Linux and Mac File Systems - Article Example

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The NTFS is short of new technology file system. It was created by Microsoft and supports Windows operating system. Lastly, EXT3fs stands for third…
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Linux and Mac File Systems
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File Systems. HFS+ stands for hierarchical file system plus, and it is file system created by Apple for its operatingsystem and programs. The NTFS is short of new technology file system. It was created by Microsoft and supports Windows operating system. Lastly, EXT3fs stands for third extended file system. It is the default file system in many Linux distributions. NTFS is considered more reliable and robust. The reasons being, it has widespread support, it has a wide adoption, and it is one of the oldest file system allowing maturity (Palmer and Walters 197). It is also highly scalable and support Access Control lists as compared to Ext3fs which support a basic form of ACL or HFS+ which moved NTFS style of ACL recently. Moreover, NTFS is more robust than Ext3fs in that Ext3fs is based on Ext2fs and hence carries some of the problem from the older file system. Also, Ext3fs has an impact on performance due to its journaling features.
An inode (index node) is data structure in the file system that stores all the information about a file except its name. The information includes access permissions, the owner of the file, file type and size of the file. The Linux file system (ext3fs) employs this approach for indexing small files. For larger files, Linux allows the use of indirect blocks. The indirect blocks extend the file size that can be stored to slightly more than 4 MB. On the other hand, NTFS has entries in the master file table (MFT) instead of inodes. The MFT contains the information required to retrieve a file from NTFS. The MFT have a unique identifier, i.e., FILE_RECORD_SEGMENT_HEADER which is a file header used to identify a file from other files. HFS+ also does not have inodes, but it emulate its behavior. In Mac OS, the equivalent of the inode in Linux is referred to as indirect node file. The indirect node file is stored in the metadata directory, which exist in the root directory. The indirect node file stores file’s content properties like the owner ID and the group ID. Though, Mac OS is UNIX based, its file system does not implement inode like Linux but a similar indexing is implemented. In contrast, the inode is a file system feature found in UNIX based operating system like Linux but not found in Window Operating system. The MFT, indirect node file, and inode are similar in that they store file’s properties and allow easy retrieval of the files. The NTFS and Mac OS inode structure are more superior to the Linux one, and thus they improve performance and efficiency.
Linux adoption both by desktop users and server users has been in upward trend recently. The main reasons for this trend can be attributed to the low cost of acquiring the operating system, better system stability, better virus and malware protection and free software licensing. Moreover, most Linux distribution has multiple desktop workspaces, is easy to customize, have extensive support through forums and has simplified update installation. The Academic community and startup companies are opting for Linux due to the availability of its source code and the fact that security patches are released more often than those of Windows. Governments are also changing to Linux due to environment reasons. The delivery over the internet reduces environment pollution. Corporations are also switching to Linux servers due to their speed and reliability.
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Palmer, Michael, and Michael Walters. Guide to Operating Systems. Cengage Learning, 2011. Print. Read More
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