Filesystem types

If you read previous article, Linux basics - Linux file system structure overview, you should know the different between Linux file system and Linux filesystem. In this tutorial, we are going look at some Linux filesystems such as ext, ext2, ext3, Reiserfsand and other filesystems that Linux supports such as msdos, umsdos, vfat, proc, nfs, iso9660, hpfs, sysv, smb, ncpfs.

We can view Linux user's manual using man fs command in the command line terminal or virtual terminal console. Here is the complete user's manual page open from Ubuntu:

minix is the filesystem used in the Minix operating system, the
first to run under Linux. It has a number of shortcomings: a
64MB partition size limit, short filenames, a single
timestamp, etc. It remains useful for floppies and RAM
disks.

ext is an elaborate extension of the minix filesystem. It has
been completely superseded by the second version of the
extended filesystem (ext2) and has been removed from the
kernel (in 2.1.21).

ext2 is the high performance disk filesystem used by Linux for
fixed disks as well as removable media. The second extended
filesystem was designed as an extension of the extended file
system (ext). ext2 offers the best performance (in terms of
speed and CPU usage) of the filesystems supported under
Linux.

ext3 is a journaling version of the ext2 filesystem. It is easy
to switch back and forth between ext2 and ext3.

Reiserfs is a journaling filesystem, designed by Hans Reiser, that
was integrated into Linux in kernel 2.4.1.

XFS is a journaling filesystem, developed by SGI, that was
integrated into Linux in kernel 2.4.20.

JFS is a journaling filesystem, developed by IBM, that was
integrated into Linux in kernel 2.4.24.

xiafs was designed and implemented to be a stable, safe filesystem
by extending the Minix filesystem code. It provides the
basic most requested features without undue complexity. The
xia filesystem is no longer actively developed or
maintained. It was removed from the kernel in 2.1.21.

msdos is the filesystem used by DOS, Windows, and some OS/2
computers. msdos filenames can be no longer than 8
characters, followed by an optional period and 3 character
extension.

umsdos is an extended DOS filesystem used by Linux. It adds
capability for long filenames, UID/GID, POSIX permissions,
and special files (devices, named pipes, etc.) under the DOS
filesystem, without sacrificing compatibility with DOS.

vfat is an extended DOS filesystem used by Microsoft Windows95
and Windows NT. VFAT adds the capability to use long
filenames under the MSDOS filesystem.

proc is a pseudo filesystem which is used as an interface to
kernel data structures rather than reading and interpreting
/dev/kmem. In particular, its files do not take disk space.
See proc(5).

iso9660 is a CD-ROM filesystem type conforming to the ISO 9660
standard.

High Sierra
Linux supports High Sierra, the precursor to the ISO
9660 standard for CD-ROM filesystems. It is
automatically recognized within the iso9660 file-
system support under Linux.

Rock Ridge
Linux also supports the System Use Sharing Protocol
records specified by the Rock Ridge Interchange
Protocol. They are used to further describe the files
in the iso9660 filesystem to a Unix host, and provide
information such as long filenames, UID/GID, POSIX
permissions, and devices. It is automatically
recognized within the iso9660 file-system support
under Linux.

hpfs is the High Performance Filesystem, used in OS/2. This file
system is read-only under Linux due to the lack of available
documentation.

sysv is an implementation of the SystemV/Coherent filesystem for
Linux. It implements all of Xenix FS, SystemV/386 FS, and
Coherent FS.

nfs is the network filesystem used to access disks located on
remote computers.

smb is a network filesystem that supports the SMB protocol, used
by Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, and Lan Manager.

To use smb fs, you need a special mount program, which can be
found in the ksmbfs package, found at
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/Filesystems/smbfs.

ncpfs is a network filesystem that supports the NCP protocol, used
by Novell NetWare.

To use ncpfs, you need special programs, which can be found
at ftp://linux01.gwdg.de/pub/ncpfs.

You can build a Linux filesystem on a partition using the mkfs command. However, if you are planning to setup the whole hard disk drive, using the fdisk command is a lot easier. You can find fdisk guide in the Slackware hard disk partition with fdisk tutorial. The filesystem has to be mounted before you can use it in the Linux system.

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