- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 23, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471164836
- ISBN-13: 978-0471164838
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,072,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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UNIX Filesystems: Evolution, Design, and Implementation 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
A comprehensive look at the principles, functionality, and implementations of UNIX and Linux(r) filesystems
Every aspect of a network-storage, file transfers, backup-depends on the filesystem for structure, functionality, and integrity. Surprisingly, UNIX-the operating system of choice for mission-critical networks-has historically had little documentation on its filesystem structures. Written by Steve Pate, a sen-ior member of the VERITAS Filesystems Group, this book sheds light on the inner workings of UNIX filesystems and gives you the know-how to fine-tune your UNIX filesystems for optimal performance. Pate also provides a complete implementation of the System V filesystem on Linux, as well as instructions on how to build, install, and analyze it.
In addition to the author's comprehensive and practical coverage of all aspects of filesystems, this book:
* Covers the commands and implementations of all major versions of UNIX and Linux filesystems
* Includes case studies of three real-world implementations of the VERITAS Filesystem (VxFS), the Unix File System (UFS), and the Linux-based ext2 and ext3 filesystems
* Describes backup techniques, archiving tools, and frozen image techniques used to create stable backups
* Details how to build distributed and clustered filesystems using Storage Area Networks
Wiley Technology Publishing has teamed with VERITAS Software Corporation to deliver a series of books for the enterprise storage management community. These titles will provide system and network administrators, server application developers, and storage engineers with in-depth, hands-on information on how to build scalable, quick, and highly available storage area networks. Key books in the series, including this one, are designed to help CIOs make the decisions as to when and how to embark on investing in new technology.
The companion Web site includes all of the code for the databases included in this book.
About the Author
STEVE D. PATE is a senior manager and long time contributor to the VERITAS Filesystems Group. For the last fifteen years, he has been involved in the design and development of operating systems for numerous versions of UNIX and microkernel-based implementations of UNIX.
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The best thing about the book, however, is the source code for a Linux filesystem named uxfs. Reading the text and studying the source code (in the book, or via download) really helps make the topics discussed in the book clear. The author does a decent job of describing the uxfs source code, and shares some tips on how to approach compiling a kernel, and the filesystem source, and using gdb to set breakpoints so that one can investigate how the Linux kernel is calling into the filesystem through all the major entry points. Even if you don't give a hoot about filesystem design, its a great example of how to understand a complex system that you might not otherwise have a clue how to approach -- set breakpoints on the major entry points, look at the stack, and then read the code up the stack to see what is going on. Understanding uxfs is a great start to understanding more complicated filesystems in Linux for sure, and less directly, other Unix-based file systems as well.
Along with uxfs the author provides a set of easy, and advanced exercises. The one that looks like the most fun to me is modifying uxfs to support an inode structure that uses direct, single indirect, double indirect, and triple indirect blocks (described in Maurice Bach's book and elsewhere).
In summary, if your basic operating system book's coverage of Unix filesystems is not enough, or you want a gentle and complete introduction to designing a Linux filesystem, consider reading this book.
It turned out that I was completely absorbed in it, and spent days and nights on the book with my web-browser linked to a Linux kernel source code website. I simply couldn't stop it.
Even though the general study of UNIX file system could have been a little more comprehensive than what is provided, that information could be easily found in other resources (I recommend " UNIX Internals: The New Frontiers by Uresh Vahalia"). However, this book does stand out by the way it compares different implementations of varieties of UNIX kernels (Sys-V series, Solaris, etc. ) Given the open source of old UNIX systems which could be found on ([...]), this book adds great values when you case study the file-system architecture.
Another great perk you get from the book is the attached source code for a rather primitive but very instructive uxfs file system. By showing what interfaces a programmer needs to provide to Linux, the sample codes can be easily adapted to achieve your own goal smoothly and painlessly.
In sum, this is a very impressive book and I'm still studying it. For anyone who's fascinated with file-system or any UNIX system-level topics, this will be a very good choice.
Superb technical details aside, this book is also written in good pedagogical style. Hands-on exercises always help. (How many people have read Goodheart's "Magic Garden" book for longer than a week?) Some code examples, pseudo or real, also help. Steve's book has both. Lastly, it comes with a mini-filesystem. I didn't test it but I believe it would help CS students tremendously.
Since the book is just much about Solaris as about Linux, I wish he talked more about Linux debugfs() and perhaps could use gdb to debug ext2 filesystems. I hope the new edition, if there is one, can give examples of Solaris mdb since crash is deprecated, and can expand the examples to include some new FSs, riserfs, Oracle's OCFS, etc. (Both have source code available to the public.) In chapters about cluster filesystems, the technical discussion seems to be less strong. There must be ways to debug these FSes just like using crash() and adb() to follow pointers in memory to debug UFS. It's just that cluster FSes are less understood and studied in this fashion.