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A file system referral is like a symbolic link to another file system share, but it is not visible to applications. It behaves like an automounted directory where a new file system mount is done when an application first accesses that directory. The arguments of the mount operation are controlled by information returned by the file server.
Today, file system referral mechanisms exist in several network file system protocols. FedFS provides its namespace features by leveraging referral mechanisms already built in to network file system protocols. Thus no change to file system protocols or clients is required.
Currently, the Linux FedFS implementation supports only NFS version 4 referrals. More on NFS version 4 referrals can be found in RFC 3530. FedFS may support other network file system protocols in the future.