disk storage

Snapshots and Project Filesystems

Since August 2007, all project filesystems have been stored on filesystems capable of, among other things, point-in-time snapshots. Since these snapshots impact how you use the filesystem, this page is meant to give some explanation of the implications that come along with them.

Note that ALL project filesystems have snapshots enabled by default. If you feel like snapshots on your project filesystem are causing a problem for you, please email csstaff@cs.princeton.edu explaining your problem so that we can discuss options to mitigate it.


If a file is lost from your account (e.g., if you accidentally removed a file you need), the file can usually be restored, since filesystem snapshots are done on a regular basis for most user-accessible filesystems unless requested otherwise. If you lose a file from your home directory or project space, it can usually be recovered by looking in the snapshot tree. If, however, your file was lost from a filesystem on which snapshots have been disabled, or if it is not in the snapshot tree for some reason, it is likely not possible to recover.


Effective 2012/08/07

This page describes the Samba/CIFS service effective 2012/08/07, when important changes were made to the way the service operates. If you are having trouble with Samba/CIFS after that date, please double-check the below instructions.

Network File System and NFS Mounts

Network File System (NFS) is a protocol originally developed by Sun Microsystems in 1984 and defined in RFCs 1094, 1813, and 3530 (obsoletes 3010), as a distributed file system which allows a computer to access files over a network as easily as if they were on its local disks. The CS department uses NFS to share files to the public machines and servers for user home directories, web space, and project space.

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