file system

(redirected from Filesystems)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

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).
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

file system

(1) For copying, moving, renaming and deleting files, see file manager.

(2) The software and method for storing and retrieving files on a disk, SSD or USB drive. A file system is a major component of the operating system (OS). Applications command the OS to input and output data, and the file system reads and writes the sectors on the storage drive.

The file system 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 each file and the total storage capacity it can handle. See path and long file names.

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

File System Interaction
When the application sends a request to the operating system to store data to or retrieve data from storage, the file system is the software that actually locates and reads or writes the data.

One Drive, Two File Systems
This external Lacie hard drive connected to a Mac is partitioned into two drives, each with its own file system. ExFAT allows the drive to be read and written on a Windows PC as well, while Mac OS Extended is another name for the Mac's HFS+ file system.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chivers and Hargreaves [122] explored the structure of Windows search database and the challenge of recovering the deleted records after the file is deleted; it then proposed a novel record carving approach for identifying and recovering the deleted database records from database unused space or filesystem. King and Vidas [123] compared the solid state disk (SSD) with normal HDD and proved the TRIM command can affect the investigation process.
Kavallaris and Katos [133] introduced a technique for identification of past pod slurping type of attacks using information stored in filesystem time stamp.
In most instances they use a single hard disk that is partitioned with a single root filesystem containing all system files as well as other applications and user data.
In more sophisticated configurations, an administrator might take advantage of performance, flexibility and availability benefits by spending considerable time reorganizing the system to use LVM, software RAID, enhanced filesystem types and other advanced techniques.
These tools generally record the system, disk and filesystem configuration, then use this information to rebuild the system from the ground up.
SGI (NYSE: SGI), Mountain View, Calif., has introduced the production release of XFS(TM) 1.0 for Linux(R), the high-end SGI journaled filesystem software, and code availability of Linux FailSafe(TM) clustering plug-ins.
XFS 1.0 for Linux, a journaled filesystem that improves performance and speeds recovery in the event of a system failure, and the code for Linux FailSafe, a commonly used clustering tool to run critical applications, is now available for download on SGI's open source Web site at and
In spite of the failures of both caching technologies like eCDNs and distributed filesystems to address the central issues in WAN file sharing, these technologies do provide important components for solving the WAN file-sharing problem.
All major file sharing protocols, including NFS (Network Filesystem for Unix/Linux environments), CIFS (Common Internet Filesystem for Windows environments), and IPX/SPX (Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange for Novell environments) were designed for LAN environments where clients and servers were located in the same building or campus.
Included is an implementation of the AES (encryption) cypher for use in encrypted filesystems. It has managed to "reach a factor of 3x ~ 4x improvement over an optimized CPU implementation (using a GTX 480 GPU)."
With WAL, destaging policies in the database buffer pool can be more elaborate than those in filesystem caches, where the age of "dirty" or modified pages must be bounded in order to restrict the loss of data in case of a system crash.
Compared to UNIX filesystem workloads, the production database workloads appear to be more responsive to write buffering.