file system

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file system

(operating system)
(FS, or "filesystem") 1. A system for organizing directories and files, generally in terms of how it is implemented in the disk operating system. E.g., "The Macintosh file system is just dandy as long as you don't have to interface it with any other file systems".

2. The collection of files and directories stored on a given drive (floppy drive, hard drive, disk partition, logical drive, RAM drive, etc.). E.g., "mount attaches a named file system to the file system hierarchy at the pathname location directory [...]" -- Unix manual page for "mount(8)".

As an extension of this sense, "file system" is sometimes used to refer to the representatation of the file system's organisation (e.g. its file allocation table) as opposed the actual content of the files in the file system.

Unix manual page: fs(5), mount(8).

file system

(1) The software that people use to copy, move, rename and delete files is known as a "file manager," not a file system (see file manager).

(2) The method for storing and retrieving files on a disk. It is system software that takes commands from the operating system to read and write the disk clusters (groups of sectors). The file system manages a folder/directory structure, which provides an index to the files, and it defines the syntax used to access them (how the "path" to the file is coded). File systems dictate how files are named as well as the maximum size of a file or volume.

There are numerous file systems in use; for example, FAT32 and NTFS are Windows file systems, and HFS is used on Macs. Linux uses ext2, ext3 and FAT32. Unix systems use UFS, ext2, ext3 and ZFS. See block level, cluster, path, FAT32, NTFS, HFS, NFS, UFS, ext, ZFS and hierarchical file system.