FS-Cache and FUSE for Media Playback QoS

Use FS-Cache to remove fluctuating performance issues from media playback.
Taking It for a Spin

A simple application that reads from a given file at a predetermined rate can verify that the cache is being populated as expected, as shown in Listing 7. There isn't a great deal of error checking going on, but things that would cause grief, such as failed read()s, are reported to the console. The application repeatedly reads 4KB chunks at a time from a nominated file and throws away the result. Every 256KB status is reported, so that the application can be closed knowing roughly what byte of the file was last read.

As shown in Listing 8, we first clean out the cache directory and restart cachefilesd. Then, the NFS share is mounted and the FUSE shim run against it to create a /Cache-HomeMovies directory. The FUSE executable is told to remain in the foreground, which stops FUSE from running it as a dæmon, allowing standard output and standard error of the FUSE filesystem to be displayed. We use bash to put the nfs-fuse-readahead-shim into the background (though still having its standard outputs redirected into a capture file) and run the simpleread for a little more than 500KB of data. Then, both the simpleread and nfs-fuse-readahead-shim are stopped to investigate whether the cache has been populated as expected.