OS, File, and File System

Operating System

There are many operating systems nowadays. The most popular ones are Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.


An operating system is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.

I’m sure you are familiar with Windows and macOS. However, you might not familiar with Linux much. Linux is the leading operating system on the servers. Android is powered by the Linux operating system as well.

In simple words, we can say that the operating system manages hardware. The main components of any computer are CPU, RAM memory, and hard driver. They will not work by themselves. They need some system to manage them and Operating System is software that manages hardware. Also, we can install different programs on top of the operating system. For example, the browser, games on your pc, etc.

File and File System

In the previous article, we said we can imagine computer memory as a big canvas. Now, somehow we need to manage this one big piece of data. The way we manage is by dividing them into files and organizing all the files as a file system.

There are two types of files. The first one is a directory(folder). The directory can have other files inside. Remember we can refer to directories as files as well. The second type is an actual file. It has a great number of formats(.txt, pdf, png). In fact, you even can create your own format.

Every file has a header, body, and ending point of the file. The header mainly contains metadata(data about data) about a file. Things like the file format, how to read the file, size, who created it, etc. The body will contain the actual content of the file. The ending part indicates that there is no more content of the file.

Each file has a specific path in the file system. A file path specifies a unique location in a file system.

For example, my notes.txt file on my Desktop will have this file path.

File path: C:\Users\Beknazar\Desktop\notes.txt

The File System is the way we organize files. It is based on a tree data structure. It has a root directory(C: for Windows and / for macOS)



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