CIFS VFS posted

Steven French sfrench at
Thu Jun 20 14:14:02 GMT 2002

Good question - at some point I need to look at that.   Clearly the
structure is quite a bit different between the two.  Most visibly the mount
code is in kernel in mine (I have no mount helper yet as smbfs does - I was
planning on adding some tcp name to ip address resolution code in the Samba
utility "net" though so it could do a "net use" more gracefully).  I
noticed that smbfs is getting some activity - e.g. I saw that Unicode
patches were added to smbfs so that is no longer a difference between the
two.    Another difference is that I have hardlink support -  to be precise
I added native Windows hardlink support in the cifs vfs and 1/2 implemented
symbolic links (via windows style reparse points - the reparse points are
detected but the follow link is not working).    I don't implement the Unix
extensions yet  but will - I had focused on finding Windows equivalents for
the Unix extensions which is harder than it sounds but important since
Windows does not implement the Unix extensions.

A few other differneces - the cifs vfs uses native ip addresses and either
445 or the RFC1001 port rather than netbios naming as smbfs's helper uses.
smbfs is quite a bit more stable and has reasonable backlevel
interoperability (which is not a goal of the cifs vfs).   The cifs vfs is
designed only for those compliant with the SNIA CIFS Technical Reference or
later to simplify the testing and maximize the Linux->Samba and
Linux->Windows2000/XP/.NetServer function.    I had hoped that in some
sense it could serve as a "reference implementation" for the SNIA
specification.   Over time function between the two will probably diverge
quite a bit more.    I wanted to be much more aggressive in adding function
and in design risks in the cifs vfs (ie more aggressive than I guessed we
would be able to do in the smbfs which people rely on today to be stable)
e.g. in adding function such as access control and Kerberos integration.

Steve French
Senior Software Engineer
Linux Technology Center - IBM Austin
phone: 512-838-2294
email: sfrench at

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