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Linux file system

By: Super24 | Posted Jun 11, 2024 | Mobile | 71 Views

Ext3 :

Ext3 (the third extended filesystem) is the most commonly used filesystem on Linux. It is basically an extension of ext2 to which a journaling capability has been added.

It used to be the default file system for many popular Linux distributions


Ext3 used less CPU power .

?Robust and stable.

Supports journaling.

Backward compatibility with ext2.

?It is relatively safer and can easily recover data.


Lacks basic features to extend, dynamic, allocation, inode, and block sub-allocation

Hard to recover deleted files

Write a journal on a storage device with an extra cache.

Gives no snapshot support

?Limited scalability.

Performance overhead due to journaling.

Maximum file size is 2 TB.

Definition/Meaning: ext4 is an advanced version of ext3 with support for larger volumes and files, along with other performance and reliability enhancements.

Example: Default file system for many modern Linux distributions like Ubuntu.

Uses: Suitable for both desktop and server environments.


Improved performance and scalability.

?Support for larger files and volumes (up to 1 EB).

?Faster file system checking.


?It does not provide data security

Difficult to create a snapshot on different volume

Uses more disk space

?More complex than ext3.

?Conversion from ext3 to ext4 can be risky.

?May not be necessary for systems with small storage requirements.


XFS is a high-performance 64-bit journaling file system created by Silicon Graphics, Inc (SGI) in 1993.XFS was first used on IRIX 5.3 and ported to Linux in 2001. It was first added to the Linux kernel version 2.4 in 2002.

Example: Ideal for servers storing large databases or media files.


Excellent performance for large files and heavy workloads.

Scalable to handle very large partitions.

High performance for large files.

Efficient disk space management.

Quick recovery due to journaling.


Complexity in managing and configuring.

Poor performance with many small files.

Limited support in some older Linux distributions.

Not as mature or widely supported as ext4.

May not be the best choice for smaller systems or basic workloads.


Journaled File System (JFS) is a 64-bit journaling file system created by IBM.

Example: Used on some Linux distributions but less common than ext or XFS.


Good performance and reliability.

Supports journaling for fast crash recovery.

?Efficient and reliable.

?Low CPU usage.

?Good performance for large files.


Limited community support.

Not as widely supported as ext or XFS.

May not be actively developed for all Linux distributions.


ReiserFS is a general-purpose, journaling file system initially designed and implemented by a team at Namesys led by Hans Reiser . It is known for its efficient storage of small files and advanced features like dynamic inode allocation and tail-packing.


1.Efficient Storage: Optimized for handling small files, reducing overhead.

  1. Performance: Good read/write performance, especially for small to medium-sized files.

  2. Journalin: Enhances reliability by keeping track of changes not yet committed to the file system, reducing the risk of corruption.


1.Development: Limited ongoing development and support, as newer file systems have gained popularity.

2.Compatibility: Lesser support in modern Linux distributions.

3.Complexity: Can be complex to repair in case of corruption compared to other file systems.

ISO 9660 :

ISO 9660(also known as ECMA-119) is a file system for optical disc media. ISO 9660 is a standard file system for CD-ROM and DVD-ROM media, designed to ensure compatibility across different operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS. It is commonly used for creating and distributing disc images (ISO files).


Cross-Platform Compatibility: Ensures that discs can be read on multiple operating systems without compatibility issues.

Standardization: Provides a standardized format for optical media, which simplifies data sharing and distribution.

Bootable Discs: Often used for creating bootable media for operating system installations and live environments.


File Size Limitations: File size is limited to 4GB due to the 32-bit file size field.

Filename Restrictions: Original ISO 9660 has limitations on filename length (up to 8 characters for the name and 3 for the extension) and character set (uppercase letters, numbers, and underscores).

Lack of Modern Features: Does not support advanced file system features like journaling, file permissions, or symbolic links found in more modern file systems.


The types of files recognized by the system are either regular, directory, or special. All file types fall into one of these categories. However, the OS uses many variations of these basic types.

Regular Files:

Regular files are the most common and basic file type in Linux. They contain data in a human-readable or binary format and are used to store various types of information.

These are indicated with "-".We can create the regular file using the command touch or vi or redirection operators.

Regular files can be further classified into text files and binary files.

Text file:Text files are regular files that contain information stored in ASCII format text and are readable by the user.

?Binary files:Binary files are regular files that contain information readable by the computer. Binary files might be executable files that instruct the system to accomplish a job.

Directory Files

Directory a file type in Linux, also known as directories or folders, are a fundamental component of file systems in Linux.

They serve as containers for organizing and structuring files and other directories.

Directories provide a hierarchical structure that allows users to navigate and access files efficiently.

These are indicated with "d". We can create Directory files using mkdir command.

Special Files

Special types of files in Linux are used to interact with hardware devices and provide access to system resources. There are several types of special files in Linux:

Block File (b):A block file type in Linux, often referred to as a block device, represents a physical or virtual device that allows data to be read from or written to in fixed-sized blocks.

?Character Device Fileblocks:In Linux, another type of file commonly encountered is the character device file, denoted by the letter 'c'. Character device files represent devices that transfer data in a character-by-character manner, without organizing it into fixed-sized bblocks.

?Named Pipe File:In Linux, a named pipe file, denoted by the letter 'p', is a special type of file that provides a mechanism for interprocess communication (IPC). Named pipes, also known as FIFOs (First-In, First-Out), allow data to be passed between processes, even if they are unrelated or running at different times.

?Symbolic Link File (l):In Linux, a symbolic link file, denoted by the letter 'l', is a special type of file that acts as a pointer or reference to another file or directory.

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