An Introduction to Linux Filesystems


This article is intended to be a very high-level discussion of Linux filesystem concepts. It is not intended to be a low-level description of how a particular filesystem type, such as EXT4, works, nor is it intended to be a tutorial of filesystem commands.

Every general-purpose computer needs to store data of various types on a hard disk drive (HDD) or some equivalent, such as a USB memory stick. There are a couple reasons for this. First, RAM loses its contents when the computer is switched off. There are non-volatile types of RAM that can maintain the data stored there after power is removed (such as flash RAM that is used in USB memory sticks and solid state drives), but flash RAM is much more expensive than standard, volatile RAM like DDR3 and other, similar types.