RavenFS can store data by using one of the following storage engines: Esent or Voron. You can choose one of them while creating a new file system.

What is a file?

A file in the Raven File System consists of:

  • name (full path),
  • total size,
  • uploaded size,
  • metadata,
  • sequence of bytes that make up file content.


Internally each file is divided into pages. A page is a sequence of bytes, its maximum size is 64KB and has an unique identifier - a pair of hashes calculated on a page content. The concept of pages implicates a few facts:

  • stored pages are unique,
  • file content is an ordered list of page references,
  • single page might be referenced by multiple files,
  • pages are immutable - once they are written to storage, they cannot be modified (a page is removed if there is no file referencing it),
  • occupied disk space is reduced if files have common information (or even if a single file has repeated data patterns).


In the RavenFS directories are just a virtual concept. The directory tree is built upon names of existing files. A file name must be a full path e.g. /docs/pics/wall.jpg. A directory part of a file name is indexed together with the file metadata, which allows you to browse files by catalogs - you simply need to query an appropriate index entry field. Note that moving a file between directories is actually the rename operation.

Default metadata

Each file has an associated collection of properties called metadata. A user can attach any information about a file by adding another metadata record. Some properties are defined by RavenFS itself because they are necessary for internal work. This is metadata of a sample file:

	ETag: "00000000-0000-0100-0000-000000000002",
	Content-MD5: "0d7a08e7f58bfe020c59d739911ee519",
	RavenFS-Size: 23552,
	Raven-Creation-Date: 2015-02-09T12:20:06.7257923+00:00,
	Raven-Last-Modified: 2015-02-09T12:20:06.7669533+00:00,
	Raven-Synchronization-Version: 1,
	Raven-Synchronization-Source: c6230a52-d1d7-4ea0-9942-6312431f32a1
	Raven-Synchronization-History: [],
  • ETag is an internal file identifier, updated every time if a file is modified. The file is considered as modified when new content is uploaded, a name or its metadata are changed or any of those changes has been synchronized from a remote file system,
  • Content-MD5 is a hash of file content, calculated on the fly during an upload by using MD5 algorithm,
  • RavenFS-Size is a total size of a file,
  • Raven-Creation-Date, Raven-Last-Modified - dates of creation and last file modification,
  • Raven-Synchronization-Version is a number describing a file version in a file system,
  • Raven-Synchronization-Source is an unique identifier of an origin file server (where a last file modification has been made),
  • Raven-Synchronization-History is a list that consists of previous {Raven-Synchronization-Version, Raven-Synchronization-Source} pairs, updated every time a file is modified or synchronized between servers.

Updating synchronization history

Raven-Synchronization-Version, Raven-Synchronization-Source and Raven-Synchronization-History are always updated together. Existing Raven-Synchronization-Version, Raven-Synchronization-Source values are added to the history array (Raven-Synchronization-History) and new values are assigned. All of those properties, according to their names, are utilized for synchronization purposes (dealing with conflicts).