A file system is the specification of how files in a computer should be stored, named and organized. This tag should be used for generic file system questions. For specific file system questions (FAT, NTFS, ext4, ...) use the appropriate tag instead.

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273
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9answers
36k views

Why is there such a big difference between “Size” and “Size on disk”?

As you can see below, there is so much difference between the Size and Size on disk fields in my folder. Why is that? I know that Size on disk should be a little more than Size because of ...
238
votes
9answers
330k views

Find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows

How can I find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows? For instance, when trying to delete a folder, Windows reports this: The action can't be completed because the folder is ...
217
votes
2answers
111k views

“directory junction” vs “directory symbolic link”?

MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target /D Creates a directory symbolic link. Default is a file symbolic link. /H Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link. /J Creates ...
191
votes
9answers
14k views

How far will you get with an 'rm -rf /' command?

I've often wondered how far the system will actually get if you run rm -rf /. I doubt the OS would be able to erase itself (?) Bonus Question: After the command has been executed, will rm have ...
161
votes
9answers
31k views

How can a file size be zero?

Just something I ran into and couldn't think of a proper explanation. If I create an empty *.txt file on my PC and then look at its size, it shows 0. But how is that possible? I mean even if the file ...
154
votes
8answers
250k views

How to read ext4 partitions on Windows?

Is there a way to read ext4 partitions from Windows? If so, what can I do?
145
votes
3answers
19k views

Why do file URLs start with 3 slashes?

HTTP starts with two slashes. E.g. http://example.com. Same goes for FTP. E.g. ftp://example.com. However, file "URLs" start with three slashes. E.g. Reading a pdf file using chrome, the URL would ...
98
votes
4answers
72k views

Which linux filesystem works best with SSD

From wiki: The vital TRIM function is supported by the Linux OS starting with 2.6.33 kernel (available early 2010). However, support amongst various filesystems is still inconsistent or not ...
68
votes
3answers
3k views

Windows File is ludicrously huge and I cannot unzip it

I use an online file backup service (Backblaze) and recently got a new computer. Several files on my old computer were too large to move via my usb drive so I decided to download them from my backup ...
65
votes
6answers
12k views

Directory vs. Folder

Are both names synonyms or should one prefer one name over the other on different platforms?
63
votes
8answers
14k views

Cross-platform file system

I would like my external drives to be readable and writable from Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. FAT32 works, but the 4 GB file size limit is a showstopper these days. Are there any alternatives?
63
votes
6answers
24k views

Using UDF on a USB flash drive

After failing to copy a file bigger than 4G to my 8G USB flash drive, I formatted it as ext3. While this is working fine for me so far, it will cause problems if I want to use it to copy files to ...
56
votes
4answers
5k views

Is a file system just the layout of folders?

I have used Windows since childhood, and when I hear the phrase "Windows filesystem" I think of directories (folders) within directories, a folder called SYSTEM, a folder called PROGRAM FILES etc. Is ...
52
votes
15answers
5k views

How is the computer able to save things before it crashes?

I was under the impression that when a computer has crashed, something went wrong and it can't perform anymore. I was wondering how is the computer able to save things before it crashes? Is the ...
51
votes
6answers
5k views

Doesn't metadata occupy any size?

I put 4096 characters in a text file and save it.Since every character is 1 byte, Size of the text file must be 4K byte.As you see below that's OK: I connect my flash memory to my computer. the ...
47
votes
9answers
73k views

How can you see the actual hard link by ls?

I run ln /a/A /b/B I would like to see at the folder a where the file A points to by ls.
44
votes
7answers
70k views

Copy entire file system hierarchy from one drive to another

I would like to copy the entire file system hierarchy from one drive to another..i.e contents of each directory as well as regular files in Linux platform. Would be gratefull to know the best way to ...
44
votes
1answer
9k views

Creation of 1.3 GB file takes only 1 second. How?

