Model-Checking the Linux Virtual File System

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Abstract

This paper presents a case study in modelling and verifying the Linux Virtual File System (VFS). Our work is set in the context of Hoare’s verification grand challenge and, in particular, Joshi and Holzmann’s mini-challenge to build a verifiable file system. The aim of the study is to assess the viability of retrospective verification of a VFS implementation using model-checking technology. We show how to extract an executable model of the Linux VFS implementation, validate the model by employing the simulation capabilities of SPIN, and analyse it for adherence to data integrity constraints and deadlock freedom using the SMART model checker.

This research was partially funded by EPSRC under grant GR/S86211/01 and by NASA under cooperative agreement NCC-1-02043.