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A client for doing FS operations in multiple places in sync.


A client for doing FS operations in multiple places in sync.

Current supported targets:

  1. File system root paths
  2. Remote unix systems (via ssh)
  3. Joyent Manta

Planned supported targets:

  1. Rackspace Cloud Files
  2. Amazon S3

on npm Dependencies


var MultiFS = require("multi-fs")
var client = new MultiFS([
  // FS is the default type 
  // ssh urls are desugared 
  // setting special ssh options requires using 
  // the full object style, though. 
    type: "ssh",
    host: "some-host",
    user: "some-user",
    identity: "/home/.ssh/id_rsa_some_key",
    path: "path/in/home"
  // manta can be either an existing manta client, 
  // or an args/env pair, which will use the standard 
  // manta arguments and environment stuff. 
    type: "manta",
    path: "~~/stor/root/path",
    // alternative:   "client": myMantaClient, 
    args: [ "-a", "username" ],
    env: { MANTA_KEY_ID: process.env.MANTA_KEY_ID, etc }
  // you can use a variant of the ssh client that does file 
  // copies by spawning scp. the options are identical to ssh 
    type: "scp",
    host: "some-host",
    user: "some-user",
    identity: "/home/.ssh/id_rsa_some_key",
    path: "path/in/home"
// Paths are not allowed to traverse up past the parent. 
client.readdir("foo/bar", function (er, files) {
  if (er) {
    console.log("it failed!")
  } else {
    console.log("results:", files)


All methods take cb as their last argument.

Reading functions:

  • stat(path, cb)
  • readdir(path, cb)
  • readFile(path, [encoding], cb)
  • md5(path, cb)

Writing functions:

  • writeFile(path, data, [encoding], cb)
  • writeFilep(path, data, [encoding], cb)
  • mkdir(path, cb)
  • mkdirp(path, cb)
  • unlink(path, cb)
  • rmdir(path, cb)
  • rmr(path, cb)


Callbacks are called with the following arguments:

  • error First error encountered. If no errors are encountered, but the data returned is not consistent, then it will return an 'Inconsistent Data' error.
  • result The result of the operation. If consistent results are not found, then this will be set to null.
  • data Errors, results, and extra metadata from all hosts.

For all methods except readfile, it performs the operation on all targets, and will raise an Inconsistent Data error if they do not return matching results.

For readfile, it will call md5 and compare hashes, and then, if the results all match, it will read the actual file from the first client that returned an md5 hash.

Calls to writeFile are atomic on all clients. It will write to a temporary file like foo.txt.TMP.cafef00d and then rename to foo.txt when finished. If the write fails, it makes a best effort attempt to unlink the temporary file.

Stat Objects

Because different systems represent file/directory stats differently, stat calls return a simple object with only isFile and iDirectory boolean members as the first argument. The original stat objects from the underlying systems are returned in the data argument.


I think it'd be great to have createReadStream(p, cb) and createWriteStream(p, cb) methods on the client, especially since all the targets (fs, ssh2, manta, etc.) support streams already.

However, especially for readable streams, it's not at all clear how to handle inconsistencies. Right now, readFile will raise an Inconsistent Data error if two hosts return different stuff. However, with a readable stream, it'd have to be checking each chunk somehow, and that gets pretty complicated.

Probably that "check multiple streams and make sure they're all producing the same data" thing should be a separate module.

For writable streams, it's a bit easier, since it's just a multiplexing pipe thing, but hasn't been done at this time.