[TUHS] RFS (was Re: Re: forgotten versions)

Arno Griffioen via TUHS tuhs at tuhs.org
Mon Jun 20 15:03:46 AEST 2022

On Sun, Jun 19, 2022 at 07:19:31PM -0400, Brad Spencer wrote:
> order of the machines was different.  I seem to recall that with RFS if
> /dev was remoted you actually accessed the remote devices and not just
> the device nodes from the system that /dev was mounted to.  At the AT&T
> site I was at we used NFS exclusively too.


I used RFS on variuous SVR3 and SVR4 platforms back in the days, usually
for this purpose. Eg. to provide a simple way of giving 'workstation'
users access to modem-banks attached to central servers.

It worked fine as long as the platforms were pretty similar (eg. all
i386 based), but could indeed get 'interesting' once you added bits
in the mix that were based on other CPUs.

For me RFS came along 'before its time' as by design it could not handle 
things like creating diskless or dataless workstations easily, exactly 
because of the more fine-grained, file oriented, setup and that's where 
NFS did it's thing. 

The features RFS brought did, unfortunately, not seem as useful at the time 
for general applications as things like broadly sharing boot and/or home/staff
environments was 'the thing' needed for a long time and NFS did that
very (too ;) ) easily.

However.. I do see it more like the UNIX 'grandad' for things we now
have like SMB and cloud sync/share 'filesystem' tools which operate
much more on a style of access and granularity like RFS did.

I always wondered if the Mircrosoft engineers that worked on the initial
SMB implementations looked at RFS for ideas.

							Bye, Arno.

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