User Mode File Systems

Traditionally, file systems have been implemented in kernel mode for efficiency and security, albeit at substantially higher development complexity. User mode file systems have existed for decades and suffer from lower efficiency. Why? How can we improve them?


We explore using message passing as a kernel bypass technique for the commonly used FUSE file systems model with two objectives:

  1. Mitigate the high cost of multiple context switches: from application, to kernel, to file system, back to kernel, back to application;
  2. Explore how we can expand the existing file system APIs to enable new functionality.

Our Eurosys 2020 Poster and abstract

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Systopia lab is supported by a number of government and industrial sources, including Cisco Systems, the Communications Security Establishment Canada, Intel Research, the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Network Appliance, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).