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File System Software

File System Software

A file system or filesystem (often abbreviated to fs), controls how data is stored and retrieved. Without a file system, data placed in a storage medium would be one large body of data with no way to tell where one piece of data stops and the next begins. By separating the data into pieces and giving each piece a name, the data is easily isolated and identified. Taking its name from the way paper-based data management system is named, each group of data is called a "file". The structure and logic rules used to manage the groups of data and their names is called a "file system".

There are many different kinds of file systems. Each one has different structure and logic, properties of speed, flexibility, security, size and more. Some file systems have been designed to be used for specific applications. For example, the ISO 9660 file system is designed specifically for optical discs.

File systems can be used on numerous different types of storage devices that use different kinds of media. As of 2019, hard disk drives have been key storage devices and are projected to remain so for the foreseeable future. Other kinds of media that are used include SSDs, magnetic tapes, and optical discs. In some cases, such as with tmpfs, the computer's main memory (random-access memory, RAM) is used to create a temporary file system for short-term use.

Some file systems are used on local data storage devices; others provide file access via a network protocol (for example, NFS, SMB, or 9P clients). Some file systems are "virtual", meaning that the supplied "files" (called virtual files) are computed on request (such as procfs and sysfs) or are merely a mapping into a different file system used as a backing store. The file system manages access to both the content of files and the metadata about those files. It is responsible for arranging storage space; reliability, efficiency, and tuning with regard to the physical storage medium are important design considerations.

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F.A.Q about File System Software

What does File System mean?

A file system is a process that manages how and where data on a storage disk, typically a hard disk drive (HDD), is stored, accessed and managed. It is a logical disk component that manages a disk's internal operations as it relates to a computer and is abstract to a human user.

How do file systems work?

A file system stores and organizes data and can be thought of as a type of index for all the data contained in a storage device. These devices can include hard drives, optical drives and flash drives.

File systems specify conventions for naming files, including the maximum number of characters in a name, which characters can be used and, in some systems, how long the file name suffix can be. In many file systems, file names are not case sensitive.

Along with the file itself, file systems contain information such as the size of the file, as well as its attributes, location and hierarchy in the directory in the metadata. Metadata can also identify free blocks of available storage on the drive and how much space is available.

A file system also includes a format to specify the path to a file through the structure of directories. A file is placed in a directory -- or a folder in Windows OS -- or subdirectory at the desired place in the tree structure. PC and mobile OSes have file systems in which files are placed somewhere in a hierarchical tree structure.

Before files and directories are created on the storage medium, partitions should be put into place. A partition is a region of the hard disk or other storage that the OS manages separately. One file system is contained in the primary partition, and some OSes allow for multiple partitions on one disk. In this situation, if one file system gets corrupted, the data in a different partition will be safe.