Basics of File storage in Operating System

Basics of File storage in Operating System

In today’s digital age, Files are an essential part of any operating system, and they are used to store, organize, and manage data. We rarely consider how a file is kept when we save it on our computer. We just have faith that it will be available when we need it. Have you ever thought about how an operating system truly stores files, though? An operating system is a method for storing files is a multi-step, complicated procedure. An essential component of computer science is the file system, which may help you better manage your files and increase your overall computer literacy. In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of file systems in operating systems and how they work to store and organize our documents.

You have undoubtedly come across a wide variety, including text files, audio files, images, and videos. Today, we’ll discuss files and the file systems that computers use to keep them all organized. Although it is entirely lawful for a file to contain random, unformatted data, it is most practical and beneficial if the data is arranged in some way.

You will learn about file systems in this article by our top trainers from Computer training institute in Dwarka

File Management System: Introduction

(FMS) is a programme created to manage and arrange files on a computer or network; it offers a number of tools and functions that assist users in efficiently creating, modifying, deleting, searching for, and sharing files. Direct-attached storage (DAS), network-attached storage (NAS), storage area networks (SAN), and cloud storage are just a few of the file storage systems that FMS is compatible with. A file management system’s main objective is to make handling files easier.

Files can be anything from simple text documents to large multimedia files such as videos, images, and audio files. Files are kept on actual hardware like hard drives, solid-state drives, or flash drives. NTFS is the most widely utilized file system for Windows-based operating systems (New Technology File System). Microsoft created the proprietary file system NTFS, which has a number of benefits over FAT (File Allocation Table). Larger file sizes, improved security, file compression, and other features are supported by NTFS.

When a file is saved on a computer, it is broken down into smaller pieces called sectors and blocks. These are the smallest units used to segment these storage devices. Each sector or block has a unique address which allows the operating system to read and write data to the correct location. Little storage units called sectors typically have a capacity of 512 bytes. After that, the file system gives each sector a special address, or “sector address,” to identify it. The file system keeps track of each file’s location on the storage device using these sector addresses.

An operating system gives a file a name and places it in a directory or folder when it creates it. A file’s name, location, and properties, such as the date it was created, edited, or accessed, are all shown in the directory. A hierarchical system for organizing files may be created by the directory by containing additional subdirectories or folders.

The boot block, superblock, inode, and data block are all components of the file system in an operating system. The superblock holds details about the file system, such as its size and location, whereas the boot block has the data necessary to start the operating system. While the data block stores the file’s actual contents, the inode includes details about it, like its owner, rights, and location. The qualities of a file, such as its name, size, type, and location, are described by its file attributes.

File system in Operating system

A file system manages how data is stored, organized, named, accessed, and retrieved on storage devices such as hard drives, solid-state drives, and external storage media. It provides a structured way for the OS to interact with and manage files, directories (folders), and metadata associated with them. Here’s a brief overview of the key functions and components of a file system within an OS:

Data Storage and Organization

  • The file system determines how data is stored on physical storage devices. It manages the allocation of space for files and directories.
  • It organizes data into a hierarchical structure, typically using directories to create a logical organization of files.

File Naming and Metadata

  • The file system assigns unique names (filenames) to files and directories, allowing users and the OS to identify and locate specific items.
  • Metadata associated with each file includes attributes like creation date, modification date, size, permissions, and ownership.

Data Access and Retrieval

  • The file system enables the OS to locate and retrieve files based on their names or paths.
  • It provides mechanisms to open, read, write, and close files, allowing applications to interact with stored data.

Security and Permissions

  • Many file systems support access control mechanisms, allowing administrators to set permissions that define who can read, write, and execute files or directories.
  • Security features can help protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access.

Data Integrity and Reliability

  • Modern file systems often include features like journaling, which records changes before they are committed to the storage device. This helps prevent data corruption in case of crashes or power failures.

