the modified Dreamcast variant? Actually, I see that the big FUSE app directory lists an app appropriately named fuseiso which can load an ISO-9660 filesystem. It might be worth a look.

Thinking bigger, what about a FUSE module that mounts a DVD and presents it in some interesting manner? For starters, it will transparently decrypt the data. Then, present the contents of the DVD as a series of chapters or tracks or menu options. Since a DVD is not necessarily a strict hierarchy, perhaps organize the different viewing options in different directories. Or a /proc-like special filesystem that allows tinkering with the audio and subtitle options. It’s late and I’m just tossing out ideas here. Feel free to jump in.

2 thoughts on “New Filesystem Ideas

  1. Roman Shaposhnik

    FUSE is quite nice, but it shows that the guys who implemented it never heard of Plan9 and its
    core protocol 9P. ;-) Its like that old LISP saying states — if you don’t know LISP you bound
    to reimplement it, poorly!

    But I’m not complaining — as everything that has this “we’ve just invented this cool thing”
    flavor to it FUSE attracts a lot folks and that’s all goodnes. sshfs is quite nice too, but
    I feel bad about p9fs being late to the show, because it actually is a much nicer thing from
    a protocol standpoint.

    And of course, the sad conspiracy surrounding Plan9 is dowright depressing. I wish more people
    could realize that a system on which you can do:
    $ ssh myname@remotehost u9fs -a none -u myname /srv/remotehost

    and from now own /srv/remhost is a communication endpoint with u9fs on a remote machine:

    $ mount /srv/remotehost /n/kremvax

    has a few tricks it can teach the “big boys” like Solaris and Linux.

    Oh, well, I guess its just me an old curmudgeon — but ist’s so much easier
    to write your own serviced as filesystems on Plan9:


    P.S. And, yes, I do want my private namespaces on LINUX and Solaris!

  2. NuclearDog

    Random aside: For the Windows world there’s an app called “AnyDVD” which does at least one of the things you mentioned, it transparently decrypts (CSS) DVDs. It also removes the region lock-in and other types of copy protection (macrovision).

    Something like that would definitely be handy on Linux. Each individual application would no longer have to implement a CSS decrypter, as it would all be handled at a low level before the application even got to the dvd.


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