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Linux file System

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									           LINUX File System
•   Layers in the file system
•   Basic principles
•   Representation of file systems in the kernel
•   Proc file system
•   Ext2 file system
                       File System

The file system organizes the data into directories and files. It also
provides file i/o services to the application. It also handles the
file protection when multiple users have access to files.

We store information on several different storage media, such as
magnetic disks, magnetic tapes and optical disks. The operating
system provides a uniform logical view of information storage.
Hard Disk Layout: The following diagram shows the physical hard
disk layout. The first sector contains the MBR (Master Boot record).
The MBR contains the boot code and partition information. There
could be maximum four partitions.

                        Example hard disk layout

                                  Boot code

                                 2    Partition table
                                           Partitions within an
                                           extended partition
                        Boot Sector

          Partition 1        Partition 2      Partition 3     Partition 4
The DOS file system is known as FAT file system. A FAT volume
is divided into several regions, as shown below. The file allocation
table, which gives the FAT file system format its name, has one
entry for each cluster on a volume. Because the file allocation table
is critical, it maintains a duplicate copy of FAT. Entries in the file
allocation table define file allocation chains for files and directories,
where the links in the chain are indexes to the next cluster of a file’s
data. A file’s directory entry stores the starting cluster of the file.
The last entry of the file’s allocation chain is the reserved value of
0xFFFF for FAT16 and 0xFFF for FAT12. The FAT entries for
unused clusters have a value of 0.

Boot File Allocation File Allocation Root     Other directories
Sector Table 1          Table 2     Directory and all files
FAT12’s 12-bit cluster identifier limits its partition to storing a
maximum of 2**12 (4096) clusters. Windows uses cluster sizes
from 512 bytes to 8KB, which limits a volume to 32MB.

FAT16 with a 16bit cluster identifier, can address 2**16 (65536)
clusters. The cluster sizes range from 512 bytes to 64KB, which
limits volume to 4 GB.

FAT32 uses 32 bit cluster identifiers. The windows limits volumes
to a maximum of 32GB.
Virtual File System

There is large number of file systems supported by LINUX. The
range of file systems supported is made possible by the unified
interface to the LINUX kernel. This is the Virtual File System
Switch (VFS).
The Virtual file system supplies the applications with the system
calls for the management, maintains internal structures and passes
tasks onto the appropriate actual file system.
   The layers in the file system

      Process      Process         Process
         1           2       …       n

                                                           User mode
                                                           System mode

                 Virtual File System

  ext2     msdos        minix …                     proc

         Buffer cache                        File system

Device drivers

Basic Principles

Purposeful structuring of data along with two factors: speed of access
and a facility for random access. In unix, the data are stored in a
hierarchical file system containing files of different types. These
comprise not only regular files and directories but also device files,
FIFOs (named pipes), symbolic links and sockets.
The management information contained includes access times, access
rights and the allocation of data to blocks on the physical media. The
inode contains a few block numbers to ensure efficient access to small
files. Access to large files via indirect blocks, which also contain block
numbers. Thus each node has a unique number.
Directories allow the file system to be given a hierarchical structure.
These are also implemented as files, but the kernel assumes them to
contain pairs consisting of a filename and its node number
   Structure of a UNIX inode

 Access rights         Data
  Times                Data
      …                Data    Data
  references                   Data   Data
  data blocks                         Data
 Indirect block                       Data
 Two- step indirect
 reference                            Data
Three-step indirect
File Access Permissions

Every file has the following attributes:

Owner’s user ID, Owner’s group ID

user-read permission,
user-write permission,
user-execute permission

group-read permission,
group-write permission,
group-execute permission

other-read permission,
other-write permission,
other-execute permission
The representation of file system in the kernel

Mounting: Before a file can be accessed, the file system containing
the file must be mounted. This can be done using the system
command mount.

Superblock operations: The superblock structure provides, functions
for accessing the file system.

Inode: The inode structure holds the information on the file and
remainder contains management information and the file system
dependent union.

File operations: The file_operations structure is the general interface
for work on files, and contains the functions to open, close, read and
write files.
       Schematic structure of a UNIX file system

Boot block Superblock Inode blocks   Data blocks
0          1         2…
             Ext2 File System
• Ext2 file system added by Remy Card in 1993
• data held in files is kept in data blocks
• block size is 1024 bytes
• structure of Ex2 file system: block groups, data
  blocks close to their inodes and file nodes close
  to their directory node
• Block Allocation: Target oriented allocation, and
        Structure of the Ext2 file system

        Block group 0 Block group 1         …    Block group n

Super Group           Block Inode Inode
block descriptors     bitmap bitmap table       Data blocks

1 Blk      1Blk       1Blk     1Blk n Blks        n Blks
The superblock in the ext2 filesystem

Number of inodes, number of blocks
Number of reserved blocks, number of free blocks
Number of free inodes, first data block
Block size
Blocks per group
Inodes per group
Time of mounting
Ext2 signature
The block group descriptors in the Ext2 filesystem

