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 a file manager, not a file system.

(2) The software and method for storing and retrieving files on a disk, SSD or USB drive. A major component of the operating system (OS), applications command the OS, and the file system reads and writes the disk clusters (groups of sectors). It manages the folder/directory structure and provides an index to the files. It also defines the syntax used for the "path" to the files. File systems dictate how files are named as well as the maximum size of a file and volume of storage. See path.

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