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Re: Cygwin filesystem

Francis Rossi wrote:

I wonder whether there are plans about creating a special filesystem for
Cygwin. I think it would be a very useful thing, for practical reasons. The
problem with the folder Cygwin is installed to is that when you're looking
for some files on your hard disk, that directory takes a lot of time in the
search because of dozens of thousands files, especially in /usr. Another
issue is deleting the Cygwin installation, it can take hours, for the same
reason. I think it could be resloved by creating a separate partition for
/usr and placing it into a separate file with virtual filesystem like on
VMWare or Bochs. When Cygwin is started this partition would be mounted
like Windows disks and deleting it would last as long as one click.

No one on this list has vocalized such a plan AFAIK.  If disk access times
for large directories are your targeted goal, your solution would require
the use of some non-native file-system type to support this.  You would
need a Windows file-system driver to be able to manipulate the new
file-system efficiently.  It's my opinion that implementing this as a
separate partition would be too complex or time-consuming for the typical
Cygwin user, thus negating any potential benefits.  The alternative may be
to use a file on the current file-system to bridge this gap.  But regardless,
creating a file-system driver that plays well with all Windows constructs is
not a small task.  Just look at the littered landscape of ext2 file-system
drivers for the various versions of Windows that are out there, for example.
However, if you're interested in pursuing this, I would suggest that you
start with the file-system driver.  If you can create a good driver for an
existing file-system that resolves the problem you state without introducing
other difficulties, it would be a great addition to the open-source community,
regardless of whether it's an integrated part of Cygwin or not.

Larry Hall                    
RFK Partners, Inc.                      (508) 893-9779 - RFK Office
216 Dalton Rd.                          (508) 893-9889 - FAX
Holliston, MA 01746

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