August 2014 Archive


FILES
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FILES

Files are an abstraction mechanism. They provide a way to store information on the disk and read it back later. This must be done in such a way as to shield the user from the details of how and where the information is stored, and how the disks really work.

File Types
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File Types

Many operating systems support many types of files. UNIX and Windows, for instance, have regular files and directories. UNIX also has character and block special files. Regular files are the ones that contain user information. All the files of FILES Figure 2,

File Attributes
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File Attributes

Every file has a name and its data. Moreover, all operating systems associate other information with each file, for instance, the date and time the file was last modified and the file's size. We will call these extra items the file's attributes. Some people call them metadata. The list of

An Example Program Using File System Calls
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An Example Program Using File System Calls

In this section we will consider a simple UNIX program that copies one file from its source file to a destination file. It is listed in Figure 1. The program has minimal functionality and even worse error reporting, but it gives a reasonable idea of how some of the system calls related to

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