I have folder which contains over 200 files and has size of over 1.3 GB: I use Gizmo Drive software to create an .iso file from that folder. The interesting thing is it takes only 1 or 2 seconds!...
43
votes
4answers
8k views

What are the various link types in Windows? How do I create them?

Is it possible to link two files or folders without having a different extension under Windows? I'm looking for functionality equivalent to the soft and hard links in Unix.
37
votes
4answers
5k views

Is exFAT FAT64?

I conducted a quick Google search and realized that some people are referring to exFAT as FAT64. Is exFAT just another name for FAT64?
37
votes
3answers
32k views

What is the difference between size and size on disk?

Looking at the properties for a Windows file I get two attributes, "Size" and "Size on disk", and "Size on disk" is always larger. What do these two metrics mean?
36
votes
2answers
124k views

Creating ext4 partition from console

I have a volume /dev/sda1 (1.2 TB) containing an NTFS partition using 0.6 TB space. I want to make an ext4 partition in the remaining 0.6 TB space. I have not tried anything yet because I don't want ...
35
votes
4answers
38k views

If FAT32 has a 4 GB file size limit how was I able to copy my 13 GB iPhoto Library file onto this drive?

It's a 32 GB FAT32 USB thumb drive, and it seems to be having no trouble with my 13 GB iPhoto Library file. I thought there was a 4 GB file size limitation on this file system format?
35
votes
3answers
5k views

Have a file named ~ (tilde) in my home-directory

I just noticed that I have a file called ~ in my ~-directory. $ ls -la ~ ... -rw-r----- 1 x1 x1 733962240 Mar 1 17:55 ~ ... Any idea how I can mv or rm it?
33
votes
16answers
18k views

Hibernating and booting into another OS: will my filesystems be corrupted?

IMPORTANT If you came here looking for an answer to this question, please read all the answers below. There are some testimonials from people who have lost data doing this. If you plan to do this ...
33
votes
8answers
7k views

Is flash drive wear a significant issue?

My netbook has a flash drive instead of a hard disk drive, and I'm using Ubuntu Netbook Remix with ext3 as the file system. I've read some articles concerning flash drive wear, and the main concerns ...
32
votes
11answers
46k views

Force delete files with a rather large name

I regularly use Node.js to manage dependencies for programs I write, no big deal. Today I ended up with a folder structure like this: Trying to delete any file was met with this error: The ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

How much can we rely on filesystem permissions for security?

My question is about filesystem permissions (specifically the Unix style permissions) and how they relate to security. Say I have access to a computer with a guest user account and a user named Bob. ...
31
votes
8answers
18k views

faster way to mount a remote file system than sshfs?

I have been using sshfs to work remotely, but it is really slow and annoying, particularly when I use eclipse on it. Is there any faster way to mount the remote file system locally? My no.1 priority ...
30
votes
2answers
13k views

How do I remove a file named “NUL” on Windows?

I have a Windows XP box (NTFS filesystem) on which I found a file named NUL. I have not been able to remove this file in any usual way. The file appears to be owned by Administrator in the SYSTEM ...
30
votes
1answer
17k views

Permission to make symbolic links in Windows 7?

How can I grant a particular user the permission to create symlinks in Windows 7? I've searched through "Group Policy" and Google, but haven't found anything. On a side note, is there a way to ...
29
votes
5answers
4k views

Why does an 8 GB and 16 GB USB drive have the same physical size but a different amount of storage? [closed]

In the market, you can get USB drives of different storage sizes. However, among the same brand, I found that those USB drives are physically the same. How can they achieve this? Is it that different ...
28
votes
4answers
13k views

How to lock a file against deletion but still make it writeable?

I want to make a file locked against deletion but still be writeable. How do I do this? The file in question is a Truecrypt volume as a file on a NAS SMB Network share, so I don't want to ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is FAT32 limited to just under 2^28 clusters?

With FAT16 the maximum partition size is 2GB when your maximum cluster size is 32K. This is calculated by multiplying the number of addressable units by the cluster size. (216 Allocation units) * ...
27
votes
6answers
39k views

How do you make Windows 7 fully case-sensitive with respect to the filesystem?

