[linux-cifs-client] Re: New maintainer needed for the Linux smb filesystem

Steven French sfrench at us.ibm.com
Wed Aug 24 15:32:26 GMT 2005

My opinion is that a maintainer for smbfs should not be a high priority,
but any hot smb bugs (e.g. oops or hang in kernel) among the bugs listed in
samba or kernel bugzillas could be analyzed/fixed as people have time or
interest, and I would be happy to review them.

My reasoning why smbfs is becoming a lower priority:
1) There are only two remaining smbfs capabilities which cifs does not have
equivalent support for and these are coming soon:
      a) CIFS will have some Windows ME support within a week (Windows 95,
Windows 98 will also likely work
      but I have not tested them - I will need help from those that still
have older boxes or vmware images)
      b) Kerberos support - CIFS will have Kerberos/SPNEGO support (via
upcall to ntlm_auth) by the 4th quarter.
2) cifs is more functional, more posix compliant in most or all cases, and
much better supports newer Samba and Windows servers (its initial target)
3) We do not have enough filesystem or Samba developers (especially with
Samba 3 maitaining and Samba 4 new development going on at the same time)
to afford to split the testing and development work for the kernel piece
4) We are working on formalizing the documentation for the "CIFS POSIX
Extensions" (with the help of Jeremy Allison and others, and feedback from
others outside the Samba team as well) which have been implemented in cifs
(smbfs partially implemented the older Unix extensions).

We (Samba team and kernel filesystem community) do need help though...

I would be glad to help anyone get started with working on GUIs, new tools,
new loosely related kernel libraries, or items off the cifs vfs list.   We
have a couple people working cifs items at the moment (that I know of -
DNOTIFY support through the summer of code, and another doing
cifs_writepages work), and there have been others (I would love to James
Roper rework his promising cifs async readpages readahead code).

1) A maintainer would need some system programming experience (e.g. kernel
or device driver work or willingness to dive in and learn e.g. from the
O'Reilly Device Driver book), and prove themselves by demonstrating some
accepted kernel patches.
2) Initial few months of their patches for the subsystem should be
carefully reviewed (for smbfs by me or the old maintainer and it would not
hurt to have linux-fsdevel and samba-technical reviews)

The easiest path might be to take an item from the TODO list of one of the
filesystems and implement it, carving a recognized area that can standalone
to some extent (so patches collide less often with other work).

For Samba kernel work there is an obvious need to extend (or perhaps
reimplement something similar) Tim Potter's Samba LSM module for example,
and the cifs vfs has about 10 items on the todo list.      Across multiple
filesystems is one of the more interesting problems. - ACL mapping (NFSv4
to CIFS, CIFS to NFSv4, POSIX to CIFS, NFSv4 to POSIX, CIFS to unix mode,
unix mode bits to NFSv4 etc.) - an obvious case for a library in kernel.
Another hot recent area is credential caching/management in kernel for cifs
and nfsv4 (and ecryptfs etc.) for which a new mailing list was just setup
by Trond (hosted on the linux-nfs server).

Steve French
Senior Software Engineer
Linux Technology Center - IBM Austin
phone: 512-838-2294
email: sfrench at-sign us dot ibm dot com

             Hal Wigoda                                                    
             <hwigoda at mindspri                                             
             ng.com>                                                    To 
             Sent by:                  linux-kernel at vger.kernel.org,       
             linux-cifs-client         samba-technical at lists.samba.org,    
             -bounces+sfrench=         linux-cifs-client at lists.samba.org   
             us.ibm.com at lists.                                          cc 
                                       [linux-cifs-client] Re: New         
             08/23/2005 11:19          maintainer needed for the Linux smb 
             PM                        filesystem                          

is a maintainer still needed?
and if so, what are the qualifications?
hal wigoda
linux-cifs-client mailing list
linux-cifs-client at lists.samba.org
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