Debarshi's den

GVfs and the GOA volume monitor

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Sometime ago I had written about how we integrated ownCloud in GNOME for 3.8. One interesting infrastructural enhancement that was part of this feature is the GOA volume monitor in GVfs.

Volume monitors

A volume monitor is a D-Bus session service that uses the org.gtk.Private namespace (eg., org.gtk.Private.MTPVolumeMonitor, org.gtk.Private.UDisks2VolumeMonitor, etc.), has an entry in /usr/share/gvfs/remote-volume-monitors/, and exposes your disk partitions, iOS devices, MTP or PTP devices as volumes. These volumes eventually show up on the GTK+ places sidebar.

Online accounts

We wrote a volume monitor which exposes your online file storage as a volume. It listens to GNOME Online Accounts and when it notices an account that implements the GoaFiles interface it exposes it as a volume.

Giovanni Campagna extended GVfs’ shadow mount machinery to make it transparently pick up the credentials for accessing the cloud storage from GOA without bothering the user.

The future

Currently this only works for ownCloud because the underlying protocol is WebDAV – something that has a corresponding backend in GVfs.

To unlock support for, say, Google Drive or SkyDrive we would first need to implement the protocol as a GVfs backend, and then add the GoaFiles interface to the corresponding GoaObject.

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Written by Debarshi Ray

15 July, 2013 at 22:29

Posted in GNOME, GVfs, Online Accounts

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