AFS transition

We will be turning off the Fermilab AFS servers in early May this year because the sort of worldwide file sharing once unique to AFS is now provided by the Web. Click here for details of the migration shutdown.

The /afs/ file system has served Fermilab well since about 1992.

The primary services were:

  • web server content
  • Unix account login areas
  • shared code and data areas for interactive use

The advantages of AFS included:

  • Kerberos authentication for flexible network sharing
  • Access Control Lists (ACL’s) for good control of web content
  • worldwide file sharing ( /afs/ and such ) thanks to good security.
  • compatibility with many systems (AIX, IRIX, Linux, OSF1, SunOS, Solaris, Windows)

Disadvantages, as deployed at Fermilab, included:

  • nonstandard file access permissions due to the strong authentication
  • very limited capacity, with a maximum volume size of 50 GB.
  • slow file access
  • lack of support, as the market has moved on to other tools
  • AFS drivers not always available for the latest kernels
  • did not scale for grid use (removed from Fermigrid years ago)

Since deployment of newer NFS 4 file servers supporting ACL’s and strong authentication, Fermilab has moved all central web services from AFS to the central NFS servers.

/publicweb for personal web pages, and /web/sites for group web pages.

Unix account login areas areas are being moved to /nashome. If you are affected, you have been informed!

We are presently verifying that the shared code and data areas are no longer in use.

For details of the migration, see

–Arthur Kreymer