On-line Encrypted Backups for Your Laptop

Protect your laptop files with FUSE and an on-line storage service.

Some filesystem people dislike FUSE because of the extra context switches it can introduce. The use of two FUSE filesystems layered on top of each other, as shown in this article, means there is quite a bit of context switching going on in order actually to get data to the network. For the purposes of this article, the overhead of these context switches is irrelevant when compared to Internet connection speed.

Encrypting your home directory can give peace of mind in the event that your laptop is stolen. With on-line backups, you also are protected against losing your important changes along with your laptop or its crashing hard disk.

By using FUSE to expose the on-line storage as a filesystem, the encryption and synchronization can be left intact when you decide to change your on-line storage provider. The OmniFS filesystem uses HTTP to communicate with the on-line storage provider, so it should work even when your Internet connection has aggressive packet filtering.

Ben Martin has been working on filesystems for more than ten years. He is currently working toward a PhD combining Semantic Filesystems with Formal Concept Analysis to improve human-filesystem interaction.