FOSSILCONS(8)FOSSILCONS(8)NAMEfossilcons - fossil console commands
bind [ -b|-a|-c|-bc|-ac ] new old
echo [ -n ] [ arg ]
listen [ -INd ] [ address ]
msg [ -m nmsg ] [ -p nproc ]
srv [ -APWdp ] name
uname name [ id | :id | %newname | =leader | +member | -member ]
users [ -d | -r file ] [ -w ]
fsys name config [ device ]
fsys name venti [ host ]
fsys name open [ -APVWar ] [ -c ncache ]
[ fsys name ] close
fsys name unconfig
[ fsys name ] bfree addr
[ fsys name ] block addr offset [ count [ data ]]
[ fsys name ] check [ pblock ] [ pdir ] [ pfile ] [ bclose ] [ clri ] [
clre ] [ clrp ] [ fix ] [ venti ] [ snapshot ]
[ fsys name ] clre addr offsets ...
[ fsys name ] clri files ...
[ fsys name ] clrp addr offset ...
[ fsys name ] create path uid gid perm
[ fsys name ] df
[ fsys name ] epoch [[ -ry ] n ]
[ fsys name ] halt
[ fsys name ] label addr [ type state epoch epochclose tag ]
[ fsys name ] remove files ...
[ fsys name ] snap [ -a ] [ -s src ] [ -d dst ]
[ fsys name ] snapclean [ timeout ]
[ fsys name ] snaptime [ -a hhmm ] [ -s interval ] [ -t timeout ]
[ fsys name ] stat files...
[ fsys name ] sync
[ fsys name ] unhalt
[ fsys name ] vac dir
[ fsys name ] wstat file elem uid gid perm length
These are configuration and maintenance commands executed at the con‐
sole of a fossil(4) file server. The commands are split into three
groups above: file server configuration, file system configuration, and
file system maintenance. This manual page is split in the same way.
File server configuration
The dot (.) command reads file, treating each line as a command to be
executed. Blank lines and lines beginning with a character are
ignored. Errors during execution are printed but do not stop the
script. Note that file is a file in the name space in which fossil was
started, not a file in any file system served by fossil.
9p executes a 9P transaction; the arguments are in the same format used
Bind behaves similarly to bind(1). It is useful when fossil is started
without devices it needs configured into its namespace.
Dflag toggles the debug flag and prints the new setting. When the
debug flag is set, all protocol messages and information about authen‐
tication is printed to standard error.
Echo behaves identically to echo(1), writing to the console.
Listen manages the network addresses at which fossil is listening.
With no arguments, listen prints the current list of addresses and
their network directories. With one argument, listen address starts a
new listener at address; the -d flag causes listen to remove the lis‐
tener at the given address. By default, the user none is only allowed
to attach on a connection after at least one other user has success‐
fully attached. The -N flag allows connections from none at any time.
The -I flag causes fossil to check the IP address of incoming connec‐
tions against /mnt/ipok, rejecting attaches from disallowed addresses.
This mechanism is not intended for general use. The server
sources.cs.bell-labs.com uses it to comply with U.S. crytography export
Msg prints the maximum internal 9P message queue size and the maximum
number of 9P processes to allocate for serving the queue. The -m and
-p options set the two variables.
Printconfig prints the config line for each configured file system and
prints the venti line, if any, used to configure this file server.
Srv behaves like listen but uses /srv/name rather than a network
address. With the -p flag, srv edits a list of console services rather
than 9P services. With no arguments, srv prints the current list of
services. With one argument, srv name starts a new service at
/srv/name; the -d flag causes srv to remove the named service. See the
[fsys] open command below for a description of the -APW options.
Uname manipulates entries in the user table. There is no distinction
between users and groups: a user is a group with one member. For each
user, the user table records:
id the string used to represent this user in the on-disk structures
name the string used to represent this user in the 9P protocol
leader the group's leader (see stat(5) for a description of the special
privileges held by a group leader)
a comma-separated list of members in this group
The id and name are usually the same string, but need not be. Once an
id is used in file system structures archived to Venti, it is impossi‐
ble to change those disk structures, and thus impossible to rename the
id. The translation from name to id allows the appearance of renaming
the user even though the on-disk structures still record the old name.
(In a conventional Unix file system, the id is stored as a small inte‐
ger rather than a string.) Leader and members are names, not ids.
The first argument to uname is the name of a user. The second argument
is a verb, one of:
id create a user with name `name' and id `id;' also create a home
:id create a user with name `name' and id `id,' but do not create a
rename user `name' to `newname,' throughout the user table
set name's group leader to leader.
