A file system manages and arranges tracks of files within an operating system. These systems interact smoothly with an operating system to add more features such as improved back-up procedures for a strict files protection. File system of an operating system also refers to a signal or data bases that contain the physical location of all parts of information on a hard disk. Thus, they are means of organizing data expected to be retained after a program completion by providing procedures to obtain, retrieve and update information and manage the available space on a device which contains this. File systems can be grouped in two distinct categories. The first category includes users data put to collect existing data contained in files. The second type is the metadata that stores files systems with structural information such as the superblocks and directories. This paper describes a file system focusing on Linus/UNIX filing system and their competitive advantages over the other filing systems. Files in the most operating systems simply refer to a block of data stored on a disk having a distinctive name. File may contain a list of names or group, a recipe, or any executable program (Stuart 23).
Filing systems organize files. Therefore, a clear definition of the filing system refers to the file system hierarchy; it may also direct to a storage system used to create files and their contents persistently within the system. A filing system can be defined according to the medium they support. For example, the UNIX file system treats everything as a file. Therefore, a filing system is defined according the way files are stored in a media, such as, a floppy disc, RAM, network service, and CD-ROMs. Every filing system implements different properties, since, not every file can exist on any file system. In addition, not every file system supports every medium. File is supported by a filing system that has a feature to determine the file type. However, a common feature of files is that they have a common property. That is a set of commands which designation is indicating a lot it belongs (Stuart 24).
Filing system involves the entire hierarchy of directories used in the group of files on a computer system. The Linux and UNIX filing systems use directories that begin with the base directory that is designated using a forward slash containing a set of subdirectories, with additional subdirectories for each of them. This definition contains a form which creates a part of the entire hierarchy of directories or a tree located on a separate partition or disk. The second definition comprises the file system type, indicating how the data storage is organized on computer disk or a partition on a hard disk. File system types have their own set of rules being used to control the distribution of spaces in a disk and for connection of information on each file such as a file name, the directory on which it is located (Stallings 67).
During the categorization of filing systems into filing systems classification, there are certain inventions developed to provide a file classification management system and a method being used to manage files by categories in operating systems. This provides each of the physically stored files to be marked in one or more logical categories due to the file contents. The file categories are organized in a tree structure. This can allow a user to obtain a required file through different categories through the use of the present invention of Linux that has significantly improved the functionality of a file system, hence, to make a file management interface more helpful (Stallings 69).There are many disk-based file systems, for instance, UNIX is a system with many filing systems. File systems can be categorized as local or shared systems. The local file systems are those that can be shared by a server such as the general purpose workloads (EXT3/4), enterprise workloads (XFS), flash drives (JFFS2), CD-ROMs (ISOFS), UNIX compatibility (UFS), windows compatibility (NTFS/VFAT), and the OS X compatibility (HFS). On the other hand, file systems can be categorized as the shared file systems that allow multiple servers to access them concurrently. Within the shared file system, file administrators can consolidate storage for easier management at a cheaper cost. The most popular file system is the shared file system which is a relatively easy in setting up that uses a standard networking hardware. It is available in the most operating systems (Stallings 105). Another class of the shared file system is known as the clustered file system that requires just a normal networking hardware. They maintain a precise metadata or data store coherency that allows users to scale applications easily.
File systems can be categorized according to efficiency and performance. Efficiency of a file system depends on disk allocation and directory algorithms, and the types of data that are kept in a file’s directory entry. Based on the performance, a disc store separates a portion of the main memory for frequently used blocks, the free-behind and read a head, which are techniques to optimize sequential access, and improves PC performance through dedicating a portion of memory as a virtual disk or a RAM disk (Bodenstab 34). Efficiency is a critical factor in filing systems management. For instance, Linux filing system supports a number of foreign file systems including writing, copying, erasing, and many other operations. Furthermore, ext2 file system, which is one of the mostly used filing systems within Linux filing system. It is quite efficient and reliable since it has features such as availability of long file names, and different levels of file commands (Ritchie 300). In addition, an ease of the use is another salient feature of Linux. The filing system supports both of various filing system typesexotic and native. There are different OS. For instance, besides Unix/Linus, the other Operating Systems are Windows 3.x, Windows 95A, Windows 95B and 95 C, Windows 98, Windows 98 2nd edition, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 200, OS/2, as well as, BeOS. Initially, standardized computers have stored data in hard disks and a terminal for input and output data. The UNIX filing system indicated ease of usage and suggested filing system which relates to the hardware (Ritchie 304).
Firstly, the major purpose of filing systems was to manage complex resources of a computer system. An OS is quite large and complex software that interphases user’s hardware to the software applications. Hence, OS is closely related to a file system that manages the hard disc data. For instance, the Linux Operating Systems uses different file systems specifically designed to work with more than one, due to compatibility factors. The other OS work with only their native filing systems. The operating systems such as UNIX were developed by AT and T. Then these filing systems were distributed to various institutions and users. Initially, UNIX was designed to be portable, with the characteristics such as multitasking and multiuser capabilities within a time sharing arrangement.
The filing systems were created to be a workbench of a programmer, instead of only running application software. Since the application of OS grew larger, and began to spread in the academic surrounding, users begin to join them to systems to be shared with others. Filing systems work on the premises that data are stored in blocks having equal size in a storage medium. Within a given filing system, for example, in Linux, all blocks have the same length but can vary on different ext2 files. Linux treats all executable files, directories and other components of a computer as files. Linux file system works when it is installed to the hard disk and gets formatted to allow Linux to use it. A hierarchical structure that stores files show some order on the file system to assist the user and Linux to obtain the needed files (Salus 20). A user will learn how to use the files and directories in Linux system, and the structure of the files that separates the system data from actual data and how to navigate them. The user will understand how to manipulate the files using the line and Midnight Commander. After this stage, the user will be able to create, delete, copy, make list, link, and protect file. This will enable user to learn Nine Deadly Keystrokes and find out how to delete the entire file system, after learning how to log in as a base. This also indicates how a Linux file system operates (Salus 20). Consequently, in UNIX, the filing system comprises of more than just names for a collection of bytes and bits. Files constitute the concept behind various functions, such as storing information and allowing applications to communicate and provide access to hardware devices. In addition, it also represents folders and other files, acts as pointers to information, and virtually connects computers over network. Therefore, to understand UNIX filing system, user must understand the file system first. The Linux filing system replicated this feature from UNIX implementations. Thus, through understanding of Linux operating system, it is possible to indicate the history of UNIX, including UNIX from their origin to present applications.