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Unix File System

What Does Unix File System Mean?

The UNIX file system is the file system used by UNIX operating systems. The UNIX operating system is useful as an alternative to end-user systems like Microsoft Windows. UNIX was originally developed at Bell Labs in the 1970s, and became popular as a modular OS for the savvy "power user."


The UNIX file system is also known as the Berkeley Fast File System or BSD Fast File System.

Techopedia Explains Unix File System

The UNIX file system utilizes a block design, with resources to back up various blocks for functionality. Sequential nodes direct allocation for directory entries and file metadata helps preserve information on what is inside the UNIX file system. All of this is central to the ongoing use of UNIX in the hardware world.

Another way to describe the functionality of UNIX is to talk about the "Unix philosophy" as it was designed by notable computer scientists like Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan. The Unix philosophy contemplates a modular system with minimalist construction that is user-efficient from a "shell" perspective, unlike Windows, which is seen as more of a consumer-facing, end-user facing system with relatively ostentatious design.


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