displayfs: Controlling displays remotely with a virtual filesystem

Long Form


displayfs is a virtual filesystem for driving a framebuffer over a network. The primary use case is giving demos without exposing your laptop's workspace and compromising your privacy.


Plugging your laptop into a projector can leak a lot of information — your OS version, installed applications, open documents and Web pages, and whatever messages your loved ones happen to send you at exactly the wrong time. Using displayfs and a dedicated computer (such as a Raspberry Pi) to drive the display puts you in complete control over every pixel, sparing your privacy.

Other possibilities include multiplexing various sources, streaming over the Internet, and coopting the built-in displays of spare machines for added screen real estate.

The audience is invited to download (or build from source) displayfs client software (for Mac OS and Unix) and participate in the demo.


virtual filesystems, remote desktop, privacy

Speaking experience

I've spoken half a dozen times at Noisebridge's "Five Minutes of Fame" lightning talks event. I don't just talk about a subject; I invariably find a way to use it as part of the talk itself.


  • Biography

    Josh Juran learned to program on 68K Macs. He is, in all likelihood, the last person in the world to learn 68K assembly language for the purpose of Mac OS development.

    Josh has worked at a few places whose names you’d recognize, but his skills and interests are better illustrated by his side projects, including an API-level Mac OS emulator, a user input event protocol, a file transfer / file access protocol, a virtual filesystem for controlling a GUI, and a POSIX-like environment for classic Mac OS. Embracing the notion of conceptual continuity (that every project is part of a larger whole), he will gladly show you a demo that uses every one of these simultaneously.

    Josh aspires to be the Frank Zappa of computing. He fights for the users.

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