= remove name's group leader; then all members will be considered
add member to name's list of members
remove member from name's list of members
If the verb is omitted, the entire entry for name is printed, in the
The end of this manual page gives examples.
Users manipulates the user table. The user table is a list of lines in
the form printed by the uname command. The -d flag resets the user ta‐
ble with the default:
Except glenda, these users are mandatory: they must appear in all user
files and cannot be renamed.
The -r flag reads a user table from the named file in file system main.
The -w flag writes the table to /active/adm/users on the file system
main. /active/adm and /active/adm/users will be created if they do not
Users -r /active/adm/users is automatically executed when the file sys‐
tem main is opened.
Users -w is automatically executed after each change to the user table
by the uname command.
Who prints a list of users attached to each active connection.
File system configuration
Fsys sets the current file system to name, which must be configured and
open (q.v.). The current file system name is displayed as the file
server prompt. The special name all stands for all file systems; com‐
mands applied to all are applied to each file system in turn. The com‐
mands config, open, venti, and close cannot be applied to all.
Fsys takes as an optional argument (after name) a command to execute on
the named file system. Most commands require that the named file sys‐
tem be configured and open; these commands can be invoked without the
fsys name prefix, in which case the current file system is used. A few
commands (config, open, and unconfig) operate on unopened file systems;
they require the prefix.
Config creates a new file system named name using disk file device.
This just adds an entry to fossil's internal table. If device is miss‐
ing, the file argument to fossil's -f option will be used instead; this
allows the fossil configuration file to avoid naming the partition that
it is embedded in, making it more portable.
Venti establishes a connection to the Venti server host (by default,
the environment variable $venti or the network variable $venti) for use
by the named file system. If no venti command is issued before open,
the default Venti server will be used. If the file system is open, and
was not opened with the -V flag, the command redials the Venti server.
This can be used to reestablish broken connections. It is not a good
idea to use the command to switch between Venti servers, since Fossil
does not keep track of which blocks are stored on which servers.
Open opens the file system, reading the root and super blocks and allo‐
cating an in-memory cache for disk and Venti blocks. The options are:
-A run with no authentication
-P run with no permission checking
-V do not attempt to connect to a Venti server
-W allow wstat to make arbitrary changes to the user and group
-a do not update file access times; primarily to avoid wear on
-r open the file system read-only
allocate an in-memory cache of ncache (by default, 1000) blocks
The -APW settings can be overridden on a per-connection basis by the
srv command above.
Close flushes all dirty file system blocks to disk and then closes the
Unconfig removes the named file system (which must be closed) from fos‐
sil's internal table.
File system maintenance
Bfree marks the block at disk address addr as available for allocation.
Before doing so, it prints a label command (q.v.) that can be used to
restore the block to its previous state.
Block displays (in hexadecimal) the contents of the block at disk
address addr, starting at offset and continuing for count bytes or
until the end of the block. If data (also hexadecimal) is given, the
contents in that range are replaced with data. When writing to a
block, block prints the old and new contents, so that the change is
easily undone. Editing blocks is discouraged.
Clre zeros an entry from a disk block. Before doing so, it prints a
block command that can be used to restore the entry.
Clri removes the internal directory entry and abandons storage associ‐
ated with files. It ignores the usual rules for sanity, such as check‐
ing against removing a non-empty directory. A subsequent flchk (see
fossil(4)) will identify the abandoned storage so it can be reclaimed
with bfree commands.
Clrp zeros a pointer in a disk block. Before doing so, it prints a
block command that can be used to restore the entry.
Check checks the file system for various inconsistencies. If the file
system is not already halted, it is halted for the duration of the
check. If the archiver is currently sending a snapshot to Venti, the
check will refuse to run; the only recourse is to wait for the archiver
A list of keyword options control the check. The pblock, pdir, and
pfile options cause check to print the name of each block, directory,
or file encountered.
By default, check reports errors but does not fix them. The bclose,
clri, clre, and clrp options specify correcting actions that may be
taken: closing leaked blocks, clearing bad file directory entries,
clearing bad pointers, and clearing bad entries. The fix option
enables all of these; it is equivalent to bclose clri clre clrp.
By default, check scans the portion of the active file system held in
the write buffer, avoiding blocks stored on Venti or used only in snap‐
shots. The venti option causes check to scan the portion of the file
system stored on Venti, and the snapshot option causes check to scan
old snapshots. Specifying snapshot causes check to take a long time;
specifying venti or (worse) venti snapshot causes check to take a very
Create creates a file on the current file system. Uid and gid are uids
(not unames; see the discussion above, in the description of the uname
command). Perm is the low 9 bits of the permission mode of the file,
in octal. The a, d, and l mode prefixes set the append-only, direc‐
tory, and lock bits. The perm is formatted as described in the stat
command; creating files or directories with the snapshot(s) bit set is
Df prints the amount of used disk space in the write buffer.
