|MadSci Network: Computer Science|
Unix and Unix-like operating systems donít really access files by name, the way you do when you type a name in the shell. The path name you use is looked up in a directory. Once it is resolved, you might expect that the result would be the file, or perhaps information about all of the various places on a disk where the file is actually stored. In fact, what you get after looking up the name of a file is a number. This number is called the inode number, and the inode number is really how the operating system refers to the file. Just as a variable name in, say, C really gets translated into an address that the computer really uses to find the value, a file name gets converted to an inode number that is really used to find information about the file. Once it has the inode number, the operating system knows how to find a structure that contains more information about the file, like the chunks of the disk called blocks where the information in the file is actually stored. This structure is also called the inode. References: http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/may96/831498897.Cs.r.html http://mm.iit.uni-miskolc.hu/Data/texts/Linux/SAG/node78.html#figext2fsinode http://mm.iit.uni-miskolc.hu/Data/texts/Linux/SAG/node79.html#SECTION001032000000000000000
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