Subject: File systems documentation
To: None <>
From: Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
List: netbsd-docs
Date: 01/27/2006 12:38:27
Hi all,

one of the goals of the tmpfs Summer of Code project was to write
documentation about NetBSD's VFS subsystem.  During August, I wrote
part of it but, unfortunately, it wasn't made public (my mentor, whom
I'm CCin, even reviewed it).

Since then, I had been very busy with university stuff, so I didn't
have time to finish it.  But some days ago I decided it was time to
clean it up and post it for review.  And here are the results.

So far I've written a fs chapter and two supporting chapters for it,
one about memory management and one about regression testing.  Please
note that these two are extremely incomplete as their first paragraph
states.  (But better to have the existing info correctly organized in
logical sections rather than in places where it does not belong.)

You can find the generated docs here:

(Why isn't my build picking up the NetBSD stylesheet?)

As you can see, these are organized as a new <part> for The NetBSD
Guide.  I've done it this way per suggestion of some other developer,
but I'm not really convinced yet.

On one side, keeping it in the guide may make maintenance easier, at
least until the document grows.  Later on, it could be split in its
own guide.

On the other hand, the guide currently states that it's a "user and
administration guide" (see its introduction).  Design and internals
of NetBSD clearly do not fit into it.  Plus they only contribute to
make it more confusing and longer.  Having this development info in
a separate guide could make it more visible and I hope it could
easily attract other writers to contribute.

(I'm personally more inclined to making it a separate guide, but oh
well, it'd be made at a later time.)

Also please note that many sections in the document are not written
yet (they are clearly marked as such).  I added them as marker-places
for future extensions and to able to add hyperlinks in the appropriate
places.  They also helped in organizing the other sections in more
logical groups.  (I don't think these are very critical yet because
after reading the existing sections, one can easily figure out how to
do the missing stuff.  At least, it happened to me ;-)

I'd like to add this to htdocs as is instead of keeping the files
privately.  Yes, they are incomplete, but they can currently help
potential contributors to understand how file systems work; plus
they can also make other writers contribute other stuff.

Comments, please?

Thank you.

Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
The Julipedia -