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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is the Linux File System?
3.
Types of Linux File Systems
3.1.
MINIX File System
3.2.
Ext - Extended File System
3.3.
Ext2 - Second Extended System
3.4.
Xiafs
3.5.
Ext3 - Third Extended System 
3.6.
JFS - Journal File System
3.7.
ReiserFS
3.8.
Reiser4 
3.9.
XFS - Extent File System
3.10.
SquashFS 
3.11.
Ext4 - Fourth Extended System 
3.12.
BtrFS (Better/Butter/B-tree FS) 
3.13.
bcachefs
3.14.
OpenZFS
3.15.
Swap File System
4.
Frequently Asked Questions 💭 
4.1.
What does Linux's file system mean?
4.2.
What are Linux's three file types?
4.3.
What kinds of file systems exist?
4.4.
What are the qualities of XFS?
4.5.
What's the name of the Linux File System?
5.
Conclusion 😎
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Linux File System

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Introduction

Data storage and retrieval from a storage device are managed by a collection of procedures called a file system. Compressing files that are divided into groups or directories is done by a logical disk component.

Everything in Linux is kept in files, including kernel data and directories. Everyone uses Linux File Systems, yet most people are unaware of how they operate.

Linux File Systems

What is the Linux File System?

The Linux File System is a built-in layer that organizes data storage so that we can quickly and easily retrieve files. The file's placement on the storage drive is helpful. It controls a file's creation date, size, name, and many more details.

The following divisions comprise the Linux File System:

  • Root directory (/)
  • Format for storing data
  • Logical disk or partition with a particular file system.

 

In Linux, the Root directory keeps track of every directory. The root directory is the parent of all other directories. The program that takes the commands and later passes them on to the computer's operating system is called File System Navigation.

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Types of Linux File Systems

The most popular file system the Linux kernel supports is ext4. All of the below-listed file systems are compatible with the Linux kernel.

Types of Linux File Systems

MINIX File System

minix os

The Minix file system was first introduced in 1987 by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and supported the Minix operating system. Most frequently, educational coding was accomplished using this operating system. The file system's performance at the time wasn't up to par. Partitions could only be 64MB in size, and filenames could only be fourteen characters long.

Operating systems and file systems regard a partition as a logical split of a hard drive that may function independently.

Due to poor performance, Minix had mainly fallen out of usage by 1992.

Ext - Extended File System

It was the first file system created to support the Linux kernel and was introduced in 1992. A portion of the UNIX file system served as an inspiration for its functioning. It was initially designed to advance past the MINIX file system. It supported partitions up to 2GB but had a limit of 255 characters for filenames. It successfully addressed the Minix file system's problems, but timestamping remained a significant weakness. Only one timestamp could be added.

Linux distributions no longer support this Linux File System.

Ext2 - Second Extended System

Rémi Card created ext2 in January 1993 as the follow-up to the initial Linux extension system.

It introduced innovations in fields including general performance and storage capacity. Different timestamps for data modification, inode modification, and access were issues that were resolved by this Linux File System. Notably, this Linux File System supports data files up to 2 TB in size. Data from files were stored in blocks of the same size. The maximum allowed filename length was 255 bytes, not characters. It loads slowly at boot time since it is not journaled.

Before the early 2000s, the ext2 Linux File System was primarily utilized. 

Xiafs

This file system was developed by Frank Xia in 1993 and was based on the MINIX file system. It was less robust and valuable than ext2. Here, the maximum file size is 64MB, and the filename length is 248 bytes. It is no longer in use anywhere.

Ext3 - Third Extended System 

The ext3 file system was created in November 2001 by Stephen Tweedie. Ext2 was used to create this Linux File System. It is dependable because it avoids prolonged system startup delays caused by file system inconsistencies brought on by improper shutdowns following the journaled file system. 

It handles files up to 2TiB in size and caps filename length at 255 bytes.

Ext3's primary flaw is that servers cannot utilize it since file recovery and disk snapshots are not supported by this file system.

JFS - Journal File System

In 1999, JFS was converted to open source and used for Linux. A file system that journals changes and updates files and data before such activities are finished is known as a journaling file system. In 1990, IBM created it for AIX Unix.

After a power outage, data recovery is simple and dependable. Compared to other file systems, it utilizes less CPU power. JFS performs well under various loads, but after the release of ext4, it is no longer widely used.

ReiserFS

ReiserFS

The Ext3 file system can be replaced with ReiserFS. ReiserFS is a journaling file system that was created in 2001. With tail packing as a method to lessen internal fragmentation, it has increased performance and sophisticated functionality. It employs a B+ tree that provides directory lookup and update times less than linear.

