PipesFS: Fast Linux I/O in the Unix Tradition

W.J. de Bruijn, H.J. Bos

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper presents PipesFS, an I/O architecture for Linux 2.6 that increases I/O throughput and adds support for heterogeneous parallel processors by (1) collapsing many I/O interfaces onto one: the Unix pipeline, (2) increasing pipe efficiency and (3) exploiting pipeline modularity to spread computation across all available processors. PipesFS extends the pipeline model to kernel I/O and communicates with applications through a Linux virtual filesystem (VFS), where directory nodes represent operations and pipe nodes export live kernel data. Users can thus interact with kernel I/O through existing calls like mkdir, tools like grep, most languages and even shell scripts. To support performance critical tasks, PipesFS improves pipe throughput through copy, context switch and cache miss avoidance. To integrate heterogeneous processors (e.g., the Cell) it transparently moves operations to the most efficient type of core.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
JournalACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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