In its fifteen-plus years as an open-source project, OpenAFS has made great progress and proved to be a mature project, providing clients and servers on all UNIX/Linux variants.
As an independent open-source project, OpenAFS has no paid staff or full-time developers to maintain the software and add new features. The contributions of volunteers drive the pace of progress, so there cannot be fixed timelines for future plans. Regardless, there is still an overarching plan for the desired trend of future development, with major features and milestones to be reached. Please send inquiries, comments, and offers of support to firstname.lastname@example.org. Where external contributors have promised contributions, they are included, as are timelines when those are provided. The following release schedule is subject to change.
The next release in the stable series for Unix will bring additional incremental improvements in line with previous stable branch releases. Most noteworthy, it will include fixes that prevent cases where a database write could be lost or an old version of the database be used instead of the latest version.
The 1.6 stable release series is nearing the end of its development lifecycle; development resources are shifting to the forthcoming 1.8 release series. Non-invasive bugfixes and OS support will continue to be merged to the 1.6 series, with OS support expected to drive the release schedule.
No firm end-of-life date is yet set, as that will depend on the timeline for the 1.8 release to be available.
The 1.7.33 release is the latest release from the 1.7 series of stable releases for Windows clients. No additional releases from this series are currently planned.
Starting from the 1.7.32 release, 1.7-series releases are only distributed from openafs.org in source form. Pre-built installers are available from third-party organzations.
Preparation for a new stable release series for Unix has begun. This release will bring a wide variety of improvements and features that have been developed on the master branch for the past several years. In addition to the general code cleanup that has accumulated, it will include support for pthreaded database servers, shared libraries built with libtool, and use the crypto and roken libraries from Heimdal, eliminating the broad reliance on libkrb5 for rxkad-k5 support. The Rx protocol performance is improved, and private structures have been removed from the public header files. The most recent status update for this release was posted to openafs-devel is available here.
The 1.9 series will be an experimental release series, producing a rapidly updating set of releases to facilitate access to the features being developed for the 2.0 release.
One of the goals of the 1.8 release is to open up the tree for more invasive (and more rewarding) feature development. One long-desired feature that is expected to be in 2.0 is the rxgk Rx security class; some preliminary changes toward that feature are in gerrit waiting for review. Other desired features such as IPv6 support are listed below, but as always, are contingent on the contributions of volunteers and companies to make them happen.
Over the years, the AFS protocol has not kept up with developments in cryptography and network protocols, sticking with single-DES-grade encryption and remaining an IPv4-only service. The 2013 security release moved the long-term krb5 cell-wide keys off of single-DES, but wire encryption remains unchanged since the original AFS release.
rxgk is the long-established new security class that uses the GSSAPI for authentication and RFC 3961 cryptography for wire encryption and integrity checking. The use of the RFC 3961 framework allows for new cryptographic methods to be introduced without additional protocol changes.
Work towards rxgk has already begun, but some major pieces remain to be designed. In particular, the cache manager needs to be rearchitected to support the separation of connections to database servers and connections to fileservers; before connecting to a fileserver, the cache manager must first connect to a vlserver and learn about the fileserver. On the server side, a new vldb format must be designed to store the extended fileserver information and track which fileservers are rxgk-capable; the prdb should have mechanisms to store extended authentication names from arbitrary GSS-API clients. A procedure must be developed (and software to support it) for a seamless transition from an existing deployment to using rxgk for server-to-server communication and enable rxgk for client usage.
At present, OpenAFS represents IP addresses as uint32. This is fundamentally incompatible with IPv6, which is increasingly becoming a necessary part of the Internet ecosystem. In order to remain a fully viable solution, OpenAFS must develop support for at least clients with IPv6 addresses, but also for servers with IPv6 addresses as well.
The path to proper IPv6 support in the client is fairly clear: first, to convert all variables that hold IP addresses to be a distince type specific to IP addresses, then to convert that type to a structure containing the IPv4 address and use accessor routines for all operations with it, then adapt the accessors to be compatible with IPv6 addresses and abstract away address-family specific knowledge from the code that interacts with the accessors. On the server side, though, additional database work is needed to support storing multiple types of adderess, and RPCs developed to manage them. No commitments have been made for contributions toward this goal.