- Getting started with Andrew File System and OpenAFS

What is AFS?

Andrew File System, or in short AFS, is a distributed network file system. The most popular implementation of AFS is OpenAFS, which is the focus of this website.

With AFS you can access your files over the internet from multiple machines at once in a flexible and secure way.

For an overview about AFS, see the Wikipedia article about AFS

A few bulletpoints about AFS:

  • Globally distributed file system An AFS-setup is able to scale accross multiple servers.
  • Extended ACL's AFS gives extended possibilities for administrating access to folders compared to traditional Unix file permissions.
  • Secure Good integration with Kerberos for authentication. Connection between server may be (and normally is configured to be) encrypted.
  • Mature AFS has through its development through several decades achieved a high degree of stability and is used around the globe at many large sites including many universities and large companies.
  • Location independence You may access your files accross the internet. A local cache on client computers lightens the load on both server an the internet connection of the client. If the client changes IP-address AFS handles this transperently in an automatic way because of the design around Kerberos (e.g. changing from 3G/UMTS to WiFi or a cabled network will not cause you to re-enter your passphrase for accessing AFS).
  • Platform indepence Many Operating systems are supported by the OpenAFS application; Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, *BSD, Solaris and others.
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