GFAL (Grid File Access Library ) is a C library providing an abstraction layer of the grid storage system complexity. The version 2 of GFAL tries to simplify at the maximum the file operations in a distributed environment. the complexity of the grid is hidden from the client side behind a simple common POSIX API.

GFAL2 is able to manage all the common used file access protocols in a Grid & cloud environment

  • Dcap & GSIDCAP
  • LFN & LFC (LFC catalog)
  • SRM
  • GridFTP
  • HTTP/WebDav
  • Local files

10 good reasons to switch to GFAL2:

  • Has a new Error report system: protocol independent error code, human readable string, trace mode and logger system.
  • Is simpler and portable, with only one API for all the protocols. Your application can switch between SRM, GSIFTP, xrootd, Http, Webdav, GSIDCAP, etc... without any modification.
  • Can manage file transfers at high level (gfal2-transfer API, core of FTS3).
  • Is extensible with the new plugin system. Adding support for a new protocol or a new catalog without touching the client application is easy.
  • Is now designed to be as POSIX as possible.
  • Manages the extended attributes system for advanced grid operations ( get guid, set/get replicas, set/get comments).
  • Is delivered with gfalFS , a NEW file system which can mount any compatible grid URL.
  • Is fully supported, without configuration and easier to install.

What are the main changes from gfal1?

  • The NON-POSIX functions of 1.0 do not exist anymore in the POSIX API, they are mapped to a POSIX one (setxattr/getxattr) or available in the file API (checksum).
  • The gfal_request complex system is now replaced by a simple POSIX calls and getxattr/setxattr
  • GFAL2 provides the getxattr, setxattr, listxattr calls for the platform's specific calls (turl resolution, guid resolution, ...)
  • The Python API has been reworked, more pythonic and easier to use, follows now the python philosophy and is able to manage the exceptions properly.

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