File Compression and Encryption

  • Some file systems offer built-in support for file compression, reducing storage space usage.
  • Encryption features can be integrated into the file system, ensuring that stored data remains confidential and secure.

Optimization and Performance

  • File systems implement various techniques to optimize storage and access. This includes strategies for managing free space, minimizing fragmentation, and improving data read/write efficiency.

Different operating systems use different file systems, and the choice of file system can impact factors such as data security, performance, and compatibility. Common file systems include NTFS and FAT for Windows, HFS+ and APFS for macOS, and ext4 and Btrfs for Linux, among others. The selection of a file system depends on the intended use case, the features required, and the platforms it needs to support.

How does the file system determine which sector addresses are available and which ones are currently in use?

The file allocation table (FAT), part of the file system, maintains a map of the storage device. Each sector address on the storage device is listed in the FAT, along with whether it is free or in use. The file system looks for available sectors in the FAT when a file is saved so that it can be stored there.

Here we go with some other different file storage system which is most commonly used.

As data continues to grow at an exponential rate, efficient file storage has become increasingly important for individuals and businesses alike. We can store and manage our digital data, such as papers, pictures, videos, and other assets, using file storage systems. There are several file storage system varieties, each with a unique set of features and advantages. Let’s list them out.

Network file system

Network file systems are methods for storing and sharing data across a network. In corporations and organizations where several users must have access to the same files, this form of file system is frequently employed. The network file systems NFS and SMB/CIFS are two examples. The Linux and UNIX operating systems frequently use the file system known as NFS (Network File System). It offers a central location for information storage and enables file sharing between several platforms.

Windows operating systems frequently use the file system known as SMB/CIFS (Server Message Block/Common Internet File System). It has features like file and folder rights control that enables file sharing across a network.

Object Storage

Object storage is a better option for enterprises that need to store and manage data on the cloud since it is more compatible with cloud-based systems. A form of storage system called object storage separates data into objects, which are discrete, self-contained components. Each object is kept in a flat environment and given a special ID and information to help discover it amid potentially billions of other things.

 It offers superior scalability and flexibility, enabling businesses to store and handle massive volumes of data more successfully.

As a result of its built-in redundancy and replication characteristics, it also provides superior data availability and durability, ensuring that data is constantly available.

Cloud storage

Customers can store important data or media assets on remote, external servers using the cloud computing model of “cloud storage.” Users can access these servers at any time over the internet. Cloud storage is managed and operated by a cloud-based service provider. It offers numerous number of advantages :

  • Accessibility: Cloud storage makes it simple to work remotely or collaborate with others since users may access their data from any location with an internet connection.
  • Scalability: Cloud storage is a versatile and affordable option since it is simple to scale up or down to accommodate changing storage demands.
  • Security: To secure user data, cloud storage companies frequently incorporate cutting-edge security features including data encryption, access restrictions, and backup and recovery capabilities.
  • Collaboration: Since numerous people can access and work on the same files using cloud storage, it is simple to collaborate on projects and share information.

Network-Attached Storage

A centralized file server known as network-attached storage (NAS) enables numerous users to store and exchange data across a TCP/IP network using Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection. It is a form of network storage system that gives users access to data at the file level. Hard discs, network protocols, and a file system are a few of the components that are necessary for NAS systems to function. By establishing a network connection and granting file-level access to data, NAS functions. From any networked device, including PCs, smart phones, and tablets, users may access the NAS device. To organize and manage data, NAS systems often utilize a file system like NTFS or ext4. Also, they support a number of network protocols, including SMB, NFS, and AFP, to provide access to data from many operating systems.


In summary, a file system is a collection of data structures, APIs, interfaces, and abstractions that cooperate to manage any form of file on any kind of storage media in a standardized way. We got it to the finish, so you now have a much better understanding of file systems. Yet I have no doubt that you will continue to research file systems after this.

Learn more about Operating ystem in our computer institute in Delhi at ESS Institute in Dwarka

Call Now Button