Need private packages and team management tools?Check out npm Teams »

@isomorphic-git/lightning-fs

4.0.1 • Public • Published

@isomorphic-git/lightning-fs

A lean and fast 'fs' for the browser

Motivation

I wanted to see if I could make something faster than BrowserFS or filer that still implements enough of the fs API to run the isomorphic-git test suite in browsers.

Comparison with other libraries

This library does not even come close to implementing the full fs API. Instead, it only implements the subset used by isomorphic-git 'fs' plugin interface plus the fs.promises versions of those functions.

Unlike BrowserFS, which has a dozen backends and is highly configurable, lightning-fs has a single configuration that should Just Work for most users.

Philosophy

Basic requirements:

  1. needs to work in all modern browsers
  2. needs to work with large-ish files and directories
  3. needs to persist data
  4. needs to enable performant web apps

Req #3 excludes pure in-memory solutions. Req #4 excludes localStorage because it blocks the DOM and cannot be run in a webworker. Req #1 excludes WebSQL and Chrome's FileSystem API. So that leaves us with IndexedDB as the only usable storage technology.

Optimization targets (in order of priority):

  1. speed (time it takes to execute file system operations)
  2. bundle size (time it takes to download the library)
  3. memory usage (will it work on mobile)

In order to get improve #1, I ended up making a hybrid in-memory / IndexedDB system:

  • mkdir, rmdir, readdir, rename, and stat are pure in-memory operations that take 0ms
  • writeFile, readFile, and unlink are throttled by IndexedDB

The in-memory portion of the filesystem is persisted to IndexedDB with a debounce of 500ms. The files themselves are not currently cached in memory, because I don't want to waste a lot of memory. Applications can always add an LRU cache on top of lightning-fs - if I add one internally and it isn't tuned well for your application, it might be much harder to work around.

Multi-threaded filesystem access

Multiple tabs (and web workers) can share a filesystem. However, because SharedArrayBuffer is still not available in most browsers, the in-memory cache that makes LightningFS fast cannot be shared. If each thread was allowed to update its cache independently, then you'd have a complex distributed system and would need a fancy algorithm to resolve conflicts. Instead, I'm counting on the fact that your multi-threaded applications will NOT be IO bound, and thus a simpler strategy for sharing the filesystem will work. Filesystem access is bottlenecked by a mutex (implemented via polling and an atomic compare-and-replace operation in IndexedDB) to ensure that only one thread has access to the filesystem at a time. If the active thread is constantly using the filesystem, no other threads will get a chance. However if the active thread's filesystem goes idle - no operations are pending and no new operations are started - then after 500ms its in-memory cache is serialized and saved to IndexedDB and the mutex is released. (500ms was chosen experimentally such that an isomorphic-git clone operation didn't thrash the mutex.)

While the mutex is being held by another thread, any fs operations will be stuck waiting until the mutex becomes available. If the mutex is not available even after ten minutes then the filesystem operations will fail with an error. This could happen if say, you are trying to write to a log file every 100ms. You can overcome this by making sure that the filesystem is allowed to go idle for >500ms every now and then.

Usage

new FS(name, opts?)

First, create or open a "filesystem". (The name is used to determine the IndexedDb store name.)

import FS from '@isomorphic-git/lightning-fs';

const fs = new FS("testfs")

Note: It is better not to create multiple FS instances using the same name in a single thread. Memory usage will be higher as each instance maintains its own cache, and throughput may be lower as each instance will have to compete over the mutex for access to the IndexedDb store.

Options object:

Param Type [= default] Description
wipe boolean = false Delete the database and start with an empty filesystem
url string = undefined Let readFile requests fall back to an HTTP request to this base URL
urlauto boolean = false Fall back to HTTP for every read of a missing file, even if unbacked

fs.mkdir(filepath, opts?, cb)

Make directory

Options object:

Param Type [= default] Description
mode number = 0o777 Posix mode permissions

fs.rmdir(filepath, opts?, cb)

Remove directory

fs.readdir(filepath, opts?, cb)

Read directory

The callback return value is an Array of strings. NOTE: To save time, it is NOT SORTED. (Fun fact: Node.js' readdir output is not guaranteed to be sorted either. I learned that the hard way.)

fs.writeFile(filepath, data, opts?, cb)

data should be a string of a Uint8Array.

If opts is a string, it is interpreted as { encoding: opts }.

Options object:

Param Type [= default] Description
mode number = 0o777 Posix mode permissions
encoding string = undefined Only supported value is 'utf8'

fs.readFile(filepath, opts?, cb)

The result value will be a Uint8Array or (if encoding is 'utf8') a string.

If opts is a string, it is interpreted as { encoding: opts }.

Options object:

Param Type [= default] Description
encoding string = undefined Only supported value is 'utf8'

fs.unlink(filepath, opts?, cb)

Delete a file

fs.rename(oldFilepath, newFilepath, cb)

Rename a file or directory

fs.stat(filepath, opts?, cb)

The result is a Stat object similar to the one used by Node but with fewer and slightly different properties and methods. The included properties are:

  • type ("file" or "dir")
  • mode
  • size
  • ino
  • mtimeMs
  • ctimeMs
  • uid (fixed value of 1)
  • gid (fixed value of 1)
  • dev (fixed value of 1)

The included methods are:

  • isFile()
  • isDirectory()
  • isSymbolicLink()

fs.lstat(filepath, opts?, cb)

Like fs.stat except that paths to symlinks return the symlink stats not the file stats of the symlink's target.

fs.symlink(target, filepath, cb)

Create a symlink at filepath that points to target.

fs.readlink(filepath, opts?, cb)

Read the target of a symlink.

fs.backFile(filepath, opts?, cb)

Create or change the stat data for a file backed by HTTP. Size is fetched with a HEAD request. Useful when using an HTTP backend without urlauto set, as then files will only be readable if they have stat data. Note that stat data is made automatically from the file /.superblock.txt if found on the server. /.superblock.txt can be generated or updated with the included standalone script.

Options object:

Param Type [= default] Description
mode number = 0o666 Posix mode permissions

fs.promises

All the same functions as above, but instead of passing a callback they return a promise.

License

MIT

Install

npm i @isomorphic-git/lightning-fs

DownloadsWeekly Downloads

2,158

Version

4.0.1

License

MIT

Unpacked Size

66.2 kB

Total Files

18

Last publish

Collaborators

  • avatar