announcing allmydata.org "Tahoe", the Least-Authority Filesystem, v1.0

Discussion in 'Python' started by zooko, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. zooko

    zooko Guest

    Folks:

    This open source project is written entirely in Python, except of
    course for the performance-intensive or system-integration parts that
    are written in C/C++ -- things like erasure coding and encryption.

    Python has served as well. It is elegant enough and simple enough,
    and the implementation is mature and efficient enough. And, there is
    a vast array of compatible, open-source tools and packages that work
    well with Python.

    The company that sponsors this open source project, http://
    allmydata.com/ , opens its doors to new customers tomorrow, using
    Tahoe for its new storage grid.

    Regards,

    Zooko

    ANNOUNCING Allmydata.org "Tahoe", the Least-Authority Filesystem, v1.0

    We are pleased to announce the release of version 1.0 of the "Tahoe"
    Least Authority Filesystem.

    The "Tahoe" Least Authority Filesystem is a secure, decentralized,
    fault-tolerant filesystem. All of the source code is available under
    a Free Software, Open Source licence (or two).

    This filesystem is encrypted and distributed over multiple peers in
    such a way it continues to function even when some of the peers are
    unavailable, malfunctioning, or malicious.

    A one-page explanation of the security and fault-tolerance properties
    that it offers is visible at:

    http://allmydata.org/source/tahoe/trunk/docs/about.html


    We believe that this version of Tahoe is stable enough to rely on as a
    permanent store of valuable data. The version 1 branch of Tahoe will
    be actively supported and maintained for the forseeable future, and
    future versions of Tahoe will retain the ability to read files and
    directories produced by Tahoe v1.0 for the forseeable future.

    This release of Tahoe will form the basis of the new consumer backup
    product from Allmydata, Inc. -- http://allmydata.com .


    This is the successor to Allmydata.org "Tahoe" Least Authority
    Filesystem v0.9, which was released March 13, 2008 [1]. Since v0.9
    we've made the following changes:

    * Use an added secret for convergent encryption to better protect the
    confidentiality of immutable files, and remove the publically
    readable hash of the plaintext (ticket #365).

    * Add a "mkdir-p" feature to the WAPI (ticket #357).

    * Many updates to the Windows installer and Windows filesystem
    integration.


    Tahoe v1.0 produces files which can't be read by older versions of
    Tahoe, although files produced by Tahoe >= 0.8 can be read by Tahoe
    1.0. The reason that older versions of Tahoe can't read files
    produced by Tahoe 1.0 is that those older versions require the file to
    come with a publically-readable hash of the plaintext, but exposing
    such a hash is a confidentiality leak, so Tahoe 1.0 does not do it.


    WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

    With Tahoe, you can distribute your filesystem across a set of
    computers, such that if some of the computers fail or turn out to be
    malicious, the filesystem continues to work from the remaining
    computers. You can also share your files with other users, using a
    strongly encrypted, capability-based access control scheme.

    Because this software is the product of less than a year and a half of
    active development, we do not categorically recommend it for the
    storage of data which is extremely confidential or precious. However,
    we believe that the combination of erasure coding, strong encryption,
    and careful engineering makes the use of this software a much safer
    alternative than common alternatives, such as RAID, or traditional
    backup onto a remote server, removable drive, or tape.

    This software comes with extensive unit tests [2], and there are no
    known security flaws which would compromise confidentiality or data
    integrity. (For all currently known security issues please see the
    Security web page: [3].)

    This release of Tahoe is suitable for the "friendnet" use case [4] --
    it is easy to create a filesystem spread over the computers of you and
    your friends so that you can share files and disk space with one
    another.


    LICENCE

    You may use this package under the GNU General Public License, version
    2 or, at your option, any later version. See the file "COPYING.GPL"
    for the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2.

    You may use this package under the Transitive Grace Period Public
    Licence, version 1.0. The Transitive Grace Period Public Licence says
    that you may distribute proprietary derived works of Tahoe without
    releasing the source code of that derived work for up to twelve
    months, after which time you are obligated to release the source code
    of the derived work under the Transitive Grace Period Public Licence.
    See the file "COPYING.TGPPL.html" for the terms of the Transitive
    Grace Period Public Licence, version 1.0.

    (You may choose to use this package under the terms of either licence,
    at your option.)


    INSTALLATION

    Tahoe works on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Cygwin, and Solaris. For
    installation instructions please see "docs/install.html" [5].


    HACKING AND COMMUNITY

    Please join us on the mailing list [6] to discuss uses of Tahoe.
    Patches that extend and improve Tahoe are gratefully accepted -- the
    RoadMap page [7] shows the next improvements that we plan to make and
    CREDITS [8] lists the names of people who've contributed to the
    project. The wiki Dev page [9] contains resources for hackers.


    SPONSORSHIP

    Tahoe is sponsored by Allmydata, Inc. [10], a provider of consumer
    backup services. Allmydata, Inc. contributes hardware, software,
    ideas, bug reports, suggestions, demands, and money (employing several
    allmydata.org Tahoe hackers and instructing them to spend part of
    their work time on this free-software project). We are eternally
    grateful!


    Zooko O'Whielacronx
    on behalf of the allmydata.org team
    March 25, 2008
    San Francisco, California, USA

    [1] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/browser/relnotes.txt?rev=2315
    [2] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/Dev
    [3] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/Security
    [4] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/UseCases
    [5] http://allmydata.org/source/tahoe/trunk/docs/install.html
    [6] http://allmydata.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tahoe-dev
    [7] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/roadmap
    [8] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/browser/CREDITS?rev=2345
    [9] http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/Dev
    [10] http://allmydata.com
     
    zooko, Mar 26, 2008
    #1
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