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What Is Linux File System? Easy Guide

May 7th, 2017 2 comments

What Is Linux File System?

As we’ve talked about Linux on the previous post and we have chosen the best Linux distro already and also we learn how to install Linux not it is the time to dig down and understand Linux from inside and we will start with what we’ve  mentioned on load post which is what is the Linux file system.

If we want to talk about Linux File System we need to talk about it from download level and top level in order to fully understand it

You can check this link for a general overview File System

Down Level Explanation

Linux File System or any other file system is the layer which is under the operating system that handles the positioning of your data on the storage without it the system cannot know which file starts from where and ends where.

We talk about Linux, which supports many filesystems windows. MacOS and many other file systems, you can even download software that can handle a new file system when it comes and deal with it

Linux File System Types

So what are Linux file system types?

When you try to install Linux you will see that in order to install Linux you have to install it on a partition or a disk that is one of the following file systems

Ext, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, JFS, XFS, btrfs and swap

So what are those file systems that Linux use?

Ext: old one and no longer used due to limitations

Ext2: first Linux file system that allows 2 terabytes of data allowed

Ext3: came from Ext2, but with upgrades. It keeps the backward compatibility and you can upgrade your Ext2 to Ext3 without problems

The only problem about it that the servers use this kind of file system because this file system does not support file recovery  or disk snapshots

Ext4: faster and allow large files with significant speed

It is a very good option for SSD disks and you notice when you try to install any Linux distro it is the default file system that Linux suggests

JFS: old file system made by IBM it has a Good performance for both large and small files and because of its low CPU usage but failed and files corrupted after long time use reports says

XFS: old file system which shows a bad performance with small files and you can’t compare it with Ext versions rich features

Btrfs: made by oracle it is not stable as Ext in some distros but you can say that it is a replacement for it if you have to, it has a good performance

You may notice From the comparison above  that Ext4 is the best Linux File System

 Top Level Explanation

Now you know what file system Linux offers you ok what is inside that system and what is the system structure

You may come from windows background and windows has partitions like C:\ and D:\ and folders and you install the windows on any of those partitions usually C:\

What about Linux File System Hierarchy well it has a different structure than windows. If you navigate to the root partition which is / and see the structure of the Linux File System. Most distros have the same structures like this:

Linux File System Directories

/bin: Where Linux core commands reside like ls, mv

/boot: Where boot loader and boot files are located.

/dev: Where all physical drives are mounted like USBs DVDs.

/etc: Contains configurations for the installed packages.

/home: Where every user will have a personal folder to put his folders with his name like /home/likegeeks.

/lib: Where the libraries of the installed packages located since libraries shared among all packages. Unlike windows, you may find duplicates in different folders.

/media: Here is the external devices like DVDs and USB sticks are mounted and you can access their files from here.

/mnt: Where you mount other things Network locations and some distros you may find your mounted USB or DVD.

/opt: Some optional packages are located here and this is managed by the package manager.

/proc: Because everything on Linux is a file, this folder for processes running on the system and you can access them and see much info about the current processes.

/root: The home folder for the user root.

/sbin: Like /bin but here binaries for root user only.

/tmp: Contains the temporary files are located.

/usr: Where the utilities and files shared between users on Linux.

/var: Where variable data is located, like system logs.

Now you should understand what the Linux file system is.

Different file system lead to different performance so it is very important to know the file system at least a bit

This post was originally published on Like Geeks site here.

Categories: LikeGeeks, Linux Tags: ,

The Linux File System Explained

August 3rd, 2009 1 comment

From one Linux newbie to another, read up on the basic file system organization of a Linux machine here. It’s a very basic overview of where the system puts certain types of files, but is a good starting point for anybody who (like me) is trying to wrap their windows-centric head around a new operating system.

Categories: Jon F, Linux Tags: , , , ,