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GmailFS is a virtual file system originally developed by Richard Jones that uses a Gmail e-mail account for storage. GmailFS is written for Linux, but Windows and OS X ports exist too. It originally was based on underlying SMTP and POP3 interaction with Gmail. Since May 16, 2010, a fork exists that uses IMAP.

It works by building a filesystem with the Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) loadable kernel module, and manages communication with Gmail through a special purpose Python library called libgmail. The actual GmailFS is also implemented in Python.

The speed of this filesystem is limited by the speed of the user's Internet connection, and the upload/download speed of the Gmail server. Files can be any size, and are stored as (segmented) attachments.

The Official website news dated 13 December 2009, says "Unfortunately the GmailFS project has come to an end. libgmail has ceased being maintained by its developers, and as a result libgmail no longer works with the latest Gmail interface (and has not done so for many weeks). Without a working libgmail, GmailFS does not function, so the end of libgmail also spells the end of GmailFS."


Google's terms of use prohibit the use of their services by any automated means or any means other than through the interface provided by Google. These restrictions would make use of GmailFS a direct violation of the Service agreement. As a result, Google could disable accounts used for GmailFS at any time and without warning.[1] Consequently, GmailFS should not be considered reliable for backup purposes.

External links[edit]

  • A fork of GmailFS that uses Gmail's IMAP interface and is expected to remain stable