File system

Generally, a file system is a data structure used to control how data is stored and retrieved. In Windows, each filesystem has its own letter (C:, D:, E:…). In Linux, a file system has a hierarchical directory structure descending from the root directory (/) and all filesystems are part of a single directory tree.

If a disk has multiple filesystem partitions, each is mounted at a mount point in the root filesystem (for example, at /home, which holds users’ data files or /boot, which holds the boot files).

Many Linux file systems exist. Here is a list of the major ones:

  • ext2
  • ext3
  • ext4
  • ReiserFS
  • XFS
  • JFS

To see the list of the file systems supported by your kernel, you can use the cat /proc/filesystems command.

linux cat /proc/filesystems

nodev means that the filesystem is not yet associated with a physical device.
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