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As I understand them, apparently an inode basically points to the beginning of a file stored on disk. But it also seems that directories have the same functionality as well (i.e., they store the addresses of other files). I was wondering then, why is it useful to have an inode array around, with a bunch of inodes that point to files when already the directories do that as well?

-> edit: I was also wondering where "file headers" and "bitmaps" came into the picture as well

Thanks :)

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 25 '11 at 19:15

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Actually, can someone move this over to Super User or Server Fault...? –  Kaitlyn Mcmordie Oct 25 '11 at 1:55
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Kaitlyn: ask and ye shall receive :-) –  paxdiablo Oct 25 '11 at 2:01
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

An inode the a data structure that contains information about a file. You might be thinking of inode numbers which are indexes into a list of inodes.

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