From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)Junjiro Okajima
Full nameAdvanced multi layered unification filesystem
File system permissionsPOSIX
Supported operating systemsLinux via third-party kernel module

aufs (short for advanced multi-layered unification filesystem) implements a union mount for Linux file systems. The name originally stood for AnotherUnionFS until version 2.

Developed by Junjiro Okajima in 2006,[1] 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,[2] 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".[3] Instead, OverlayFS was merged in the Linux kernel.[4][5] After several attempts to merge aufs into mainline kernel, the author has given up.[6]


Aufs is included in Debian "Jessie" (v8) and Ubuntu 16.04 out of the box. Debian "Stretch" (v9) 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 storage backends but is deprecated in favour of the overlay2 backend which uses OverlayFS.[7]

Several Linux distributions have chosen aufs as a replacement for UnionFS, including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of aufs". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  2. ^ Goals and new features of aufs in the project's homepage
  3. ^ Aurora, Valerie (2009-04-07). "Unioning file systems: Implementations, part 2". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  4. ^ "overlay filesystem · torvalds/linux@e9be9d5". GitHub. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  5. ^ Hellwig, Christoph (2009-04-10). "Re: [RFC Aufs2 #5 28/29] export lookup functions". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  6. ^ Okajima, Junjiro (2009-04-10). "Re: [RFC Aufs2 #5 28/29] export lookup functions". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  7. ^ "Deprecated Engine Features". GitHub. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  8. ^ "KNOPPIX 5.1 - Live Linux Filesystem On CD". 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  9. ^ Linux Live scripts Archived 2009-03-22 at the Wayback Machine use AUFS for better stability
  10. ^ "Gentoo Linux - Gentoo Linux - LiveDVD 11.0". 2011-03-08. Archived from the original on 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  11. ^ "Gentoo Linux - Gentoo Linux releases 11.2 LiveDVD". 2011-08-07. Archived from the original on 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  12. ^ "Gentoo Linux - Gentoo Linux releases 12.0 LiveDVD". 2012-01-02. Archived from the original on 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  13. ^ "Manjaro linux54 kernel PKGBUILD". 2020-01-19. Retrieved 2020-01-19.

External links[edit]