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MAWFS - A Personal Encrypted Distributed Filesystem

MAWFS aims to be an encrypted, distributed, branching filesystem. It is currently very much in development, but still somewhat usable in that it preseents a FUSE filesystem around an encrypted backing store.

MAWFS is written in Crack. If you want to play with it, you'll need to install crack 1.3.

Usage Example

$ mkdir backing fs  # Create a directory for the backing store and a
                    # mountpoint for the filesystem
$ export CRACK_LIB_PATH=mawfs/lib
$ echo 's3cr37-p455w0rd!' | mawfs/mawfs run backing fs
$ echo 'this will be encrypted!' >fs/myfile.txt
$ cat fs/myfile.txt
$ mawfs/mawfs commit fs  # generate a commit record.
$ fusermount -u fs  # To unmount.

Every directory in the filesytem includes a special maintenance directory (".mawfs", which is invisible to a directory listing) that allows you to interact with the filesystem. This current contains a "README" file containing information about MAWFS and a "branch" file containing the current branch:

$ cat fs/.mawfs/branch

This code is still likely to have a few bugs in it and we will likely introduce incompatibilities, so it is not recommended that you use MAWFS for anything important yet.

Current Status and Ultimate Goal

The system currently presents a FUSE based filesystem that stores its data as encrypted, content addressable objects in a backing store. There is a git-like commit history that records the state of the filesystem at a sequence of points in its history and an unencrypted branch file in the backing store that points to the latest commit for the branch (the "branch head").

The backing store also contains a journal file consisting of a sequence of mutations to the filesystem since the last commit. This journal is erased upon performing the next commit, which is simply an "fsync" applied to the root directory that can be performed using the "mawfs commit" command.

The eventual goal is to provide a system (ideally interoperable with IPFS and Peergos, see below) that allows a MAWFS filesystem to be automatically replicated across multiple peers. Since peers can be used offline, and therefore can diverge, we will also support user directed conflict resolution.

Related Projects

  • Peergos - this is a very similar project which MAWFS will hopefully be interoperable with at some point.
  • IPFS.
  • ORI

"MAWFS" stands for "Mike's Awesome Filesystem". It started out that way and we have since been unable to come up with a better name :-)

MAWFS is not an official Google project.