I want to make Windows 7 case-sensitive when it reads/writes anything on the hard drive (the C drive, or any other NTFS drive). I found a video via google that says to change the registry key ...
27
votes
3answers
10k views

Get mac tar to stop putting ._* filenames in tar archives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do I get files like ._foo in my tarball on OS X? I create autoconf scripts on a Mac. When tar runs, it puts all of these ._foobar names in the archive: libewf-20110312/...
26
votes
1answer
1k views

Non-hidden directory doesn't show in Explorer, but the program that made it can access it

I'm using IMAPSize to backup my mailboxes. The process just dumps the contents of your mailbox into .eml files on your disk. Anyway, the first mailbox I backed up shows up as I expect. However, the ...
26
votes
9answers
27k views

How to monitor a folder for changes, and execute a command if it does, on Windows?

There are similar questions for Linux and Mac, but I'm after a Windows solution here. The problem is as follows: I want to write several (js) script files in a folder, and have a program monitor ...
26
votes
1answer
45k views

cat /proc/meminfo what do all those numbers mean

In reading the man page on the free command in Linux. I found that is gets its info from /proc/meminfo. I understand a few of the entries, like MemTotal and MemFree. What do the rest mean. cat /...
25
votes
10answers
47k views

Filesystem full: how to find the biggest directories or biggest file? [duplicate]

Under Linux, I'm looking for a command to list the biggest file and/or the biggest directories under a directory.
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Can data on a hard disk degrade without Windows warning me that this has happened when I attempt to access the data?

Is it likely that a physical degradation of a hard disk could cause bits to 'flip' in file contents without the OS 'noticing' and telling you about it when reading the file? e.g. could a 'p' in an ...
25
votes
1answer
10k views

Where should I put my script?

Say I have created a bash script, which will make an ftp user, mount some paths for that user, etc. Where in the file system it would be proper to place? It would be good to have some resource clearly ...
24
votes
4answers
69k views

What Filesystem to use for Linux Ubuntu? [closed]

I am new to Linux, coming from Windows background. What Filesystem should I use? I read that Ext3 is default still? Ext4 is unstable at times? true? Also is there any performance different between ...
24
votes
1answer
8k views

What is Smart Move?

What is the essential difference between Windows 7 smart moving (files) and the regular Windows file moving? In Windows 7, even renaming a folder would cause the OS using smart moving, which is ...
23
votes
6answers
3k views

What USB drive filesystem works out of the box on Windows, Linux, and OS X? [duplicate]

What USB drive filesystem works out of the box on Windows, Linux, and OS X so that, when I give a 64GB USB drive to my dad, I don't have to tell him to first type in sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse ...
23
votes
2answers
21k views

Do ext4 filesystems need to be defragmented?

Do ext4 filesystems need to be defragmented? If so, how do I defragment them? If not, could you post a simple explanation of why they do not need to be defragmented?
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a git-like file system?

Git stores content uniquely in its repo based on the calculated hash of any file. If my directory has two copies of the same file somewhere inside it, git will only actually store it once. I am ...
22
votes
3answers
30k views

Why has my Mac been running fsck_hfs for two days now?

I first noticed that fsck_hfs was running, taking up 50-75% of a CPU, yesterday. It continues to run today. ps shows that it is doing /sbin/fsck_hfs -f -n -x -E /dev/disk3. Only problem: I don’t ...
22
votes
5answers
55k views

Mac - Convert from Case-Sensitive to Case-Insensitive File System

So I just got my first Mac. After getting everything set up just the way I wanted it I decided to install Steam. When I opened Steam it said something about not supporting case-sensitive file systems.....
21
votes
2answers
9k views

How to make a symlinked folder appear as a normal folder

I have two Dart applications I need to dockerize. These two apps use a shared source directory. Because Docker prevents adding files from folders outside the context directory (project/app1) I can't ...