BeOS and the Be FileSystem
BeOS was a propritary operating system for x86 and (some) Power Macintosh
computers. Developed by Be, Inc as a
next-generation desktop with advanced
media capabilities, a POSIX compatabilty layer, and an advanced GUI, it was
to many people what the Macintosh should
have been (this was many years before Apple's OS X. In fact, Apple is
rumored to have considered purchasing Be instead of Steve Job's Next to use
as the basis of OS X, although it obviously didn't happen).
The BeOS had many features that endeared it to its users. One of these was
its filesystem (called BFS), which was fast, supported large (64-bit offset)
volumes and files, had metadata journaling for garunteed filesystem
integrity and fast startup, and supported extended attributes for files and
Unfortunatly, Be was never able to get much traction in the market, and went
bankrupt in 2001. The company has sold off its intelectual property to Palm, Inc.
Layed off most of its employees.
RIP Be, Inc [Segfault.org].
About BeFS for Linux
Note: The offcial name for the BeOS fileystem is BFS. However, Linux already
has a filesystem called BFS (the unixware Boot FileSystem). Therefor, in the
context of Linux, I refer to it as BeFS.
In the summer of 2001, I was out of school and unemployed. I had been using
BeOS as my main desktop for several years, but I wanted to switch to Linux
and KDE. The only problem was the files on my BeOS partition. There was an
experimental read-only BeFS driver for linux available (written by Makoto Kato). However, it did not work very well
and I was unable to contact the author.
In August of 2001, I started rewriting the BeFS driver for the 2.4 linux
kernel. I got it working well enough to release in October of that year. The
development was moved to Sourceforge in November.
About the Author(s)
I (Will Dyson) am the lead developer of the project. I went to Earlham College and graduated in December
2001 with a degree in Compter Science. I am currently unemployed.
Sergey S. Kostyliov has contributed several important patches.
About the Website
I used the PHP4 library written by the quakeforge.net team. I really
appreciate it's release under the GPL.
- Makoto Kato: Although almost none of Makato's original code remains in the BeFS driver, I
would never have started on the project if I hadn't found his driver.
- Dominic Giampaolo: Author of the original BFS implementation. Also the
Practical Filesystem Design With the Be Filesystem, which is the
only real documentation available on the internals of BFS.