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Write short note on: File management in Linux

Subject: Operating System

Topic: File Management

Difficulty: Medium

1 Answer
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  • The Linux includes a versatile and a powerful file handling facility, designed to support a wide variety of file management systems and file structures.
  • The Linux kernel handles all the various types of files by hiding the implementation details of a file behind a layer of software called as Virtual File system (VFS).
  • The VFS defines a common file model that is capable of representing any conceivable file systems general feature and behaviour.
  • Here the VFS assumes that files are objects in computers memory. The hardware specifications or target file system has no effect on it.
  • The VFS defines four main object types:
    • A superblock object representing an entire file system.
    • A dentry object an individual directory entry
    • An inode object representing and individual file.
    • A file object representing and open file
  • Every object of the above type has a pointer associated with it which points to the function table. The function table contains the address of the function that actually implements the process.
  • There is a set of operations prescribed for each of the four object types.
  • The VFS software is able to perform an operation on one of the file-system objects by calling the appropriate function from the object’s function table without having to know what kind of object it is dealing with.

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