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CATS - Maybee and Koch


Extended File Attributes in Solaris
Mark J. Maybee
Sun Microsystems
Mark Koch
Sun Microsystems

It is not uncommon for Kernel projects within Sun to want to associate new bits of information with files. Examples of this include file ACLs, the "immutable bit", and security Labels. Historically, each such project would have to make significant changes to the file system interfaces to add the support for their new attributes. The Extended File Attributes project is designed to provide a mechanism in Solaris to easily support new attributes on files. While, on the surface, this project does not seem terribly ambitious or difficult, it turns out to be surprisingly so. This is due to hidden complexity in the problem and the difficulties of delivering into a platform (Solaris) resistant to change. This talk will discuss the history of the Extended File Attributes project at Sun: 1) What motivated the creation of the project, 2) What was the projects goals, 3) What were the significant issues faced, 4) How were they resolved, 5) Where the project is now, and 6) Where is it going.

Mark Koch, a hardware engineer at Sun Labs, will also give a brief overview of the work there. More information about Sun can be found at

A representative from Sun will be available to answer questions about Summer internships after the talk.
Refreshments will be served immediately following the presentation.
Mark Koch has provided a copy of his slides.

The Colorado Advanced Technology Series wants to introduce students at the University of Colorado to the technology leaders of local and national industries and help the leaders of those companies explain what their companies do and why they are great places to work. If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming talks, subscribe to our CATS Mailing List.

The main event of CATS is a series of technical talks in the middle of each semester. In each seminar, a technical or business leader from a local or national company describes new or existing technical developments, the motivation for developing that technology and the corporate environment. Each seminar is followed by refreshments and a chance for students and industry representatives to mingle and talk. See CATS Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

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Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
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May 5, 2012 (13:40)