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I am looking for a tool that can show me a graphical representation of my file system/file structure. Rather than the "normal" tree structure that we're all used to, I want to be able to visually see links in the system, hierarchies, etc. An example of (sort of) what I'm looking for is shown in the graphic below.

enter image description here

Does any such tool exist? Thanks.

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closed as not a real question by Hello71, Breakthrough, Wuffers, Nifle, studiohack Jul 30 '11 at 0:37

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

How would files be "linked" to each other in your case? Practically speaking, linked files are not that common (e.g. symlinks in *nixes or shortcuts/junctions in Windows). –  slhck Jul 29 '11 at 17:50
And what are those lines supposed to represent? I cannot think of anything apart from symlinks, and it would be crazy if it was. –  paradroid Jul 29 '11 at 17:50
Yeah, the tree view is because files are...in trees. That's how most filesystems work. Did you have a particular niche filesystem in mind here? –  Shinrai Jul 29 '11 at 17:52
@Horst: It's not that nobody agrees with the idea, it's that it makes no sense. –  Wuffers Jul 29 '11 at 18:05
The only way I can see the actual layout of this system actually making sense is if the filesystem was one that natively supported de-duplication (such as btrfs and zfs) then blocks that are duplicate would branch off like this and be re purposed in similar files. This would ALSO make sense with COW file systems (NTFS using shadow copy being one of them) would show files and their branched revisions. For this I will upvote the question because everybody else is fairly narrow minded (albeit the question IS worded poorly).. also what FS, and what OS? –  CenterOrbit Jul 29 '11 at 18:22

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The reason files are displayed in hierarchies or trees, is that for the most part they actually are in hierarchies. Files are inside folders are inside other folders and so on.

If you want a program representing relationships between files, for instance, which executables rely on which dlls (in Windows) or other executable components or configuration files or scripts, I do not believe there is currently a tool the does this. It would require a programmer with an intimate knowledge of every program out there, or a master program capable of querying each and every file and finding each and every relationship.

On a related note, Windows Longhorn (what became Vista) was originally supposed to have a new file system that made folders and hierarchies less of an issue by effectively keeping a database of every file and then programs would just ask the database to get the file they want. This idea was dumped, unfortunately, prior to shipping. Windows 7 has folders that show in the My Computer view that aggregate all files of particular types from within your various user directories so that, by looking at one of these virtual folders you see all your documents, or all your pictures, regardless of where in your profile directory they actually exist. This is a similar but simpler application of what MS was attempting in Longhorn.

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+1 Windows 8 is rumoured to include the return of WinFS, now called Protogon. I'm really looking forward to it. –  paradroid Jul 29 '11 at 18:45

The lines on your diagram do not make any sense to me, but something like WinDirStat may be getting close to what you are looking for. It shows files in relation to their sizes, in blocks which correspond to folders.

There are several programs like this, but WinDirStat is the most recent and best free one for Windows (as far as I am aware, anyway).

TreeSize Pro is a more advanced paid-for program, and there is a free version of that as well - TreeSize Free.


TreeSize Pro

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These are still showing hierarchies. I believe he has an incorrect understanding of how files are stored in current file systems, or he wants some relationship not normally shown in file managers to be indicated by the lines. –  music2myear Jul 29 '11 at 19:29
@music2myear: Go an read the question again. He wants hierarchies, and any graphical representation without them would be meaningless with NTFS. These programs show files as in the diagram, but without the lines, which would have no useful meaning anyway. These programs display the file system without the tree structure, as asked. –  paradroid Jul 29 '11 at 20:11

If you're running and Linux OS, take a look at EagleMode. There's a Windows version but it lacks some of the functionality of the Linux version.

enter image description here

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