Google hack: Use Gmail as a Linux filesystem

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Again, replace gmailuser, gmailpass, and zOlRRa with your Gmail username, Gmail password, and preferred filesystem name.

Warning: At the time of this writing, both of these command-line invocations have serious security issues. If you run a multiuser system, others can easily see your Gmail username and password. If this is a problem for you, your only option at present is to modify gmailfs.py itself, changing DefaultUsername, DefaultPassword, and DefaultFsname as appropriate.

A future version of GmailFS (perhaps already out by the time you read this) will load these values from configuration files in your home directory.

Refer back to Figure 1 to see my mounted gmailfs filesystem in action.

Things You Should Know

There are a few things you should know as you begin to stroll about and store things on your Gmail filesystem:

  •  GmailFS also has a blocksize option, with a default of 5MB. Files smaller than the minimum blocksize use only the amount of space required to store the file, not the full blocksize. Note that any files created during a previous mount with a different blocksize retain their original blocksize until they are deleted. For most applications, you can take full advantage of your bandwidth by keeping the blocksize as large as possible.

  •  When you delete files, GmailFS places the files in the Trash. The libgmail library does not currently support purging items from the Trash, so you have to do this manually through the regular Gmail web interface.

To avoid seeing the messages created for your Gmail filesystem in your inbox, you should probably create a filter (http://gmail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6579&query=filter&topic=&type=f) to automatically archive GmailFS messages as they arrive in your Inbox. The best approach is probably to search for the fsname value; it's in the subject of all your GmailFS messages.

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