Block bitmap, inode bitmap
Inode table, No.of free blocks/No. of free inodes
No. of directories
The inode in the Ext2 filesystem

Type/Permissions, User(UID), File size
Access time, time of creation
Time of modification, time of deletion
Group (GID), link counter, no. of blocks
File Attributes,
Direct blocks, one/two/three stage indirect blocks
File ACL, Directory ACL
Ext2 File Types

File_type         Description
  0               Unknown
  1               Regular file
  2               Directory
  3               Character Device
  4               Block device
  5               Named pipe
  6               Socket
  7               Symbolic link
Creating the Filesystem

Creating a filesystem means setting up the structures. Ext2
filesystems are created by mke2fs utility. Default options are:
    Block size: 1024 bytes
    Fragment size: block size
    Number of allocated inodes: one for each group of 4096 bytes
    Percentage of reserved blocks: 5%
1. Initializes the superblock and group descriptors
2. For each bock group, reserves all the disk blocks needed to store
   the superblock, group descriptors, inode table, bitmaps etc.
3. Initializes the inode and data bitmap
4. Initializes the inode table of each block group
5. Creates the / root directory
6. Creates the lost+found directory, which is used by e2fsck to
  link the lost and defective blocks.
                     Ext3 Filesystem

The enhanced filesystem evolved from Ext2, so is compatible with
The most significant features are:
•Block fragmentation
•Access Control Lists (ACL)
•Handling of transparently compressed and encrypted files
•Logical deletion
             The Ext3 Journaling Filesystem

The goal of a journaling filesystem is to avoid running time-
consuming consistency checks on the whole filesystem by looking
instead in a special disk area that contains the most recent disk w
operations named journal.
The Ext3 journaling is to perform any high-level change to the
filesystem in two steps.
First, a copy of the blocks to be written is stored in the journal;
then, when the I/O data transfer to the journal is completed (in sh
data is committed to the journal), the blocks are written in the
              Proc file system
• Provides info on the current status of Linux
  kernel and running processes
• Each currently running process is assigned a
  directory /proc/pid
• This dir contains the files holding info on
  characteristics of the process
• The /proc file system holds the kernel variables
  for tuning or optimization
Some of the frequently used files in /proc file system includes:

/proc/modules       For a list of modules
/proc/meminfo       For memory usage statistics
/proc/pci           For list of PCI devices detected and
                    their configuration status
/proc/ioports       For I/O Port information
/proc/iomem         For information regarding Memory Ports
/proc/interrupts    For information related to interrupts
               I/O system calls
• System calls for I/O are: open, read, write, close
  and fcntl. Include file is <fcntl.h>
• int open(char *pathname, int oflag, [,int mode]);
• int read(int filedes, char *buff, unsigned int
• int write(int filedes, char *buff, unsigned int
• int fcntl(int fieldes, int cmd, int arg);
open System call
A file is opened by
#include <fcntl.h>
int open(char *pathname, int oflag, [ , int mode ]);

oflag argument can be
        O_RDONLY Open for reading only
        O_WRONLY Open for writing only
        O_RDWR         Open for reading and writing
        O_NDELAY Do not block on open or read or write
        O_APPEND Append to end of file on each write
        O_CREAT        Creat the file if it doesn't exist
        O_TRUNC If the file exists, truncate its length to zero
        O_EXCL         Error if O_CREAT and the file already exists
mode argument is optional and is required only if O_CREAT is
open returns a file descriptor if successful, otherwise -1 is returned.
close System call
An open file is closed by

int close(int filedes);

When process terminates, all open files are automatically closed
by the kernel.
read System call
Data is read from an open file using

int read(int filedes, char *buff, unsigned int nbytes);

If the read is successful, the number of bytes read is returned. This
can be less than nbytes that was requested. If the end of file is
encountered, zero is returned. If an error is encountered, -1 is
write System call
Data is written to an open file using

int write(int filedes, char *buff, unsigned int nbytes);

The actual number of bytes written is returned by the system call.
This is usually equal to the nbytes argument. If an error occurs,
-1 is returned.
fcntl System call
The fcntl system call is used to change the properties of a file that is
already open.

#include <fcntl.h>
int fcntl(int fieldes, int cmd, int arg);
The cmd argument must be one of the following:
         F_DUPED: Duplicate the file descripter.
         F_SETFD:         Set the close-on-exec for the file to the low
                          order bit arg.
         F_GETFD: Return the close_on_exec flag for the file as
                          the value of the system call.
         F_SETFL:         Set status flags for this file to the value of arg.
         F_GETFL:         Return the status flags for this file as the value
                          of the system call.
         F_GETOWN: Return the value of the process Id or the
                          process group Id.
         F_SETOWN: Set the process Id or group Id.
ioctl System call
The ioctl system call is also used to change the behaviour of an
open file.

#include <sys/ioctl.h>
int ioctl(int filedes, unsigned long request, char *arg);

This system call performs a variety of control functions on terminals,
devices, sockets and stream.
The main difference between fcntl and ioctl is that former is intended
for any open file, while the latter is intended for device specific

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