Although the file extension is supported dynamically by this file system, there are specific performance issues.

Reiser4 

Founded in 2004, it is a ReiserFS incremental model. It isn't supported on many Linux distributions.

XFS - Extent File System

Initially developed by Silicon Graphics for their operating system "IRIX," it was contributed to Linux in 2001. RedHat Linux serves as the default file system. A 64-bit high-speed journaling file system, XFS, was created in 1990 for parallel I/O processing. With its 300+ terabyte high storage server, NASA continues to use this file system.

It stands out, especially for how incredibly well it handles enormous files. Contrarily, it isn't particularly effective with smaller files. It offers attributes including sparse files, changeable block sizes, online defragmentation, snapshots, and outstanding capacity. It also performs I/O tasks in parallel quite well. 

The largest file size supported by XFS is 8 EiB, while the filename length is limited to 255 bytes. Like ext4, it enables journaling and saves modifications in a journal first before applying them to the primary file system. There is less chance of file corruption in this Linux File System. B+ trees are used to organize the data, which allows for effective space allocation and, thus, improved performance.

The challenging procedure of enlarging an existing XFS file system is the biggest drawback of this technology.

SquashFS 

This read-only file system was created in 2002 and exclusively uses embedded devices when little overhead is required.

Ext4 - Fourth Extended System 

Ext4 was developed in 2006. It was released in October 2008 for the Linux kernel 2.6.28. This Linux File System is the fastest of the Ext file systems. The default file system in Linux distributions is a particularly compatible alternative for solid-state drive drives. Both Windows and Macintosh are compatible with them. It is entirely dependable and solid. 

It comes under the journaling file system. Persistent pre-allocation, an infinite number of subdirectories, metadata checksumming, and large file sizes are among the features that are backward compatible with ext3 and ext2.

Ext4 does not guarantee your data's integrity since it cannot recognize or fix corruption after the data has already been written to disk.

As of the most recent Linux kernel, ext4 is the default file system. This Linux File System has a limit of 255 bytes on the length of filenames and supports files up to a maximum size of 16 TiB.

BtrFS (Better/Butter/B-tree FS) 

Oracle created BtrFs in 2007. In 2009, Oracle introduced BtrFS with the Linux kernel 2.6.29. It is utilized for fault tolerance, comprehensive storage configuration, fun administration, and more. Asynchronous replication, inline compression, online defragmentation, data cleaning, self-healing, multiple device management, per-block checksumming, and drive pooling are just a few of the features it offers. It is Fedora Workstation's default file system. Excellent performance can be found. The maximum filename length allowed by BtrFS is 255 characters, and the maximum file size supported is 16 EiB.

It does not fit the production system well. Numerous of its features have the potential to cause performance issues and data loss.

bcachefs

To outperform ext4 and btrfs, this copy-on-write file system was introduced in 2015. Snapshots, native compression, complete filesystem encryption, and 64-bit checksumming are some of its features.

OpenZFS

OpenZFS

OpenZFS was released in 2013. It combines volume management and file systems. The characteristics of this system include copy-on-write, RAID-Z, encryption, support for large storage capacity, and data corruption prevention. The maximum file sizes supported by OpenZFS are 16 EiB and 255 characters, respectively.

The primary drawback of OpenZFS is its noncompliance with the law.

Swap File System

During system hibernation, the Linux operating system pages its memory using the swap file system. A system that never enters the hibernation state must have swap space equivalent to the size of its RAM.

Check out this article - File System Vs DBMS

Frequently Asked Questions 💭 

What does Linux's file system mean?

A partition or a disk drive's structured collection of files is a Linux File System.

What are Linux's three file types?

There are essentially three sorts of files in Linux: Regular/typical files. Special files. Directories.

What kinds of file systems exist?

Disk/tape, network, and special-purpose file systems are the three different types of file systems.

What are the qualities of XFS?

The Linux journaling file system XFS is fast and reliable.

What's the name of the Linux File System?

The software layer in the kernel that offers the filesystem interface to userspace applications is the virtual file system, also referred to as the virtual filesystem switch.

Conclusion 😎

In this blog, we have discussed Linux File Systems with a brief description of the various different types of Linux File Systems.

If you think this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge of the above question, and if you want to learn more, check out our articles. Visit our website to read more such blogs. 

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  2. Linux Kernel
  3. Linux Operating System
  4. Features of linux operating system
  5. Parallel Operating System
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