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Parrot and Chirp are user-level tools that make it easy to rapidly deploy wide area filesystems. Parrot is the client component: it transparently attaches to unmodified applications, and redirects their system calls to various remote servers. A variety of controls can be applied to modify the namespace and resources available to the application. Chirp is the server component: it allows an ordinary user to easily export and share storage across the wide area with a single command. A rich access control system allows users to mix and match multiple authentication types. Parrot and Chirp are most useful in the context of large scale distributed systems such as clusters, clouds, and grids where one may have limited permissions to install software.

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