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Binary-Compatible Verification of Filesystems with ACL2

Authors Mihir Parang Mehta, William R. Cook

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  • 18 pages

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Author Details

Mihir Parang Mehta
  • University of Texas at Austin, USA
William R. Cook
  • University of Texas at Austin, USA


Thanks to Warren A. Hunt Jr. and Matt Kaufmann for their guidance.

Cite AsGet BibTex

Mihir Parang Mehta and William R. Cook. Binary-Compatible Verification of Filesystems with ACL2. In 10th International Conference on Interactive Theorem Proving (ITP 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 141, pp. 25:1-25:18, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


Filesystems are an essential component of most computer systems. Work on the verification of filesystem functionality has been focused on constructing new filesystems in a manner which simplifies the process of verifying them against specifications. This leaves open the question of whether filesystems already in use are correct at the binary level. This paper introduces LoFAT, a model of the FAT32 filesystem which efficiently implements a subset of the POSIX filesystem operations, and HiFAT, a more abstract model of FAT32 which is simpler to reason about. LoFAT is proved to be correct in terms of refinement of HiFAT, and made executable by enabling the state of the model to be written to and read from FAT32 disk images. EqFAT, an equivalence relation for disk images, considers whether two disk images contain the same directory tree modulo reordering of files and implementation-level details regarding cluster allocation. A suite of co-simulation tests uses EqFAT to compare the operation of existing FAT32 implementations to LoFAT and check the correctness of existing implementations of FAT32 such as the mtools suite of programs and the Linux FAT32 implementation. All models and proofs are formalized and mechanically verified in ACL2.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Program verification
  • interactive theorem proving
  • filesystems


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