Epoch sets the low file system epoch. Snapshots in the file system are
given increasing epoch numbers. The file system maintains a low and a
high epoch number, and only allows access to snapshots in that range.
The low epoch number can be moved forward to discard old snapshots and
reclaim the disk space they occupy. (The high epoch number is always
the epoch of the currently active file system.)
With no argument epoch reports the current low and high epoch numbers.
The command ``epoch n'' is used to propose changing the low epoch to n.
In response, fossil scans /archive and /snapshot for snapshots that
would be discarded, printing their epoch numbers and the clri commands
necessary to remove them. The epoch is changed only if no such paths
are found. The usual sequence of commands is (1) run epoch to print
the snapshots and their epochs, (2) clri some snapshots, (3) run epoch
again. If the file system is completely full (there are no free
blocks), clri may fail because it needs to allocate blocks. For this
situation, the -y flag to epoch forces the epoch change even when it
means discarding currently accessible snapshots. Note that when there
are still snapshots in /archive, the archiver should take care of those
snapshots (moving the blocks from disk to Venti) if you give it more
The -r flag to epoch causes it to remove any now-inaccessible snapshot
directories once it has changed the epoch. This flag only makes sense
in conjunction with the -y flag.
Epoch is a very low-level way to retire snapshots. The preferred way
is by setting an automatic timer with snaptime.
Halt suspends all file system activity; unhalt resumes activity.
Label displays and edits the label associated with a block. When edit‐
ing, a parameter of - means leave that field unchanged. Editing labels
Remove removes files.
Snap takes a temporary snapshot of the current file system, recording
it in /snapshot/yyyy/mmdd/hhmm, as described in fossil(4). The -a flag
causes snap to take an archival snapshot, recording it in /ar‐
chive/yyyy/mmdd, also described in fossil(4). By default the snapshot
is taken of /active, the root of the active file system. The -s flag
specifies a different source path. The -d flag specifies a different
destination path. These two flags are useful together for moving
snapshots into the archive tree.
Snapclean immediately discards all snapshots that are more than timeout
minutes old. The default timeout is the one set by the snaptime com‐
mand. The discarding is a one-time event rather than a recurring event
as in snaptime.
Snaptime displays and edits the times at which snapshots are automati‐
cally taken. An archival snapshot is taken once a day, at hhmm, while
temporary snapshots are taken at multiples of interval minutes. Tempo‐
rary snapshots are discarded after they are timeout minutes old. The
snapshot cleanup runs every timeout minutes or once a day, whichever is
more frequent, so snapshots may grow to an age of almost twice the
timeout before actually being discarded. With no arguments, snaptime
prints the current snapshot times. The -a and -s options set the ar‐
chive and snapshot times. An hhmm or interval of can be used to dis‐
able that kind of automatic snapshot. The -t option sets the snapshot
timeout. If timeout is temporary snapshots are not automatically dis‐
carded. By default, all three times are set to
Stat displays metadata for each of the named files, in the form:
stat file elem uid gid perm length
(Replacing stat with wstat yields a valid command.) The perm is an
octal number less than or equal to 777, prefixed with any of the fol‐
lowing letters to indicate additional bits.
a append only
l exclusive use
s is the root of a snapshot
t temporary bit
A MS-DOS archive bit
H MS-DOS hidden bit
L symbolic link
S MS-DOS system bit
The bits denoted by capital letters are included to support non-Plan 9
systems. They are not made visible by the 9P protocol.
Sync writes dirty blocks in memory to the disk.
Vac prints the Venti score for a vac(1) archive containing the tree
rooted at dir, which must already be archived to Venti (typically dir
is a directory in the /archive tree).
Wstat changes the metadata of the named file. Specifying - for any of
the fields means ``don't change.'' Attempts to change the d or s bits
in the perm are silently ignored.
Sources, the Plan 9 distribution file server, uses the following con‐
srv -p fscons.sources
srv -p fscons.sources.adduserd
fsys main config /dev/sdC0/fossil.outside
fsys main open -c 25600
msg -m 40 -p 10
snaptime -a 0000 -s 15
The second console is used by the daemon that creates new accounts.
To add a new user with name and id rob and create his home directory:
uname rob rob
To create a new group sys (with no home directory) and add rob to it:
uname sys :sys
uname sys +rob
To save an old (but not yet discarded) snapshot into the archive tree:
snap -a -s /snapshot/2003/1220/0700 -d /archive/2003/1220