[cryptography] ANNOUNCING Tahoe, the Least-Authority File System, v1.6
zooko at zooko.com
Fri Mar 12 14:34:20 EST 2010
Here is an announcement that I sent to the old cryptography list
during its recent quiet period.
There are several interesting cryptographic aspects to the Tahoe-LAFS
project. The one that I most want to draw your attention to is the
fact that the crypto keys are almost completely hidden in the user
interface, and users perform fine-grained, dynamic key management
decisions all day long without ever really thinking in terms of keys.
ANNOUNCING Tahoe, the Least-Authority File System, v1.6
We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of
version 1.6 of Tahoe-LAFS, an extremely reliable distributed
Tahoe-LAFS is the first cloud storage system which offers
"provider-independent security" -- meaning that not even your
cloud service provider can read or alter your data without your
consent. Here is the one-page explanation of its unique
security and fault-tolerance properties:
Tahoe-LAFS v1.6.0 is the successor to v1.5.0, which was
released August 1, 2009 . This release includes major
performance improvements, usability improvements, and one major
new feature: deep-immutable directories (cryptographically
unalterable permanent snapshots). See the NEWS file  for
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
With Tahoe-LAFS, you spread your filesystem across multiple
servers, and even if some of the servers fail or are taken over
by an attacker, the entire filesystem continues to work
correctly, and continues to preserve your privacy and
security. You can easily and securely share chosen files and
directories with others.
In addition to the core storage system itself, volunteers have
developed related projects to integrate it with other
tools. These include frontends for Windows, Macintosh,
TiddlyWiki, and more. As of this release, contributors have
added an Android frontend and a working read-only FUSE
frontend. See the Related Projects page on the wiki .
We believe that the combination of erasure coding, strong
encryption, Free/Open Source Software and careful engineering
make Tahoe-LAFS safer than RAID, removable drive, tape, on-line
backup or other Cloud storage systems.
This software is developed under thorough unit tests, and there
are no known bugs or security flaws which would compromise
confidentiality or data integrity under normal use. (For all
currently known issues please see the known_issues.txt file
This release is fully compatible with the version 1 series of
Tahoe-LAFS. Clients from this release can write files and
directories in the format used by clients of all versions back
to v1.0 (which was released March 25, 2008). Clients from this
release can read files and directories produced by clients of
all versions since v1.0. Servers from this release can serve
clients of all versions back to v1.0 and clients from this
release can use servers of all versions back to v1.0.
This is the seventh release in the version 1 series. The
version 1 series of Tahoe-LAFS will be actively supported and
maintained for the forseeable future, and future versions of
Tahoe-LAFS will retain the ability to read and write files
compatible with Tahoe-LAFS v1.
In addition, version 1.6 improves forward-compatibility with
planned future directory formats, allowing updates to a
directory containing both current and future links, without
loss of information.
You may use this package under the GNU General Public License,
version 2 or, at your option, any later version. See the file
"COPYING.GPL"  for the terms of the GNU General Public
License, version 2.
You may use this package under the Transitive Grace Period
Public Licence, version 1 or, at your option, any later
version. (The Transitive Grace Period Public Licence has
requirements similar to the GPL except that it allows you to
wait for up to twelve months after you redistribute a derived
work before releasing the source code of your derived work.)
See the file "COPYING.TGPPL.html"  for the terms of the
Transitive Grace Period Public Licence, version 1.
(You may choose to use this package under the terms of either
licence, at your option.)
Tahoe-LAFS works on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Cygwin, Solaris,
*BSD, and probably most other systems. Start with
HACKING AND COMMUNITY
Please join us on the mailing list . Patches are gratefully
accepted -- the RoadMap page  shows the next improvements
that we plan to make and CREDITS  lists the names of people
who've contributed to the project. The Dev page  contains
resources for hackers.
Tahoe-LAFS was originally developed thanks to the sponsorship
of Allmydata, Inc. , a provider of commercial backup
services. Allmydata founded the Tahoe-LAFS project and
contributed hardware, software, ideas, bug reports,
suggestions, demands, and they employed several Tahoe-LAFS
hackers and instructed them to spend part of their work time on
this Free Software project. Also they awarded customized
t-shirts to hackers who found security flaws in Tahoe-LAFS (see
the Hack Tahoe-LAFS Hall Of Fame ). After discontinuing
funding of Tahoe-LAFS R&D in early 2009, Allmydata, Inc. has
continued to provide servers, co-lo space, bandwidth, and small
personal gifts as tokens of appreciation. (Also they continue
to provide bug reports.) Thank you to Allmydata, Inc. for their
generous and public-spirited support.
This is the third release of Tahoe-LAFS to be created solely as
a labor of love by volunteers. Thank you very much to the
dedicated team of "hackers in the public interest" who make
on behalf of the Tahoe-LAFS team
February 1, 2010
Boulder, Colorado, USA
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