FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) is a simple interface for userspace
programs to export a virtual filesystem to the Linux kernel. FUSE
also aims to provide a secure method for non privileged users to
create and mount their own filesystem implementations.
You can download the source code releases from
or alternatively you can use CVS to get the very latest development
version by setting the cvsroot to
and checking out the 'fuse' module.
Linux kernel version 2.4.X where X >= 21 (some vendor kernels earlier
than this are also known to work).
Linux kernel version 2.6.X where X >= 0.
You may also need to add '/usr/local/lib' to '/etc/ld.so.conf' and/or
Linux kernels 2.6.14 or later contain FUSE support out of the box. If
FUSE support is detected, the kernel module in this package will not
be compiled. It is possible to override this with the
'--enable-kernel-module' configure option.
For more details see the file 'INSTALL'
How To Use
FUSE is made up of three main parts:
- A kernel filesystem module
- A userspace library
- A mount/unmount program
Here's how to create your very own virtual filesystem in five easy
steps (after installing FUSE):
1) Edit the file example/fusexmp.c to do whatever you want...
2) Build the fusexmp program
3) run 'example/fusexmp /mnt/fuse -d'
4) ls -al /mnt/fuse
5) Be glad
If it doesn't work out, please ask! Also see the file 'include/fuse.h' for
detailed documentation of the library interface.
If you run 'make install', the fusermount program is installed
set-user-id to root. This is done to allow normal users to mount
their own filesystem implementations.
There must however be some limitations, in order to prevent Bad User from
doing nasty things. Currently those limitations are:
- The user can only mount on a mountpoint, for which it has write
- The mountpoint is not a sticky directory which isn't owned by the
user (like /tmp usually is)
- No other user (including root) can access the contents of the mounted
Some options regarding mount policy can be set in the file
Currently these options are:
mount_max = NNN
Set the maximum number of FUSE mounts allowed to non-root users.
The default is 1000.
Allow non-root users to specify the 'allow_other' or 'allow_root'
These are FUSE specific mount options that can be specified for all
By default FUSE doesn't check file access permissions, the
filesystem is free to implement it's access policy or leave it to
the underlying file access mechanism (e.g. in case of network
filesystems). This option enables permission checking, restricting
access based on file mode. This is option is usually useful
together with the 'allow_other' mount option.
This option overrides the security measure restricting file access
to the user mounting the filesystem. So all users (including root)
can access the files. This option is by default only allowed to
root, but this restriction can be removed with a configuration
option described in the previous section.
This option is similar to 'allow_other' but file access is limited
to the user mounting the filesystem and root. This option and
'allow_other' are mutually exclusive.
This option disables flushing the cache of the file contents on
every open(). This should only be enabled on filesystems, where the
file data is never changed externally (not through the mounted FUSE
filesystem). Thus it is not suitable for network filesystems and
other "intermediate" filesystems.
NOTE: if this option is not specified (and neither 'direct_io') data
is still cached after the open(), so a read() system call will not
always initiate a read operation.
Issue large read requests. This can improve performance for some
filesystems, but can also degrade performance. This option is only
useful on 2.4.X kernels, as on 2.6 kernels requests size is
automatically determined for optimum performance.
This option disables the use of page cache (file content cache) in
the kernel for this filesystem. This has several affects:
- Each read() or write() system call will initiate one or more
read or write operations, data will not be cached in the
- The return value of the read() and write() system calls will
correspond to the return values of the read and write
operations. This is useful for example if the file size is not
known in advance (before reading it).
With this option the maximum size of read operations can be set.
The default is infinite. Note that the size of read requests is
limited anyway to 32 pages (which is 128kbyte on i386).
The default behavior is that if an open file is deleted, the file is
renamed to a hidden file (.fuse_hiddenXXX), and only removed when
the file is finally released. This relieves the filesystem
implementation of having to deal with this problem. This option
disables the hiding behavior, and files are removed immediately in
an unlink operation (or in a rename operation which overwrites an
It is recommended that you not use the hard_remove option. When
hard_remove is set, the following libc functions fail on unlinked
files (returning errno of ENOENT):
Turns on debug information printing by the library.
Sets the filesystem name. The default is the program name.
Honor the 'st_ino' field in getattr() and fill_dir(). This value is
used to fill in the 'st_ino' field in the stat()/lstat()/fstat()
functions and the 'd_ino' field in the readdir() function. The
filesystem does not have to guarantee uniqueness, however some
applications rely on this value being unique for the whole
If 'use_ino' option is not given, still try to fill in the 'd_ino'
field in readdir(). If the name was previously looked up, and is
still in the cache, the inode number found there will be used.
Otherwise it will be set to '-1'. If 'use_ino' option is given,
this option is ignored.
Allows mounts over a non-empty file or directory. By default these
mounts are rejected (from version 2.3.1) to prevent accidental
covering up of data, which could for example prevent automatic
Override the permission bits in 'st_mode' set by the filesystem.
The resulting permission bits are the ones missing from the given
umask value. The value is given in octal representation.
Override the 'st_uid' field set by the filesystem.
Override the 'st_gid' field set by the filesystem.