Discussion:
How to create a distributed file system in android
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Muhammed Irshad
2011-12-20 06:50:43 UTC
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Hi,
I am planning to build a distributed file system over some group of
android phones connected by wifi as a part of my btech main project,
My aim is to build a network using android phones connected by
wifi.And any files stored into this should resides in the connected
phones distributedly.
How i need to do this? Should i do this as an application or i need to
edit the android source code inorder to create a new file system??
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Kristopher Micinski
2011-12-20 19:12:22 UTC
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Post by Muhammed Irshad
Hi,
I am planning to build a distributed file system over some group of
android phones connected by wifi as a part of my btech main project,
My aim is to build a network using android phones connected by
wifi.And any files stored into this should resides in the connected
phones distributedly.
How i need to do this? Should i do this as an application or i need to
edit the android source code inorder to create a new file system??
Honestly, if you don't know the answers to this, you've probably got a
lot of reading to do before attempting this project...

One option at this point might be to look at FUSE,
http://code.google.com/p/fuse-android/, which looks to be possibly
porting to Android soon enough. (This will let you do FS things in
user space, although I'm certain you'll still need to do systems
stuff.)

When it comes to apps, you can basically forget doing systems stuff,
as the interface to the system is fairly removed (you're running atop
a vm, even with JNI you can't really touch the system very well.)

My advice: look at FUSE for Android (which will make this less
painful than doing it in the fs level in the kernel), and see how it's
coming along.

Of course, if you want to write a program that just *acts* like a file
system, without actually having the files there on the devices, you
can always write an app, but that doesn't sound like a very hard
project. How long do you have to do this? Are you willing to be a
systems hacker (read: do you have a few years worth of low level / C
and systems experience? If not this is a bad idea)? (By the way, from
a systems perspective, I can't think that this would be that different
than just implementing your fs on linux, once you get down to that
layer that's basically what Android is, sans some higher layer
details..)

kris
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Muhammed Irshad
2011-12-20 21:51:11 UTC
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Thank you very much for your detailed reply,
Actually we are doing this as an academic project and have to complete this
in 4 months.So as you said we dont think we have the time or experience to
do this in the system level.

Please do suggest some resources that can help us to make an app.If we are
doing it as an app is it ok if we use a pc as the master? (Which
splits,maps to the devices and retrieves from the devices)

On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 12:42 AM, Kristopher Micinski <
Post by Kristopher Micinski
Post by Muhammed Irshad
Hi,
I am planning to build a distributed file system over some group of
android phones connected by wifi as a part of my btech main project,
My aim is to build a network using android phones connected by
wifi.And any files stored into this should resides in the connected
phones distributedly.
How i need to do this? Should i do this as an application or i need to
edit the android source code inorder to create a new file system??
Honestly, if you don't know the answers to this, you've probably got a
lot of reading to do before attempting this project...
One option at this point might be to look at FUSE,
http://code.google.com/p/fuse-android/, which looks to be possibly
porting to Android soon enough. (This will let you do FS things in
user space, although I'm certain you'll still need to do systems
stuff.)
When it comes to apps, you can basically forget doing systems stuff,
as the interface to the system is fairly removed (you're running atop
a vm, even with JNI you can't really touch the system very well.)
My advice: look at FUSE for Android (which will make this less
painful than doing it in the fs level in the kernel), and see how it's
coming along.
Of course, if you want to write a program that just *acts* like a file
system, without actually having the files there on the devices, you
can always write an app, but that doesn't sound like a very hard
project. How long do you have to do this? Are you willing to be a
systems hacker (read: do you have a few years worth of low level / C
and systems experience? If not this is a bad idea)? (By the way, from
a systems perspective, I can't think that this would be that different
than just implementing your fs on linux, once you get down to that
layer that's basically what Android is, sans some higher layer
details..)
kris
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Muhammed Irshad K T
Computer Science and Engineering (2008-2012)
Govt. Model Engineering College
Cochin- 21
+919447946359
irshadkt.mec-***@public.gmane.org
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Kristopher Micinski
2011-12-20 21:57:18 UTC
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Post by Muhammed Irshad
Thank you very much for your detailed reply,
Actually we are doing this as an academic project and have to complete this
in 4 months.So as you said we dont think we have the time or experience to
do this in the system level.
Please do suggest some resources that  can help us to make an app.If we are
doing it as an app is it ok if we use a pc as the master? (Which splits,maps
to the devices and retrieves from the devices)
Well, what kind of wifi are we talking about, infrastructure based?
If so then you just use standard sockets, and do something like this:

write an app that sits in the background checking to see if new files
have been added to some folder on the device. If so, then it pushes
those files to other devices. In fact, this is sort of like doing an
rsync on a cronjob. Once you've detected a file needs to be pushed,
you need to coordinate with all the other devices in your set (how you
define that is up to you) and just use standard socket calls, just
like you were doing this across the internet... (Except if you're all
on the same lan, you won't be..)

kris
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Muhammed Irshad
2011-12-20 23:22:09 UTC
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We'd be using an infrastructure based wifi.Another doubt that we have is
about the GUI part.
We are planning to have a specific directory for distributed files in each
device.So if we need to distribute a particular file we'd move it to that
directory.Files in that directory are transferred to the server(PC in our
case ) which distribute it.This is what we hope to achieve but we need the
GUI in each device to project a picture of single file system.Is there any
way to realize this?

regards,
Irshad
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Kristopher Micinski
2011-12-20 23:28:23 UTC
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Post by Muhammed Irshad
We'd be using an infrastructure based wifi.Another doubt that we have is
about the GUI part.
We are planning to have a specific directory for distributed files in each
device.So if we need to distribute a particular file we'd move it to that
directory.Files in that directory are transferred to the server(PC in our
case ) which distribute it.This is what we hope to achieve but we need the
GUI in each device to project a picture of single file system.Is there any
way to realize this?
regards,
Irshad
Sorry, I didn't understand this..

A single file system? You'll see a single *folder* easy enough, just
create a file browser gui that shows your shared folder. Is this so
bad?'

Kris
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Muhammed Irshad
2011-12-20 23:57:51 UTC
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Ok.That was very helpful.
Thank you very much for your time.
I will keep posting in case of further doubts,If you don't mind. :)

regards,
Irshad


irshadkt.mec-***@public.gmane.org
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Ravikanth Varahagiri
2011-12-21 04:42:03 UTC
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Irshand,

Are you trying to create an app and system like Dropbox, which enables you to maintain a set of files common across multiple devices ? In that case you can do it with webDAV client and servers in application space.


Regards,

Ravikanth
Post by Muhammed Irshad
Ok.That was very helpful.
Thank you very much for your time.
I will keep posting in case of further doubts,If you don't mind. :)
regards,
Irshad
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