Mike Slinn
Mike Slinn

Mounting compressed folders / Looping back zip files

Published 2010-02-19.

This article is categorized under Software

Big file systems make computers run more slowly. This problem is most noticeable for laptops. On a project that I am currently working on, I am using multiple versions of three frameworks: The Flex SDK (source and ASDoc), the MicroStrategy Flex SDK and the Blaze DS source tree. The result is thousands of files that takes hours to copy and slows down disk access even when I’m not programming.

Read-only Files

Because these files are only read and never written, the solution is to not unzip them. Instead, the files should only be accessed from within the zip files that contains them. This capability is called a “local loopback filesystem” on Linux, and “accessing compressed folders” under Windows.

Hardware loop back (Ethernet)

Results are dramatic. Usage is simple. What’s not to love?

Windows

On Windows, I use the free Pismo File Mount Audit Package. It provides the ability for zip files to be mounted as virtual drives.

Linux

On Linux, use fuse-zip. It provides the ability for zip files to be mounted on any directory mount point.