Compare and Contrast Linux and Windows File System

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Compare and Contrast Linux and Windows File System

By | December 2005
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Compare & Contrast Linux and Windows
File System and Input/Output System
The first thing that most new users shifting from Windows find confusing is navigating the Linux file system. The Linux file system functions differently than the Windows file system. I will compare and contrast the differences of both and takes you through the layout input/output systems of both. In Linux, there is only a single hierarchal directory structure. Everything begins from the root directory which is represented by the symbol /, which then expands into sub-directories. Windows includes various partitions and then directories under those partitions; Linux places all the partitions underneath the root directory by mounting them in specific directories. In contrast, Windows uses the letter C as its root directory. In Windows, various partitions are detected during the boot process and are assigned a drive letter. Under Linux, the system must mount partitions and devices during the boot process; otherwise it will be unaware of its existence. This might not seem very convenient to provide access to your partitions or devices, but it offers greater flexibility. This is known as the unified file system in Linux which offers several advantages over the Windows file system. For example, let's examine the /usr directory. This directory resides off the root directory and contains most of the system executables. With the Linux file system, you can choose to mount it off another partition or even off another machine over a network connection. The underlying system will not know the difference because /usr appears to be a local directory that is part of the local directory structure. Also, if you were to move around executables and data in Windows, you would have registry and system errors. For example, if you attempted to move c:\windows\system to another partition or drive, you would receive the errors just discussed. The input/output system at first glance may have people think...

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