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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
ext2, cramfs file systems: layout
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PostPosted: Sat 03 Dec 2005, 23:48    Post subject:  ext2, cramfs file systems: layout  

cramfs FileSystem Special compressed read-only?
ext2 FileSystem Default partition type used by Puppy
ext3 FileSystem More advanced version of ext2? Journalling??

cramfs is a Linux filesystem designed to be simple, small, and to compress things well. It is used on a number of embedded systems and small devices.


The Second Extended File system (EXT2)

Figure: Physical Layout of the EXT2 File system

The Second Extended File system was devised (by Rémy Card) as an extensible and powerful file system for Linux. It is also the most successful file system so far in the Linux community and is the basis for all of the currently shipping Linux distributions.

The EXT2 file system, like a lot of the file systems, is built on the premise that the data held in files is kept in data blocks. These data blocks are all of the same length and, although that length can vary between different EXT2 file systems the block size of a particular EXT2 file system is set when it is created (using mke2fs ). Every file's size is rounded up to an integral number of blocks. If the block size is 1024 bytes, then a file of 1025 bytes will occupy two 1024 byte blocks. Unfortunately this means that on average you waste half a block per file. Usually in computing you trade off CPU usage for memory and disk space utilisation. In this case Linux, along with most operating systems, trades off a relatively inefficient disk usage in order to reduce the workload on the CPU. Not all of the blocks in the file system hold data, some must be used to contain the information that describes the structure of the file system. EXT2 defines the file system topology by describing each file in the system with an inode data structure. An inode describes which blocks the data within a file occupies as well as the access rights of the file, the file's modification times and the type of the file. Every file in the EXT2 file system is described by a single inode and each inode has a single unique number identifying it. The inodes for the file system are all kept together in inode tables. EXT2 directories are simply special files (themselves described by inodes) which contain pointers to the inodes of their directory entries.

Figure gif shows the layout of the EXT2 file system as occupying a series of blocks in a block structured device. So far as each file system is concerned, block devices are just a series of blocks which can be read and written. A file system does not need to concern itself with where on the physical media a block should be put, that is the job of the device's driver. Whenever a file system needs to read information or data from the block device containing it, it requests that its supporting device driver reads an integral number of blocks. The EXT2 file system divides the logical partition that it occupies into Block Groups. Each group duplicates information critical to the integrity of the file system as well as holding real files and directories as blocks of information and data. This duplication is neccessary should a disaster occur and the file system need recovering. The subsections describe in more detail the contents of each Block Group.
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PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec 2005, 00:34    Post subject:  

usr_cram.fs is actually a Squashfs file



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PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec 2005, 11:57    Post subject:  

Would whoever moved this to the Howto section please explain why? It doesn't seem to me that it belongs here.
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