|Full name||Advanced multi layered unification filesystem|
|File system permissions||POSIX|
|Supported operating systems||Linux via third-party kernel module|
aufs (short for advanced multi-layered unification filesystem) implements a union mount for Linux file systems. The name is an acronym which originally stood for AnotherUnionFS, but since version 2 it stands for "advanced multi-layered unification filesystem".
Developed by Junjiro Okajima in 2006, aufs is a complete rewrite of the earlier UnionFS. It aimed to improve reliability and performance, but also introduced some new concepts, like writable branch balancing, and other improvements – some of which are now implemented in the UnionFS 2.x branch.
aufs was rejected for merging into mainline Linux. Its code was criticized for being "dense, unreadable, and uncommented". Instead, OverlayFS was merged in the Linux kernel. After several attempts to merge aufs into mainline kernel, the author has given it up.
Aufs is included in Debian "jessie" and Ubuntu 16.04 out of the box. Debian "stretch" does not include aufs anymore, but provides a package aufs-dkms, which auto-compiles the aufs kernel module using Dell's dkms.
Docker originally used aufs for container filesystem layers. It is still available as one of the supported storage backends.
Several Linux distributions have chosen aufs as a replacement for UnionFS, including:
- Knoppix live CD Linux distribution – since the end of 2006, "for better stability and performance"
- NimbleX since version 2008. Switched simultaneously with Linux-Live
- Porteus LiveCD, run fully in RAM
- Slax (and Linux-Live scripts in general) since version 6
- Xandros Linux distribution, available in the ASUS Eee PC model 901
- Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Live CD
- Debian 6.0 Live media
- Gentoo Linux LiveDVD 11.0
- Gentoo Linux LiveDVD 11.2
- Gentoo Linux LiveDVD 12.0
- Salix Live via Linux-Live scripts until version 13.1.1 and via SaLT from version 13.37
- Puppy Linux versions can run fully in RAM with changes saved to disk on shutdown. For example, Slacko 5.3.3 running as a LiveCD.
- OverlayFS, the competing project that was chosen for merger to the Linux core
- File system
- Union mount, describing the concept of merging file system branches
- UnionFS, an older union mount project
- "History of aufs". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- Goals and new features of aufs in the project's homepage
- Aurora, Valerie (2009-04-07). "Unioning file systems: Implementations, part 2". LWN.net. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- "overlay filesystem · torvalds/linux@e9be9d5". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- Hellwig, Christoph (2009-04-10). "Re: [RFC Aufs2 #5 28/29] export lookup functions". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- Okajima, Junjiro (2009-04-10). "Re: [RFC Aufs2 #5 28/29] export lookup functions". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- "KNOPPIX 5.1 - Live Linux Filesystem On CD". knopper.net. 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- Linux Live scripts use AUFS for better stability
- "Gentoo Linux - Gentoo Linux - LiveDVD 11.0". Gentoo.org. 2011-03-08. Archived from the original on 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "Gentoo Linux - Gentoo Linux releases 11.2 LiveDVD". Gentoo.org. 2011-08-07. Archived from the original on 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "Gentoo Linux - Gentoo Linux releases 12.0 LiveDVD". Gentoo.org. 2012-01-02. Archived from the original on 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2012-04-19.