[cap-talk] ANNOUNCING allmydata.org "Tahoe", the Least-Authority Filesystem, v1.3

zooko zooko at zooko.com
Fri Feb 13 20:41:41 EST 2009


Folks:

This is a major release of tahoe-lafs.  There seems to be growing  
crowd of hackers who are interested in building on top of tahoe, and  
that boundary between the tahoe storage system and the rest of the  
world is where the interesting access control issues come in, so  
please jump in and try it out.

Thanks to the cap-talk folks, including Kevin Reid, Toby Murray, and  
Tyler Close who have already helped us with the access control design.

Regards,

Zooko


ANNOUNCING allmydata.org "Tahoe", the Least-Authority Filesystem, v1.3

We are pleased to announce the release of version 1.3.0 of "Tahoe", the
Least Authority Filesystem.

Tahoe-LAFS is a secure, decentralized, fault-tolerant filesystem.  All
of the source code is available under a choice of two Free Software,
Open Source licences.

This filesystem is encrypted and distributed over multiple peers in
such a way it continues to function even when some of the peers are
unavailable, malfunctioning, or malicious.

Here is the one-page explanation of the security and fault-tolerance
properties that it offers:

http://allmydata.org/source/tahoe/trunk/docs/about.html

This is the successor to v1.2, which was released July 21, 2008 [1].
This is a major new release, adding a repairer, an efficient backup
command, support for large files, an (S)FTP server, and much more.

See the NEWS file [2] and the known_issues.txt file [3] for more
information.

In addition to the many new features of Tahoe itself, a crop of related
projects have sprung up, including Tahoe frontends for Windows and
Macintosh, two front-ends written in JavaScript, a Tahoe plugin for
duplicity, a Tahoe plugin for TiddlyWiki, a project to create a new
backup tool, CIFS/SMB integration, an iPhone app, and three incomplete
Tahoe frontends for FUSE. See Related Projects on the wiki: [4].


COMPATIBILITY

The version 1 branch of Tahoe is the basis of the consumer backup
product from Allmydata, Inc. -- http://allmydata.com .

Tahoe v1.3 is fully compatible with the version 1 branch of Tahoe.
Files written by v1.3 clients can be read by clients of all versions
back to v1.0 unless the file is too large -- files greater than about
12 GiB (depending on the configuration) can't be read by older clients.
v1.3 clients can read files produced by clients of all versions since
v1.0.  v1.3 servers can serve clients of all versions back to v1.0 and
v1.3 clients can use servers of all versions back to v1.0 (but can't
upload large files to them).

This is the fourth release in the version 1 series.  We believe that
this version of Tahoe is stable enough to rely on as a permanent store
of valuable data.  The version 1 branch of Tahoe will be actively
supported and maintained for the forseeable future, and future versions
of Tahoe will retain the ability to read files and directories produced
by Tahoe v1 for the forseeable future.


WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

With Tahoe, you can distribute your filesystem across a set of
computers, such that if some of the computers fail or turn out to be
malicious, the entire filesystem continues to be available, thanks to
the remaining computers.  You can also share your files with other
users, using a simple and flexible access control scheme.

Because this software is new, we do not categorically recommend it as
the sole repository of data which is extremely confidential or
precious.  However, we believe that erasure coding, strong encryption,
Free/Open Source Software and careful engineering make Tahoe safer than
common alternatives, such as RAID, removable drive, tape, or "on-line
storage" or "Cloud storage" systems.

This software comes with extensive unit tests [5], and there are no
known security flaws which would compromise confidentiality or data
integrity.  (For all currently known issues please see the
known_issues.txt file [2].)

This release of Tahoe is suitable for the "friendnet" use case [6] --
it is easy to create a filesystem spread over the computers of you and
your friends so that you can share disk space and files.


LICENCE

You may use this package under the GNU General Public License, version
2 or, at your option, any later version.  See the file "COPYING.GPL"
[7] for the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2.

You may use this package under the Transitive Grace Period Public
Licence, version 1.0.  The Transitive Grace Period Public Licence has
requirements similar to the GPL except that it allows you to wait for
up to twelve months after you redistribute a derived work before
releasing the source code of your derived work. See the file
"COPYING.TGPPL.html" [8] for the terms of the Transitive Grace Period
Public Licence, version 1.0.

(You may choose to use this package under the terms of either licence,
at your option.)


INSTALLATION

Tahoe works on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Cygwin, and Solaris, and
probably most other systems.  Start with "docs/install.html" [9].


HACKING AND COMMUNITY

Please join us on the mailing list [10].  Patches that extend and
improve Tahoe are gratefully accepted -- the RoadMap page [11] shows
the next improvements that we plan to make and CREDITS [12] lists the
names of people who've contributed to the project.  The wiki Dev page
[13] contains resources for hackers.


SPONSORSHIP

Tahoe is sponsored by Allmydata, Inc. [14], a provider of commercial
backup services.  Allmydata, Inc. created the Tahoe project, and
contributes hardware, software, ideas, bug reports, suggestions,
demands, and money (employing several Tahoe hackers and instructing
them to spend part of their work time on this Free Software project).
Also they award customized t-shirts to hackers who find security flaws
in Tahoe (see http://hacktahoe.org ).  Thank you to Allmydata, Inc. for
their generous and public-spirited support.


Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn
on behalf of the allmydata.org team

Special acknowledgment goes to Brian Warner, whose superb engineering
skills and dedication are primarily responsible for the Tahoe
implementation, and largely responsible for the Tahoe design as well,
not to mention most of the docs and many other things besides.

February 13, 2009
Boulder, Colorado, USA

[1] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/browser/relnotes.txt?rev=2789
[2] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/browser/NEWS
[3] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/browser/docs/known_issues.txt
[4] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/RelatedProjects
[5] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/Dev
[6] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/UseCases
[7] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/browser/COPYING.GPL
[8] http://allmydata.org/source/tahoe/trunk/COPYING.TGPPL.html
[9] http://allmydata.org/source/tahoe/trunk/docs/install.html
[10] http://allmydata.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tahoe-dev
[11] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/roadmap
[12] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/browser/CREDITS?rev=2677
[13] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/Dev
[14] http://allmydata.com


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