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For the majority of filesystem storage within Informatics, we use the Andrew File System (AFS), which is a globally-accessible file-system. We had previously used NFS (the Network File System), but had found it limiting in some respects. With AFS, we have an authenticated file-system with load-balancing, local caching, and global access. We moved to AFS in early 2006; a fuller description of the move, and the reasons for it, can be found in the relevant Newsletter.
If you want to just 'dive in' but need details of a few basic commands, you might find our Top Ten Tips page helpful.
For help with setting appropriate access permissions (and remember that this is a global file-system), please take a look at the Setting ACLs page. For other command information, see the local copy of the Official AFS Reference Manual, and also the OpenAFS User Guide.
AFS clients are not just available for the DICE Linux machines, they're also available for other operating systems and platforms:
AFS filestore can also be accessed via ifile
Note that, although AFS is used for the home directories and the majority of data space, desktop machines also have local disk, where filesystems will be ext3.
If you need to get access to files on a remote machine, but the filespace on that machine isn't normally visible from your machine, you can often access it using sshfs.