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Advanced Common Internet File System for Linux

Questions to developers 

The CIFS VFS is a virtual file system for Linux to allow access to servers and storage appliances compliant with the SNIA CIFS Specification version 1.0 or later.    Popular servers such as Samba, Windows 2000, Windows XP and many others support CIFS by default.   The CIFS VFS provides some support for older servers based on the more primitive SMB (Server Message Block) protocol (you also can use the Linux file system smbfs as an alternative for accessing these).   CIFS VFS is designed to take advantage of advanced network file system features such as locking, Unicode (advanced internationalization), hardlinks, dfs (hierarchical, replicated name space), distributed caching and uses native TCP names (rather than RFC1001, Netbios names).  Unlike some other network file systems all key network function including authentication is provided in kernel (and changes to mount and/or a mount helper file are not required in order to enable the CIFS VFS). With the addition of upcoming improvements to the mount helper (mount.cifs) the CIFS VFS will be able to take advantage of the new CIFS URL specification though.   The TODO list includes some of the other features being planned for future releases.   The CIFS VFS has been tested with Linux 2.4.14 and later as well as regular testing on Linux 2.6 (and has been in the kernel source starting with Linux kernel 2.5.42. Testing has been done on various hardware architectures including x86 and even big endian zSeries hardware.   The cifs and smbfs file systems can coexist on the same system and do not conflict.

The current version of the CIFS VFS has been backported to compile on 2.4 kernels, not just older 2.6. kernel versions). To download replacement files for the fs/cifs directory which includes a relatively recent version of the cifs vfs which has been backported to build on various earlier kernels (2.6.14 or later) click cifs 1.50c for 2.6 kernels (released July 25th, 2007).

CIFS VFS is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 or later. 

Thanks to SNIA, IBM and the Samba Team
for their assistance and support.