UNIX file system

A file is the basic structure used to store information on the unix. Basically, a file is a sequence of bytes that is stored somewhere on storeage device. UNIX file system provides a logical method for organizing, storing, retriving, manipulating and information. A file can store manuscripts and other word processing documents, instructions or the programs for the computer itself, an organized database of business information, a bit map description of a screen image, or any other kind of information stored as sequence of bytes on computer.

Files are organized into a hierarchical file system, with files grouped together into directories.

In UNIX, there are three different types of files.

  1. Regular files
  2. Directory files
  3. Special files

Regular files: The information that you work with will be stored as an ordinary/regular file. Regular files are aggregates of characters that are treated as a unit by the unix system. An ordinary file can contain normal ASCCI characters such as text for manuscripts or programs. Ordinary files can be created, updated, deleted.

Directory files: Directory is a file that holds other files and contain information about the locations and attributes of these other files. A directory includes a list of the all the files and subdirectories that contains, and as well as their address, characteristics, file types and other attributes.

Special files : special files constitute an unusual features of the unix file system. A special file represents a physical device, It may be a terminal, a communications device or a storage device. From the users perspective, the unix system treats special file just as it does regular/ordinary files, i.e. You can read / write to devices exactly the way you read and write to regualar files. You can take the characters typed at your keyboard and write them to an ordinary file or a terminal screen in the same way. The UNIX system takes these read and write commands and causes them to activate the hardware connected to the device.

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