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New GPL’d filesystem facilitates embedded Linux device software updates

Apr 1, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

A Denx developer has released under the GPL a filesystem for embedded Linux systems that facilitates software updates of read-only filesystems. The “mini_fo” or mini fan-out filesystem works similarly to FreeBSD's union filesystem, according to developer Markus Klotzbücher, and serves “to virtually make a read-only filesystem writeable.”

According to Klotzbücher, “The “mini_fo” filesystem was developed by extending a fistgen generated stackable filesystem to stack on top of two lower layers.”

Klotzbücher developed mini_fo as a final thesis for his computer science degree, but, he says, “The code is stable and already actively used in a telecommunications project within Siemens.”

Klotzbücher adds, “Not all features are implemented yet, but I plan to continue development. Any help is welcome!”

The mini_fo sourcecode is available in beta from Denx, along with Klotzbücher's 70-page thesis paper (PDF download).

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