Re: Beagle and NFS


On Tue, 2006-02-21 at 03:08 +0100, Fredrik Tolf wrote:
> I'd like to ask if there are are any plans currently to make Beagle work
> over NFS. As I understand it, as things stand right now, Beagle over NFS
> is possible but not desirable, right? I've personally been really
> interested in Beagle recently, but since I'm running NFS at home, it
> hasn't really been on option.

Beagle can crawl your NFS homedir, but as you said this is obviously
suboptimal.  Your best bet is to create a server-side index using
beagle-build-index as Kevin suggested.  Because NFS doesn't have inotify
support, you won't be able to get live indexing either way, so doing
things server-side is the best thing.

Actually, thinking about this a little bit more, I wonder if someone
could write a little standalone tool which queued up inotify changes on
the server and triggered beagle-build-index to run again when a certain
number change.  It'd be a neat hacking project for someone new to Beagle
if they were so inclined. 

> I don't know if it helps, but I thought that it ought to be possible to
> make Beagle work a bit like SGI's famd currently does over NFS, i.e.
> having an instance of beagled running on the NFS server, and the locally
> running instance of beagled relaying requests to it (famd uses Sun RPC
> for this). Would this be a plausible way of making Beagle work over NFS?

Doing networked searches generally would be a great thing to have.
There are a bunch of different ways to go here:

        1) Centralized fs notification daemon like FAM
        2) Supporting file notification in the network filesystem
        3) Adding an infrastructure for networked searching

FAM isn't great because it means an out-of-band file change notification
system.  We had this originally as a fallback for lack of inotify, but
FAM's changes aren't granular enough for the way Beagle is designed, so
it probably won't ever work.  Plus there are always security concerns
with this.

File notification in the filesystem seems like the best option to me.  I
know what NFS v3 or v4 or whatever the newest one is supports extended
attributes and file change notification, but Linux's implementation
doesn't, which is too bad.  My understanding is that Samba will support
inotify though -- CIFS definitely supports change notification --
although I don't know if it'll make it into smbfs.

We have a basic web services implementation done for Beagle, but it is
currently unmaintained and deprecated.  I've never been real happy with
the implementation: it doesn't have any way of dealing with live queries
and change notifications, assumes one-user-per-machine, the
authentication system has always been unclear, etc.


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